James “Pigeon” Fielder, Ph.D., teaches political science at Colorado State University and is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. He is also serving as a Marine Corps University Non-Resident Krulak Fellow for academic years 2021-2023, is the Chief Operating Officer for Mobius Worlds Publishing, and develops organizational crisis scenarios under the name Liminal Operations. Pigeon researches interpersonal trust and emergent political processes through tabletop and live-action gaming as natural experiments, and has over two decades of experience designing, executing, and assessing training exercises and wargames, from small-group tabletop discussions to multi-day exercises engaging 5,000+ participants.

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Noon | Location: Sooner B

Philosophy of Fear

Delve into what makes chilling tales so delicious. Purgation? Vicarious punishment? Just a sick psyche? Exactly why do we want to be frightened for entertainment?

Moderator: Tommy B. Smith

Panelists: Tommy B. Smith, Mark Alfred, Daniel Erickson, Pigeon, A C Smart

Tracks: Film & TV, Horror, Supernatural & Paranormal, Gaming, Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment

2:00 PM | Location: Boomer A

Fiction and Politics: How Can Stories Make a Difference?

Stories have power. They distill the past and tell us how to best predict the future. