SO. I had planned on getting back to regular blogging, just as I was moving. Then, I went a week without regular Internet access. Oops. Since I was on a rush to get a couple things up and rolling, I decided I would hold off on getting back to it until after ICT ComicCon and Science Fiction Convention was over. Well, I’ve helped tear down, and took myself out to supper. The con is officially over, so it’s time to get back to this thing. 😉 (Note: I started this yesterday, right after the con, but didn’t get a chance to come back to it until late today.)
I actually do have a couple of posts that I’ve got half done, getting them done while I was working on projects and needed a moment’s break. So, I’ll polish those off over the next couple of days, along with doing a few posts that have been brewing in my head a for a bit – for instance “Anthology of Stuff People Just Can’t Handle Well.”
As you might imagine, I’ve got some post-con thoughts…
ADHD Can Suck
There’s days where my ADHD is a thing, and I know it. Today, it was really bad by the time noon rolled around. Like, bordering uncontrollable. It was a weird combination of things that caused it, and if you watch my videos from the event, you can tell how bad it was getting. The Plumber texted me, and pointed out I was saying “Um” a lot during them. I just had that hard of a time focusing.
So, what set it off? First, it was crowded and noisy – while that unto it’s self isn’t a problem, it becomes an amplifier for when my brain begins breaking down.
Second, I depend on two stimulants, nicotine and caffeine. Well, my caffeine intake was “OK” – not quit where it needed to be, but on most days, it would be close enough. Nicotine, on the other hand, was way low. I had my ecig with me, but since people were talking to me so much, or standing so close to the booth, I wasn’t hitting it much. Slowly, my nicotine levels dropped, and I could feel it happening – but I had no idea at the time why I was losing focus. Eventually I went outside while someone watched the booth, and had a cigarette, and I could feel the change. Once I knew the problem, it was easily fixed, though to really get back on even keel was a little more difficult than usual (see that part about crowded and noisy being an issue.)
One interesting thing that happened was that a friend who’s a fellow ADHD brain had stopped by, and we started talking – she picked on me, offering me an Adderall (no, she wouldn’t have actually given me one, and I wouldn’t have actually taken one.) We got to talking about the effects of of amphetamines on ADHD sufferers – I didn’t realize they have the same bell-curve effect I’ve described before with caffeine (take enough, you’re even keel. Take too much, and you’ll get tired and sleepy. Keep going, and eventually you’ll come out the other side in a weird hyper state!)
Kansas Game Developers’ Association
One of my major focus items was going to be launching the Kansas Game Developers’ Association, and that went a lot better than expected. There is no network for game dev folks (not just video games – I mean the whole thing, board games, card games, role playing games, etc.). There are disconnected islands of developers, venues, loose organizations, and gamers. I want to fix this problem, and encourage growth of game development here in Kansas.
Well, if you saw any of the live videos I did from the con, I was blown away by response to it. This is going to bend up being much more interesting than I expected.
I pulled out the Q costume, and used that for a presentation on Positive Geeking (website coming soon-ish) with friend and customer Dr. Lindsay Henderson. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about how it come off. I talked less than I planned on, and part of that was a bit of audio issues – the mic sucked ass. I literally had to have my lips on it to be heard, and I have some objections to that 🙂
Content wise, it wasn’t bad. Lindsay and I didn’t do too bad as a team, and if we were to do that more often, I’m sure we’d get speaking together down pat. The video from it is a fail – the audio came out so badly, I’m not sure I can recover more than a couple snippets. There’s some great photos from it though, taken by attendees.
The Game Development Speech: Full Power
I showed up at the con to speak on game development, then do a small bit on focusing on game development in Kansas specifically. All day, I was talking to people about KGDA stuff, so when it came time to speak, I made a last minute decision: worry less about generic game development stuff, worry more about Wichita and Kansas specific topics. Well, last minute might not be the right phrase: I changed my mind after I started the introduction.
Because of mic issues all day, they had moved sessions to being without a mic. The room was incredibly noisy, so I was going to have to talk incredibly loud for 30 minutes. Now, I’m a fairly energetic speaker – I’m not afraid of cameras or crowds. But, a combination of things sort of came together in a weird way – having to speak loudly always makes me more energetic. Having to change the plan like that made me more energetic. Having my ADHD only somewhat under control at that point (I had regained control, just not all of it), and everything else, I decided to do things a little differently: I simply let loose. Instead of a calm, structured approach (not that I’m ever really that calm when speaking), I mapped out a quick list of highlights I wanted, and let rip at full volume. If I can recover the audio from the session (the noise was that bad in the place), you can see I’m shouting nearly the whole time, and I am smiling the whole time I did it. Heck, I’m not just nearly shouting, I’m shouting with my hands (see the screen caps of the video to see what I mean. 🙂
Honestly, I have no idea how my full power delivery, some what ADHD fueled speech was received, since the next thing was the cosplay contest, which basically marked the end of the con.
Holy crap. I can’t say that enough about ICT ComicCon And Science Fiction Convention: holy crap. Thousands of people. I shot some video, and would stand up on my chair to give an idea how many people were there, but even that doesn’t seem to have really captured it. It was insane. I didn’t ask the director how many people he expected, but he was blown away by it being much, much larger than expected.
