In the fall of 2011, I started the initial ground work for an oral history project. Makers, Schemers, and Dreamers was going to be an oral history of women in performance, visual and literary arts. I had an initial group of women who were interested, and the skills to do the project. I just didn't have the time.
By the time 2012 rolled around, I applied for"”and won"”Samsung's Don't Wait contest. I had a digital camera, editing software, and a new laptop for the project. When #1reasonwhy happened, I decided to shift my focus. I'd do an oral history project, but I wanted it to be about women in games. More specifically, women in tabletop and live-action role-playing. There's a stunning amount of literature in existence devoted to the history of women in video games, but there isn't as much devoted to tabletop. Even less than that, are projects that are open and accessible in non-academic formats.
I want to do Makers, Schemers, and Dreamers. I want to put these interviews and photographs online, but I need some help. I want to take the project to Gen Con. I already have access to women for interviews here in Seattle, but women from all over attend Gen Con. That gives me a more diverse pool of people to interview beyond who I have in driving distance.
If I can raise $1,700, that covers my airfare, ground transport, eating, and a hotel room after the fees get taken out. I'll do interviews with the equipment I currently have. If I go beyond the $1,700, I could get a digital recorder and look into a dedicated webspace for the project, instead of keeping it on my blog.
I'm not new to journalism or crowd funding. My last GoFundMe sent me to NASA, and I produced two posts about the event, and a Storify of my live tweets for the trip. I have a column as a games journalist, and belong to the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association.
Gen Con won't be the only time Makers, Schemers, and Dreamers will go on the road, but it would be the first time I'd be able to take it out of state. By loading all the media I'm able to capture during interviews onto the web, it becomes a globally accessible project. As long as someone can get hold of an internet connection, they'd be able to explore the history of female peers, creators, organizers and artists who help make gaming what it is today"”and will influence the form it takes in the future.
If you want to be interviewed at Gen Con, or set up time to say hi, you can use the contact form at my website.
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