PAX East 2015!!!!
Next Saturday my gorgeous Violet, our baby girl, will turn 6. I won’t be there to see how early she jumps out of bed, or whether she loves the robot unicorn I picked out for her (spoiler alert – she’s going to love it, it’s a robot unicorn!). Her big sister is full of plans to make her birthday cake. My kids spend months selecting a birthday cake. I’ve made about fifty of them, I think. Some have turned out better than others (pirate ships are really hard), but all have become a story, part of our family lore. Violet always wants a turtle cake 🙂 I’m good at making turtle cakes.
But I will be half a world away talking to hundreds of people about creating empathy with game narrative. It’s a great honour, and it never ceases to amaze me that people care what I think about this stuff. After the panel I’ll rush back to my booth, part of the Indie Megabooth, no less, and I’ll spend the rest of the day telling punters and journalists about Ninja Pizza Girl, and how I’m making it with my wonderful family. People will tell me about their experiences with bullying, about their wonderful daughters, sisters, cousins. They’ll laugh with delight as they play my game. My game! My heart will happy and full and my head will be spinning. I will lose my voice many times.
I know many parents miss their kids birthdays, for all sorts of good reasons. I know I have an excellent reason for missing Violet’s. My girls are already planning the business trips they’ll take when they’re grown ups. The life they envisage for themselves has no limits. The first time I went to a convention without Jason everyone I met was shocked. No one was mean about it, they were just … really surprised. But here’s the thing – Jason hates to travel alone, whereas I kinda like it. We both feel that it’s really important right now for there to be visible female game developers, so it makes sense for me to represent us, right? Also Jason did a lot of trips to the States when the girls were babies, and I swear to God every time he went they all got gastro and I spent the week cleaning up vomit so he totally owes me 🙂
Violet doesn’t even care that I’m missing her birthday, she just thinks it’s cool that she gets a second one when I get back 🙂
But if you see me at PAX East, and I’m a little bit weepy, don’t worry. I’m stoked to be there. I’m having a wonderful time and I’m honoured and so happy that my little game is making people feel things. It’s just that there’s a turtle cake on the other side of the world that I didn’t get to make.