Do you know what year BGN was founded?
That was the Door Prize trivia question at this year’s Blerd TweetUp.
For the past couple years, Black Girl Nerds has hosted a Blerd TweetUp at Joystick Gamebar on the first full night of Dragon*Con. This year’s event was brought to you by Electronic Frontier Foundation and Universal FanCon, and the theme was Cartoons.
This year’s TweetUp gave many fans of BGN a chance to mix and mingle with more of the crew, and I myself was super stoked to finally put faces to names of the awesome women with whom I interact online.
Although our fearless leader, Jamie Broadnax—founder and managing editor of Black Girl Nerds—couldn’t be with us for this year’s TweetUp, she sent her love (and Swag Bags for winners of our Door Prize, Street Fighter Tourney, and Cosplay Contest winners)!
This year, EFF’s sponsorship enabled us to unlock a few games for Free Play, have a wicked awesome Virtual Reality demo, and secure catered food from Joystick’s kitchen of rotating companies (this year it was S3 Catering).
EFF is non-profit based in California whose mission is to defend civil liberties in the digital world. This makes them a very great company to partner with; as many of you know, BGN is most active on Twitter, where it’s very easy to have your work co-opted. EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. Basically, they work to ensure that our rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as we use more and more technology.
I’d say the hit of the night, by far, was the VR demo provided by ISimu VR. Their headset and handheld joysticks hooked up to Steam and TweetUp attendees were able to play games such as Mega Overload, in the style of classic space shooters. There were a few other games in rotation, so each person got to go a round before transferring to the next person. I must say, I tried VR at an Online News Association conference once, but it was nothing like actually being able to step here and there while shooting colorful bots in space.
If you have a chance, I’d highly recommend stopping by the ISimu VR Arcade in Norcross to experience their expanded slate of VR games at your own pace.
Overall, this was another successful Blerd TweetUp, full of scrumptious food, friends old and new, first-time and veteran Cosplayers, and good old-fashioned arcade games. We’re already planning next year’s event. Will you join us?
**BGN was founded in February 2012, by the way; find out the whole story here. We’re five years strong and still going, all because of the love, support, and enthusiasm that this community has for Black girls doing what we do best: advocating for more POC representation in fandom life and being our nerdy, awesome selves.
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Diondra Powers is an editor, contributing writer and social media correspondent for Black Girl Nerds. She finds great joy in volunteering and exploring the world through a camera lens. In her spare time, she embarks on epic adventures that take many forms—from reading to climbing to Dungeons & Dragons.