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!”
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.