I’ve got footage, I’m just going to stitch it together and put it up on YouTube later when I get a chance. 🙂
Um… That’s a problem
So, The Plumber happened to watch some of my videos that were being posted live from the con, and pointed out something: a LOT of “um”s. That’s a bit of a problem – I can’t stand two things: “um”, and this weird “click” noise I make from time to time. Some of it has to do with having that much ADHD going on, but a lot of it has to do with not knowing what I was going to say. Seriously, I was just picking up the phone, hitting the live button, and just saying whatever came to time (even if I was repeating myself.) It’s a fairly “raw” way of doing it, but that “um” thing is something I’m going to have to really work on!
Yes, I was social at the con. Like, ultra-social. A huge part of that has to do with the fact that I was there representing an organization I wanted to launch, along with representing my business. That’s kind of the point at being at a con.
Along the way, I ended up talking with a few folks that were from game related organizations, which moved conversations into an area I hadn’t planned on just yet: getting the organizations, no matter how small, to start networking with the KGDA. And, one person volunteered to help out the KGDA. Perfect – because one of the first orders of business is to try and get people put in positions in the organization, so it’s a distributed effort, not a single person effort.
I also got to hear directly from a couple of women on some sexism in games issues, and to be honest, I’m glad they were talking to me about it. If they’re bold enough to start talking about it to people, it helps solidify a fact in everyone’s mind: yes, it does happen, and yes, it’s still stupid. There are as many women gamers as men, get over it, and get back to playing games – preferable, together.
But, I also got to have plenty of conversations outside of the scope of the con. One of my favorites was getting a chance to sit down and chat with Marguerite Reed a bit. I met her at Encounters convention (the one time a modern version was held, then it sort of went away), and was on a panel with her, Leif Jonkers, and Ben Somebody-Who’s-Last-Name-I-Forgot. That’s been a while back. I’ve been chatting with her off and on for quite a while now, and despite being in the same city, we’ve never talked face to face beyond introductions at Encounters Convention. So, it was great to have a sit-down chat for about, oh, 20 minutes or so, and talk face to face. The virtual world is nice and all, but sometimes, it’s much nicer to talk to people in meatspace. Probably two blog posts on here, or possibly on Positive Geeking when the site launches, will have come from that conversation.
So, I set up the shell of a Patron account. I haven’t quite figured everything out about it, because my goal is sort of convoluted. The problem I have is this: I’ve got multiple projects that are a drain on my time that aren’t about business: they’re about changing the world, in one way or another. Quick list:
Kansas Authors’ Pavilion: I run it twice a year, which always drains my account just a little bit, but not a huge amount. I’m going to be expanding it, though, which does mean a larger drain, on top of the fixes I need to do to the existing pavilion tent. A new tent is becoming necessary, since we’re packed to capacity every other fair. And, the old one isn’t going away: it’s probably going to be turned into a speaking stage, adding some con-like presentations by the authors who are so inclined.
Kansas Game Developers’ Association: I just launched it, of course, but given the response, I have a feeling this is going to end up being a time sink off and on. As it is, I’m going to need to start hitting all the cons in Kansas – ouch. Those tables aren’t cheap.
Sex With Davis: While the name is a joke, the topic isn’t. While doing a series on Sex and Religion for First Geek Congregation (see below), I discovered exactly how little people know about the science of sex. Or, even really, sex in general. So, I hatched a plan to do a YouTube series on sex – anatomy, statistics, science, the whole works (though, if you’re thinking “So, you’re going to show people new positions or something?”, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, paying attention and knowing some of the science can make you a little better at it without trying to teach you specific information about what to do with your penis or vagina.) Not only is it going to cost me research time (if you wonder if I can research medical or scientific data, go visit Advanced Mobile Healthcare, and look in the Healthcare Insights area. All of that is written by yours truly.)
First Geek Congregation: There’s over a hundred hours of First Geek Congregation on YouTube. I do religion a little different – while it has a Christian basis to it, there’s a lot of stuff like comparative religion that goes on. I’ve had guest speakers on sexuality, communication, and more. But, it costs money every week to host it – I have to pay for a space, etc. Member of that particular congregation are fairly broke, so, that’s kind of a thing. (Keep in mind – there’s only 5 or 6 people there consistently, and I’ve never really done a push to expand it, quite intentionally, even though I keep contemplating the idea.)
The Game Development Internship: Right now, I have 4.5 Interns working with me, learning Game Development. One thing that came out of the con, was a deepening need to expand the internship to include high school students. Which is going to be an extra-special challenge to do. The college-level internship will eventually become self-sustaining, but the high school one, I’m afraid, isn’t going to be – I don’t see it producing much in the way of games, but a lot in the way of education.
And, for both SWD and FGC, I need more / better equipment. I need a new camera (the webcam I’ve been using isn’t cutting it), and a new laptop (though, in all honestly, the laptop also gets used for other projects, too.)
It’s great that I want to change the world. It’s not great that I want to change the world at the same time that I don’t have the money to support both myself and these projects at the same time. So, it’s time to do things differently. 🙂