I went to two panels today. The first, "The Fandom Awakens", was essentially a love letter to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not to say that there was no deep discussion -- far from it, as panelists spoke about how moved they were by seeing women and people of color in such significant roles, the ethics of droid labor, and why we insist on gendering droids. One good question that provoked conversation, though no definitive conclusions, was whether a droid in the Star Wars universe has any sense of gender identity. Next up was cypheroftyr's panel on the queer gaming experience, with a focus on Dragon Age although several other games were also discussed. Many good thoughts and sharing of experiences about what games do right and the (many more) things they get wrong.
For dinner, I joined the New Attendees dinner gathering. Although it could have been better organized, I ended up with a lively and fun group. We picked up food at a Russian dumplings place, then ate it on the steps of the Capitol Building, chatting all the while about fandom, and we enjoyed the conversation enough to keep it going over coffee until the time came to head to the opening ceremonies. This event was mostly informational, introducing attendees to policies and committee heads, but since this is the 40th WisCon, they also took some time for reminiscences, as long-time WisCon attendees talked about the con community and what it means to them. We also got a stirring speech from Katherine Cross reminding us to treat hotel staff with courtesy and respect, and call from Pat Murphy to make WisCon a "'splaning free zone". Then I wrapped up the night with a panel on Hamilton followed by a singalong, which was a blast. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't organized quite right, and so we didn't have time to sing the whole thing -- just as well, though, because my voice would have likely given out. :) We sang through the entire first act, then hit some highlights from Act 2 ("What Did I Miss?", "Cabinet Battle #1", and "The Room Where It Happens"). About halfway into the first act (I think with "You'll Be Back"), people started getting to the front of the room and acting out the main roles, often to hilarious effect -- maybe my favorite was Hamilton and Burr fighting over the rolled up scarf they were both using in place of their respective newborns in "Dear Theodosia". It was a great high point to end my first full day here.
One thing I've noticed: people often use the Twitter hashtags assigned to events, so it's worthwhile to check them. Good stuff on the Fandom Awakens and Queer Gaming Experience hashtags, specifically.
Fortunately, there's nothing in particular I want to do in the first programming slot tomorrow, so I can have another relatively relaxed morning. But still, I should get to bed. Goodnight, WisCon. I'll see you at 10AM.