This is a series of posts from my road trip in 2011 where I traveled around the US and Canada giving talks, attending conferences, visiting IGDA chapters, networking, hanging out with friends, and dog sitting an adorable pug named Thomas!

Hi All,

I’m just about to run out of time to check out at the hotel but wanted to dash off a post about yesterday and this upcoming week.

Yesterday I woke up and headed off to the LA Convention Center (where E3 is held) to join my fellow WIGIers at Girltopia, an event put on by the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. As I said previously I’m a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts having started with the organization as a Brownie (I’m old enough to have been in the program before there were Daisy Girl Scouts) going all the way through Senior Girl Scouts. I was the first girl member in my service unit to ‘bridge’ to adults in 22 years. I then went on to help lead troops, mentor independent girl members, and even be the treasurer of a local service unit. Girl Scouts is a great organization and I was proud to help WIGI take part in this event.

For Girltopia we introduced ourselves, talked about the basics of video games, and then broke them up into groups where they got to play Twister or Angry Birds with us as leaders and then switch. The goal was to get them to play the game and then talk about that in relation to video game development, e.g. what made the game “fun”, why do they think certain rules were put in place in the game, what would they do to the game to make it different, etc. We then played a giant social game where players had to cooperate in order to try and win, introducing more of the “social” aspects you see in today’s Facebook games. Finally we did a quick wrap-up and then saw them out the door. I think we did an excellent job and I think this is a great start towards going down the path of a video game based badge that WIGI is hoping to work on with the Girl Scouts.

My plan after that was to meet up with Cat Wendt and Jeannie Novak for coffee and chatting. Unfortunately, by then the heat and brightness of the LA sun had helped kick my migraine into full gear and I had a massive headache and nausea hitting me and I was in no shape to really be social. I dropped off a couple things for Cat at her door and started heading off towards Chicago. I wanted to get some distance in case I couldn’t drive anymore after awhile and had to call it a night. Jeannie and Cat we’ll definitely have to try again when I get back in town!

Unfortunately, that’s when LA/Cali traffic kicked in and I crawled along the 101, the 5, and several other freeways until it finally opened up. It was night time before I even got close to leaving the state which is where this remote gas station tried to sucker me in for really expensive, even for California, gas:

Luckily, I had enough gas in my tank to go a little farther and it soon became quite obvious I was nearing Nevada:

I only had to drive a few miles further and the gas was at least a dollar cheaper so it was well worth pushing it.

By then I had grabbed enough snacks and meals and Advil to tone down my headache so I pushed on straight through Las Vegas:

I kept going until I hit the Arizona border:

And then finally hit Utah (where the major part of this road trip kicked off) before bunking down for the night:

I woke up today feeling tired but much better than I was yesterday afternoon. My goal is to get back to Chicago by Tuesday so I’ve got some long days of driving ahead of me; I won’t probably post until after I get back home. Until then have a great week!

Stay awesome,