FA 090 Getting a Derailed Convention Back on Track

Introduction topic

  • Video game boosts sex health IQ and attitudes in minority teens - Lynn Fiellin, M.D., Yale School of Medicine

  • A videogame designed by Yale researchers to promote health and reduce risky behavior in teens improves sexual health knowledge and attitudes among minority youth, according to a new study. The findings validate the value of the videogame as a tool to engage and educate teens at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), said the researchers.

  • Led by Fiellin, the research team recruited more than 300 students, ages 11 to 14, from afterschool and summer programs in the New Haven area for the study. For six weeks, the youth either played the intervention game PlayForward: Elm City Stories, or one of several unrelated videogames on iPad tablets for up to 75 minutes twice per week. Designed with teen and expert input, PlayForward is a serious role-playing videogame that engages youth with a variety of challenges and choices in fictional yet realistic life situations.

  • During the one-year study period, the students were assessed for a range of outcomes, including sexual health attitudes, knowledge, intention to initiate sex, and sexual activity. Compared to youth who played the non-intervention games, the PlayForward teens demonstrated improvements in both sexual health attitudes and knowledge at the end of 12 months. For example, the PlayForward group was more likely to accurately respond that it was true that a girl can get pregnant the first time she has sex.

  • While the groups of teens did not differ in their intention to initiate sex or be sexually active, the findings are significant and important, said Fiellin: "It was proof of concept. To our knowledge, never before has a videogame intervention been developed with such extensive input from its target audience, and tested through rigorous scientific methods over a long stretch of time, demonstrating that kids will engage in a game with serious content and learn things that impact the way they think and potentially what they do."


What can go wrong?

  • Travel

    • You lose your ride to / from the convention

      • https://www.conroomies.com/

    • Your flight / train / bus is severely delayed and you get stranded

    • Your luggage or fursuit is lost in transit

  • Room issues

    • You lose your hotel room

      • conroomies.com

    • You can’t sleep because the room is too loud

    • You can’t sleep because there is no usable bed space for you

  • Losing items

    • You lose your con badge

    • You lose your wallet or credit card and are without a means of payment

    • You lose your con goodies or collectibles (badges)

    • Someone steals from you (fursuit, clothes, electronics, etc…)

  • Interpersonal issues

    • You get into an argument with a close friend or mate

      • Ep 59

      • TLDR; keep arguments private, de-escalate, use non-violent communication and empathy techniques

    • You break up with your mate / mates or best friend

    • Someone assaults you

  • Police / security issues

    • You get arrested for something stupid (public intoxication, etc…)

    • You get arrested for something serious (you assault someone)

  • Boredom/plans

    • You are bored at the convention

    • You realize that your investment in the fandom is not as deep as you thought and you hate being at the convention

    • Your friends ditch you for dinner or an event

    • You didn’t get invited to any parties

    • You miss a panel you really wanted to see

  • You get outed while at the convention (someone records video or takes pictures with you in it and someone in meatspace IDs you)

  • Medical needs

    • If you get hungover

    • You get sick / need to go to the hospital or urgent care

    • How can you stay as healthy as possible during a convention?

      • Do vitamins or supplements help?


I just finished listening to your most recent episode about con attendance, and just wanted to chime in a bit about the subject of volunteers and staff. My point may seem a bit redundant or obvious, so feel free to toss it out as you see fit.

If you’re at a convention and don’t quite know what to do - say, you don’t know where something is or how to get there - don’t be shy! Feel free to ask someone who’s working at the con. That’s part of what they’re there for, and chances are they’ll at least know enough information to point you in the right direction or towards someone who will know more. The easiest way to see who is working is to look at their badge, as it usually has something on it letting you know what role they’re filling. I say all of this as someone who volunteered for registration at a relatively small furry convention a couple of years ago, and who won’t attend a larger one until this coming FWA, so maybe some of this is different for volunteers/staff at larger cons— hopefully you two can speak more about that if so.

Anyways, thanks for everything you guys do. I listen to the podcast every week, and every week, I love it.

P.S. Just to emphasize what Metriko mentioned previously, volunteering for a con often results in panicked running behind-the-scenes as people figure out how to handle things. If you volunteer, try to be prepared, and if you deal with staff/volunteers, please be patient with them!



  • Subject: I don’t feel comfortable with pursuing a relationship because I don’t feel deserving

    • Did a little self digging and have been writing down some notes on why I go on that "I don't feel deserving" mind track. Here it is below.

      • Emotional stability.

      • Don't    feel deserving.

      • Don't feel like I can pull my own weight.

      • Scared to get wrapped up in something:

        • I can't get out of.

        • that would limit myself in various things.

        • that I would feel left behind.

      • When someone shows an intimate interest in me, I start to stress and worry.

      • I don't know how to love myself  in order to be able to love others.

      • Don't know what I have to offer in a date/relationship.

      • Scared to go out on a date.

      • I'm bi, but don't know where I stand with the campsite rule.

      • Face to face, I assume in my head that everyone is taken.

      • At the age of 34, I feel like I'm too old to be coached on any of this and feel like  I'm too much trouble to deal with.

      • Very inexperienced relationship wise, feels like I waited too long.

      • Don't know what my needs are.

      • Scared to flirt with others.

      • Feeling of not knowing the answers because was never told what to study

    • TL;DR version: I feel like I'm going to hurt myself no matter what.

  • Received via Telegram (name withheld)


  • Next week’s topic: Communication / NVC ability mismatches

  • Contact info

  • Other business

    • Patreon

      • Ms. Hyde Plug

        • I'm participating in a "Streak for Tigers" around London Zoo on the 10th of August. If you'd like to know how to support me running around the zoo naked and fundraising to protect tigers in the wild, then you can find details @HanacondaSparks on Twitter.

          • My fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hanaconda

      • Snares Plug

      • Zarpaulus Plug

        • If you're a fan of furry in high-tech sci-fi stories you might be interested in the Para-Imperium universe by Zarpaulus (www.paraimperium.wordpress.com).

          • He has recently published a short novel with Thurston Howl Press titled "The Pride of Parahumans", you can go check it out on Amazon

        • If you’re a fan of speculative-fiction, science fiction, or Starcraft you might enjoy Zarpaulus’s writing! Give it a look and consider becoming a patron of theirs at https://www.patreon.com/Zarpaulus

      • Myron

        • Twitter handle is @MyronTheFluffy

        • Feel free to follow me for pictures and my daily red panda-dog ramblings!

Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.