ARGfest

A Much-Needed Public Apology

This year at ARGfest, someone pointed out to me a glaring omission from the Further Resources section of A Creator's Guide: ARGfest itself. There's a Conferences subhead, to be sure, but ARGfest is notably absent from that listing.

When this was first came to light, I was appalled. An editing mistake, I thought. Surely some accident, perhaps on the copy-editing side. I've since checked my manuscript, and the fault here is nobody's but mine. I remember writing the blurb for ARGfest, but it's plainly not there in my submitted draft. I can only speculate it was the victim of a cut-and-paste error when I rearranged the listings. It was by no means an intentional omission.

But none of that matters. What matters is: ARGfest belongs in that list as much as, even more than any other conference. It is egregious and terrible that I left it off, and I owe everyone who works to make it a great conference a tremendous apology. I'm sorry that I made this mistake; I'm sorry if I for a second made you feel terrible or like I hold you in anything but the highest esteem; I'm sorry that I failed you in this moment when I could have boosted your signal just that little bit more.

To those of you who are not familiar: ARGfest has introduced me to people who became clients, colleagues, good friends. ARGfest was one of the earliest places to give me a chance to speak. I've landed work because of ARGfest, something I cannot conclusively say for most events I attend. I've learned about craft and about business. I've expanded my horizons. There is no question that without this extraordinary, warm, and well-rounded conference, my career would not be where it is today.

I'm not sure what I can do to make up for this any time before a second printing, but I am determined to make it right. ARGfest 2013, if there is anything I can do to make you better or bigger or bolder or louder, let me know. It's the least I can do.


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Memories of ARGfest 2011

The night before ARGfest, I had a dream that I went down for my Grand Inquisitor duties in my pajamas, and then everyone was forced to wait around for half an hour while I got ready in real clothes. I'm pretty sure Dream Jonathan Waite rolled his eyes at me. This was probably the most terrible thing that happened at ARGfest this year, and it didn't even actually happen.

Well, that and the lingering guilt -- I was sure I'd be the mildest Inquisitor ARGfest has ever seen, but in fact I found depths of cruelty I hadn't realized were there. As one observer pointed out, "She's kind of an asshole." To those of you who spoke this year... I am so, so sorry. Punch me in the arm next time you see me.

Beyond that, it was a whirlwind of amazing people and great conversation. I got to meet the legendary JC Hutchins, who winds up being supernaturally polite in person. So concerned with not making anyone else feel bad! I am very obviously a terrible human being in comparison to him, as are most of us, frankly. I started asking him some questions that have been on my mind lately, but not enough to develop an actual plan. Must keep thinking. And stalking him, since he is plainly good at this stuff.

And of course I got to spend time in an actual room with David Varela, who I have collaborated with for years and hundreds of thousands of words sight unseen. In fact, this was the first time I'd actually seen him in person since before he was hired by Mind Candy, wayyyyy back in the day, and it was awkward and wonderful and then terribly sad when we had to say goodbye. I have got to get over to London, you guys. Quick, somebody hire me for two days' consulting work over there...

I also got one of the most touching surprises I have ever received while at ARGfest, but it won't make any sense to you unless you happen to be playing Floating City. (Which is even now entering its final days, so if you want to check it out, you should act fast!)

This haunted doll... trust me when I say receiving this is one of the most nicest things that has ever happened to me in connection with a game I've made -- maybe even the very nicest, since Anna Heath's 333 origami cranes weren't sent to me specifically. 

And and and I got to see Sara and Haley and Phoebe and Michael and Alison and TC and Dee and Marie and Michelle and Daniel and Lucas and Sean and Jonathan and Rob and and and so many people that I love but this sentence is getting out of control and I cannot very well namecheck the entire conference. FestQuest was super fun -- I forget sometimes how much I really do love to play -- and people were so kind about accommodating my pesky food issues -- and even though I lost my voice by the end, it was totally, totally worth it.

Good times, man. Good times. Let's do it again next year, OK?


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Nobody Expects the...

There was a big announcement out of ARGfest this weekend, which I unfortunately missed in the haze of grilled meats and illegal fireworks.

That's right: Not only am I going to ARGfest this year, I get to be the Grand Inquisitor. My nefarious plans are already well under way, I'll have you know, and I think it's safe to say they are nefarious. Bwahahahaha, I'll show you all, etc., etc.

You, too, should come to ARGfest! It's in Bloomington, Indiana this year, from August 18-21. I'm sure it will, as ever, be an amazing time with the absolute warmest, most welcoming creative community out there. See you then!


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ARGfest 2010 Epilogue

So there was this thing last week, and I went to it. I even gave a talk! For those of you interested, there is video of Beyond the Brunette (ARGfest 2010 edition), recorded by the lovely Lauren Soffer, and including the Q&A afterward:

  

 

This is a shorter, more ARG-focused version of the talk I delivered at SXSW this year. If you'd like the whole thing, the slides plus notes are up on Slideshare, or you can listen to the audio of the SXSW talk cut in with the slides on Vimeo.

It was a great audience, and I think what I had to say really resonated. I got a lot of feedback from people who were happy that I spoke so early, because every single time a girl in distress came up for the rest of the conference -- and it came up in more sessions than not -- it got a chuckle and reinforced my point. Though I have a sinking feeling that everyone is going to be calling me "cupcake" for the rest of my career.

ARGfest was amazing all around, though, for reasons having nothing to do with me -- the sessions and attendees were absolutely perfect. I couldn't have dreamed up a better event if they'd put me in charge. Big, big thanks go to the organizing committee for their hard work and excellent taste.

Thank you, too, to everyone who hoisted a mai tai and rocked out to Tongo Hiti with me, or who spoke candidly about how the heck to earn a living, and extra-special super mad props go to Jonathan Waite (he knows why). Man, I love you guys so much. Never leave me!

After ARGfest every year, I say, "Wow, that was great! But given the time and money... I don't know if I'm going to make it next year." This time, I'm not saying that. There is no way I would skip ARGfest next year. Not after this year. 

I'll see you there, too, right?


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Help -- Sponsor ARGfest!

If you happen to have a few spare dollars lying around right now, I'd urge you to pass them on to ARGfest, which is struggling with some urgent funding issues.
We hate to admit it, but this AMAZING event is DESPERATE for sponsors! We’ve received a great deal of support, but it is just not enough to cover our expenses.  
... 
We have until July 18 to pay the bill and need a minimum of $6,000 to cover the difference (we hope to have more exact figures on Wednesday). If you can help out, please do! If you already have, THANK YOU!
ARGfest is an amazing event, and Brooke is an amazing person for organizing it -- it would be a tragedy for this funding shortage to come due to her personally. If there's any way you can help out, either as a sponsor or as a donor, then I urge you to do so -- and fast!


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