The picture with this post comes from my college years. I’m using it here because I have been invited back to my alma mater to be the Guest of Honor at What The Hell Con in North Carolina. What the Hell Con is a convention run by The Yachting Club at Guilford College. I founded the Yachting Club with my merry band of troublemakers in college, and it has flourished since my time there. I’m told that it’s now one of the largest clubs on campus.
When I founded The Yachting Club, I wanted to make it a place where any geeky activity would be welcome. That’s why it’s not called The Anime Club or The Gaming Club. I knew that student’s interests would change year to year. Some years, everyone would want to bury their noses in books, other years, people might want to stage large-scale live action games. Or maybe half the people want to do anime nights while the others watch old science fiction and a small but devoted group writes elaborate Sherlock Homes fan-fiction. I wanted the club to be a place where all that could happen at once and in harmony. I wanted the club to be inclusive, where weird ideas I never dreamed of could take root.
It turns out that the current con runners for What the Hell Con knew of me as a game designer they knew that I founded the Yachting Club. One of their first e-mails to me was asking if I was, indeed, their founder. When they found out that yes, I did, they invited me to be the Guest of Honor at the con. I’ve never been a Guest of Honor before, so this is all at once a First and a Homecoming.
I’m planning to talk about the founding of the Yachting Club and how it almost didn’t happen, creating games, taking photographs and writing. Jared Axelrod my husband and partner in everything, will be joining me and giving his own presentation, which you can find below. I asked the convention if I could invite some friends to the party, and they said sure, so Jason Morningstar and Ursula Vernon will be joining me as well. I’ve always tried to work with my friends, so it only feels right to have some friends with me when I do this Guest of Honor thing. If you’ll be in the area, come by! What the Hell Con is free and open to the public.
What The Hell Con Schedule
7:00PM- 8:00PM: Interview with J.R. Blackwell (Jared Axelrod and J.R. Blackwell)
1:30PM -2:30PM: Readings from J.R. Blackwell, Jared Axelrod and Ursula Vernon (Jared Axelrod and J.R. Blackwell)
2:30PM -3:30PM: Dead Kids On A Train: Ressha Sentai ToQger & Existential Terror (Jared Axelrod)
3:30PM -4:30PM: Photographing the Fantasy Future (J.R. Blackwell)
6:00PM -7:00PM: Blackwell and Morningstar talk Games (Jason Morningstar and J.R. Blackwell)
7:00PM -8:00PM: Jason Morningstar Facilitates a Live Action Role Playing Game (Jason Morningstar, J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod)
11:00AM –12:00PM: The Creative Life After Guilford
What the Hell Con Details:
When: March 6th-8th
Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1566805306866725