Geek girls unite around games, comics and a "Buffy" sing-along

Thu Aug 9, 2012 2:14pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) - Erica McGillivray grew tired of being asked by comic book store employees if she was buying the latest issue of "Batwoman" or "Birds of Prey" for her boyfriend.

So McGillivray, a 28-year-old "Star Trek" and comics fan, joined a group that believed women like her needed a geeky celebration to call their own.

McGillivray is now president of GeekGirlCon, the female answer to the male-dominated Comic-Con pop culture conference. The organization will hold its second convention this weekend.

The first GeekGirlCon in October 2011 drew numbers so large that organizers had to turn people away. So for its second convention the group found a bigger venue, trading seven rooms of meeting space for a downtown Seattle conference center.

Some 7,000 attendees are expected over Saturday and Sunday from throughout the United States and from as far away as Australia -- some dressed as Princess Leia, Wonder Woman or other geek heroes and heroines.

Big companies are taking notice of women's interest in all things geek. Video game maker Electronic Arts signed up to sponsor GeekGirlCon and will bring some of its titles, including an NHL game with a female hockey player.

"Women have always been a part of geek culture," said McGillivray, who started watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" at age 3 with her mother. "We've just been in such small numbers, or kind of pushed to the fringes, that we haven't really been seen before."


A girl dressed in costume plays a video game at the PAX East gaming conference in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 7, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/Files