Emerald City Comicon Awesomeness

Emerald City Comicon Awesomeness

Last weekend, I attended Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.  This was my first Comicon but not by first con since I went to PAX Prime last September. (And I made sure to wear comfy shoes this time!)

I’m not a huge comics fan and really my sole intention was to go to The Guild’s panel on Saturday at noon.  And yes, as a good fangirl, I was super excited at the thought of getting some autographs and telling some of my gaming idols about how I used their work in my dissertation.  I was not disappointed and the best moment of the con pretty much overshadowed everything else.

I got into Wil Wheaton’s line on Saturday morning, having missed him on Friday since I went to see Felicia Day and Amy Okuda first.  As my boyfriend and I were standing there I turned and asked, “Do you think he’s ever been quoted in a dissertation before?”  Having just put the final draft of the bibliography together on Thursday the fact that Wil Wheaton was a reference I had to enter in was clear in my mind.  Chris shrugged and said, “Probably not.  You going to tell him?”  And I said, “I’m thinking about it . . .”

So we get to the front of the line and I am holding in all this nervous energy waiting for my turn.  Then we’re up and I hand Wil my DVD copy of The Guild season 3 to sign and I start off with, “Have you ever, to the best of your knowledge, been quoted in a dissertation?”

And he looks at me and says, “Not that I know of.”

“Well, now you have.”

He leans back in his chair, spread his arms out wide with a huge smile on his face and says, “Tell me more!”

So I tell him about how my dissertation is about women gamers and that I interviewed 30 women about what it meant to be a gamer, and how I used The Guild throughout the entire thing but that the last chapter argues how gaming is no longer a subculture but becoming part of mainstream culture and to open it I use a quote of his from his 2007 PAX Keynote address. <inhale>

He replies, “That is very cool.  Have you defended yet?”

And I say, no the defense is scheduled for April 1st.

He stands up and says to me, “Don’t go anywhere.”

Like I was going to leave?????

He steps through the curtain set up behind the autograph tables and I look at his handler and she is smiling, and I look to Chris and he is perplexed, and Wil Wheaton comes back with a small notebook, the kind you carry to write quick ideas down and has perforated pages in the back.  He is carefully folding one of the back pages when he says to me, “I want to give you something.”

And my mind is racing because I cannot imagine what he is about to give me, but I am secretly hoping it’s his email address because I would LOVE for him to read the chapter.

So he starts writing, in big blue marker: THE BLUE STAR OF AWESOME.

Then he draws a BLUE STAR.

The he writes: +5 to defense of dissertation.

And signs it W2.

He hands it to me and I can’t even remember what I said, if I said anything other than “uuugggggeeeee.”  (Imagine the sound Homer Simpson makes while he’s eating chocolate.)  Then I ask to take a pic with him and the handler reminds me to hold up the BLUE STAR OF AWESOME.


And we walk away and I <squee> for reals this time and Chris asks if I am ok and I say, “I need to sit down and I need to post this to Facebook right away!”

the geek embassy

Regina is a gamer, writer, teacher, and podcaster living in the Pacific Northwest. She completed her Ph.D. in 2011 from Washington State University in Vancouver and continues to teach there part time. Regina’s research interests focus on women and technology, and her dissertation discusses female gamers and identity in digital role playing games. A lifelong geek and technology enthusiast, Regina recently started a Girls Who Code club in support of their mission to close the gender gap in technology.

To continue the conversations about gender and gaming that Regina started during her research, she started a podcast called Game on Girl. Called the “NPR of game podcasts” by Chris Brown of The Married Gamers, the podcast features women involved in the game industry, and tackles some of the complicated issues in the gaming community. Season 2 began in the spring of 2018 and will premiere new episodes monthly.


  1. HAHAHA!!! How cool is that? I saw the post on Facebook, but glad to get “the rest of the story”. With this awesome trinket, you are gonna own that defense!

  2. Wow. Achievement unlocked.

    Isn’t he just great? My wife and I went to w00tstock! Minneapolis last year and I got to meet Wil as well as Adam Savage and a bunch of other awesome nerds. I was so tweaked afterwards that my wife said to me “Just because you can die now doesn’t mean you should.”

  3. Hey, Regina! I was the handler that took that picture and I’m glad to hear that you had a great time at ECCC.

    I wish you the best of luck defending your dissertation. We geek girls gotta stick together! 😀


  4. Fantastic.
    Every time I read “handler” in this context, I have this mental picture of them waiting behind the curtain with a leash or even a chain and a whip to take the celebs back to their pens when they’re gone. 🙂

  5. This is why I follow Wil. What a nice thing to do. Thanks for sharing your story, and best of luck on your dissertation.

  6. Nice! Sooo…Mr. Wheaton has a handler? He’s like Chuck! I knew it!
    I keep hearing about how ECCC was Made of Awesome, and part of me goes just a little bit greener with envy each time, but mostly I am just glad this sort of thing is done so well and is out there in the first place.

    Good luck with your excellent choice of dissertation. +5 WIS

  7. What an absolutely COOL thing for Wil to do!!! Break a leg next month!

  8. I can tell you exactly what’s behind that curtain, as I was behind it most of the weekend…but I’d have to kill you afterwards. ;D

    But Wil is an awesome, amazing guy. He’s so down to earth. Loved working with him, and all the other Guests at ECCC this past weekend.

  9. …and by the way, I was at ECCC this year too. It was a lot of fun, but I never made it to Wil’s autograph line. He was very popular again this year. I got it at W00tstock in Portland last year, though.

  10. Seriously! I posted afterward, “Take that Academia! I will pwn you!”

  11. That is awesome. My husband (unbeknownst to me) sent Wil a email the day before I was about to defend my master’s capstone project, saying I was a big fan and asking him to wish me good luck. And wouldn’t you know, when I got up that morning, a bundle of nerves, and checked my email – I had a message waiting for me from holy crap are you kidding me Wil Wheaton?! He even wrote me back later to find out how it went.

    Good luck on your defense – I’m sure you’ll kill it.

  12. He is AMAZING! I am so impressed and humbled just by the few minutes I talked to him!

    And Chris’s reaction was much like your wife! He was worried for my health! 🙂

  13. Thank you, Heather! You and everyone at ECCC made it a truly awesome experience! We will be back next year!

  14. Thank you so much for the good wishes and I’m glad you enjoyed the story! 🙂

  15. ECCC is made of awesome for sure! I am pretty partial to PAX since it’s focus is on gaming but ECCC runs a close second. Go next year if you can – you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

  16. That is too funny! I wondered what was back there too and “handlers” does add to the mystique!

  17. Oh that’s ok – I like letting my imagination wander . . . 🙂

    The vibe at ECCC was just fantastic and I’m sure that’s in no small part to the work the volunteers do so THANK YOU!

  18. I am totally going to W00tstock if it hits this area again! Sounds like a blast from what I’ve read and seen about it. Glad to get your recommendation. 🙂

  19. Just fyi, Wil posted a link to this on his twitter feed 🙂 (Which is how I got here) Good luck.

  20. That is so totally cool! One of the reasons I was so impressed was because he knew I had to defend and asked about it. That just added to super cool-ness of the whole experience. I always thought he was a great guy from the blog and now I know from personal experience! 🙂

  21. Oh I know! I saw it right after he tweeted it and having been smiling ever since. I am pretty sure this whole experience will keep me smiling until April 1. 🙂

  22. […] ECCC – Emerald City ComiCon and The Blue Star of Awesome from @wilw […]

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