Game to Grow at PAX West – Tune in From Your Couch!

Are you ready for PAX West? We’re sad we won’t be able to connect with our community in person at a table this year, but we’re grateful for the virtual options to connect at PAX West this year! Game to Grow has three panels that will be featured digitally – and can tune in live on Twitch!


Are you interested in connecting with the Game to Grow community and staff or learning more about our mission? Join our community Discord! We’ve got channels for you to connect with other PAX attendees and Game to Grow community members about your favorite games and other geeky topics. This is the same place where our trainees connect, build relationships, and share resources! 

Virtual Panels

The following panels will be streamed on PAX’s Twitch channel. During the panel, you’ll be able to connect with panelists and attendees alike in the Twitch chat! Excited to catch a panel but worried the time won’t line up? We’ll add our panels to our YouTube channel once the convention is over – make sure you subscribe to our YouTube and sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll let you know when they go live! 

Game to Grow Panels

#ActuallyAutistic GMs

Saturday, September 4
3pm pacific/6pm eastern

Many autistic individuals struggle across social settings, but really shine behind a dungeon master’s screen. Join our panel of autistic game masters to learn more about what makes tabletop role-playing games, and the GM seat specifically, such a good fit. We’ll share some great stories and provide concrete tips for setting you and your party up for success on your next adventure. 

Dr. Jared Kilmer, PhD (he/him) [Director of Counseling Services, Game to Grow]
Dr. Raffael Boccamazzo, PsyD (he/him) [Clinical Director, Take this]
Shawna Spain (she/her) [Volunteer Coordinator, Game to Grow]
Virginia Spielmann, MSOT (she/her) [Executive Director, STAR Institute]
Dr. Elizabeth D. Kilmer (she/her) [Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow]


Am I Geek Enough? People of Marginalized Genders in Gaming

Saturday, September 4th
4:30pm pacific/ 7:30pm eastern

There is a lot of discussion on inclusivity and equality within game spaces, but what happens when the criticisms towards marginalized genders become internalized? How do you navigate geek and gaming spaces if you doubt you even belong? Join this panel of accomplished authors, content creators, and gaming professionals – all of whom happen to identify as women, trans, and nonbinary – as they discuss their personal experiences and struggles existing in geek and gamer communities. They will share how they care for themselves, persevere, and flourish.

Dr. Elizabeth D. Kilmer, PhD (she/her) [Director of Education and Training, Game to Grow]
Dr. Sarah Hays, PhD, LMHC (she/her) [Mentorship Lead, Queer Women of Esports]
Jae Lin (they/them) [Programs Manager, Feminist Frequency]
Jay Justice (she/her) [Co-Director, LGBT HQ]
@Tyler_MoonSage (they/she) [Volunteer Coordinator, DOTS RPG Project]


We Need Wheelchairs in D&D: Disability Representation

Monday, September 6 at 9am pacific in the Main Theatre (Paramount)
12pm pacific/3pm eastern

You’ve likely seen this topic debated hotly in the tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) community. Some will argue it’s not historically accurate, others will point out ramps in ancient Greece. Weirdly enough, this isn’t a debate about historical accuracy in games intentionally set in fictional spaces. This is about inclusion – wheelchairs belong in TTRPGs, because disabled individuals belong in TTRPGs. Humans, with diverse experiences and identities, belong in TTRPGs. Join this awesome group of content creators to talk about their experiences including disability representation in their work.

