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Indy Gaming Convention PopCon Targets A New Audience: Women

The Indy PopCon convention this weekend is catering to women by bringing in female actresses and tightening their sexual harassment policies.

Supergirl and Wonder Woman at Baltimore Comic Con

Photo: Joe Newman /Comic Smudge

Two women dress up as Supergirl and Wonder Woman at Baltimore Comic Con in 2013.

The Indy PopCon, a multigenre fan convention that celebrates gaming, internet culture, fantasy and movies that is coming to Indianapolis this weekend, is catering more toward women.

PopCon Co-founder Shawn Smith says women are usually under-represented when it comes to fan conventions.

“We reached out to people to have them submit panel ideas and tell us what guests they wanted to see,” Smith says. “I’d say at least 50 percent of our respondents were female.”

Smith and fellow PopCon organizers took women’s suggestions to heart.

Now there are new sessions geared toward women such as “Women In Geek Culture” and “Cosplay Does Not Equal Consent.”

Guests also include Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, bad-girl knitter Joan of Dark and the women behind the blog IndyGeekGirls.com.

“While it was a goal of ours to defnitely have content oriented to women, the women stepped forward and kind of created that content for themselves,” Smith explains.

Smith also notes that PopCon takes harassment of any kind very seriously.

Sexual harassment at conventions has become a common topic among female fans of nerd culture. PopCon created a strict anti-harassment policy that makes it clear any inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

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