This week we have been celebrating the seventeenth birthday of our daughters, Emily and Rachel. Still amazing and awe-inspiring to think they will be starting their senior year of high school and looking toward college. As their daddy, I could not be prouder of my twin daughters. They are funny, intelligent, beautiful, talented, creative young women. They inspire me each day to be a better father and a better man.

As a family, we have read and heard a lot of negative news about women in gaming and geek girls recently. The topic has been a focus of many family dinner conversations as of late. As part of our birthday celebrations for the week, I want us all to take a moment to celebrate the positive elements of the geek and gamer community. Don’t let the negativity take away from the wonderful things that are happening. As a father of daughters, I am so excited about the opportunities my daughters have to be themselves and enjoy this amazing geek and gamer community.

Let’s start with some wonderful, strong female leads in recent geeky movies that my daughters have really come to love. Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Isla Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation have become two of my daughters’ favorite fictional characters. Both women lead their movies without being relegated to romantic interests or damsels in distress. They are intelligent and cunning, showing great heroism in spite of overwhelming odds.

In the game world, two groups have really stood up and garnered the attention of our family recently: Girls Game Shelf and ConTessa. Each showcases women sharing their passion for gaming and geek culture. We have really enjoyed their videos and look forward to participating in some of their events in the future. We have also noticed publishers really starting to take notice of their female fans in their game design and artwork. Games like D&D 5th Ed with its inclusivity depicted wonderfully in its artwork and storytelling,as well as board games like Kill the Overlord, Legends of Andor, Imperial Settlers, 51st State The Master Set, and more that have dual sided player boards depicting men and women for each player option.

Later this summer, we will be heading to Gen Con. My daughters are excited to interact with the many women as Industry Insider Featured Presenters this year. So many great sessions and panels to attend. We will also be spending some personal time with women in the community that have really become inspiration to my daughters, including writer and editor Lynne Hardy, along with cosplayers and crafters Laura Baugh and Alena Van Arendonk of …And Sewing Is Half The Battle.

Happy Birthday to Emily and Rachel. Now let’s go get our geek on!

Celebrating Geek Girls

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