Shawna Spain (she/her) [Volunteer Coordinator, Game to Grow]
Jennifer Kretchmer (she/they) [Creator of the Accessibility in Gaming Resource Guide]
Anna Holden (she/her) [Founder of DnD Disability]
Makenzie De Armas (she/her) [Associate Game Designer, Wizards of the Coast]
Alicia Marie (she/her) [Costume Concept Artist]


Panels Featuring Game to Grow Team Members

While our three official Game to Grow panels will be virtual, some of our team members will be present and on in-person panels as well. Here are a few featuring members of the Game to Grow staff and volunteers:

Psychology of Soulsborn Games: Analyzing Depression and GRIT

Friday, September 3 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Pacific in the Cat Theatre (WSCC)

Are you a fan of Dark Souls or Bloodborne? Are you fascinated by the lore and mental health themes found within these games? Then this is the panel for you! Come join psychologists Dr. Ryan Kelly and Dr. Amelia Herbst (Geeks Like Us) alongside Dr. Daniel Kaufman (Grand Canyon University) as they analyze these games! Come forth, Unkindled Ones, and stack your hope, resilience and self-determination to conquer the darkness!

Dr. K, Dr. Ryan [Psychologist, Author, GLU cofounder, Geeks Like Us, SEP VR]
Dr. Amelia Herbst [Psychologist, GLU Community Manager, Geeks Like Us]
Dr. Daniel Kaufman [Professor, Grand Canyon University]



TTRPGS: Out of the Fantasy World and Into the Real World!

Saturday, September 4, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM in Sandworm Theatre (Sheraton)

In D&D you can slay a dragon, but have you ever slayed your homework or social anxiety? The skills we build in Tabletop Role Playing Games can cross over into the real world to help people become heroes of their own adventures in and out of game. In recent years, professionals are using TTRPGs for therapy, education, and more. Join them as they discuss the skills they use to utilize RPGs to help their clients from colleges, middle schools, hospitals, therapy offices, and beyond!

Peter Jung M.Ed. (He/Him) [Social Skills Facilitator, Roll for Kindness]
Joe LeConte (He/Him) [Supportive Community Leader , Texas Christian University]
Maryanne Cullinan (She/Her) [Middle School Teacher, Great Brook Middle School]
Amelia Herbst MS (She/Her) [Community Manager, Geeks Like Us]
Alexander Pereira (He/Him) [Patient Technology Specialist, Methodist Children’s Hospital]



Geek Trivia! Presented by Geeks Like Us & Geek Therapeutics

Sunday, September 5, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM in Sasquatch Theatre (Sheraton)

Do you enjoy that show that rhymes with schmeopardy but wish it was entirely based on gaming and geek knowledge like anime, sci-fi and DnD? Don’t you wish that you could help the contestants and perhaps win some loot? Look no further! Dr. Ryan Kelly (Geeks Like Us) and Dr. Anthony Bean (Geek Therapeutics) are here ONCE AGAIN to host Geek Endangerment — a live trivia panel where three contestants compete with the help of audience members to win +rep and loot! Bring your A-game AND your phone, as you may opt to participate through Discord!

Dr. K, Dr. Ryan [Psychologist, Author, GLU cofounder, Geeks Like Us, SEP VR]
Anthony M Bean [Psychologist, Geek Therapeutics]
Dr. Leah Hughes [Psychologist, RIOT Games]
John Rude [DHC Employee, Dark Horse Comics]
Dr. Amelia Herbst [Psychologist, GLU Community Manager, Geeks Like Us]


Game Study: The Educational Power of Video Games

Monday, September 6, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM in Cat Theatre (WSCC)

We believe that games have a transformative power in education and are able to bridge the gap between what students love to do at home, and what they have to learn at school. We also believe that learning how to use games in education should be easier. Join four industry professionals (Zack Hartzman: High School Teacher and founder of Hey Listen Games, Harry Loizides: Mathematics teacher & contributor to Six One Indie, Amelia Herbst, MS: Therapist at Game to Grow, and Shane Tilton: Associate Professor at Ohio Northern University or Advisory Board & Geek Therapeutics) for a live game study. We will take a deep dive into a video game series that your students know and love. You are bound to leave with some great ideas for future class activities.

Zack Hartzman (He/Him) [Founder, Hey Listen Games]
Harry Loizides (He/Him) [Teacher, Six One Indie]
Amelia Herbst (She/Her) [MS, Game to Grow]
Shane Tilton (He/Him) [Associate Professor, Geek Therapeutics]

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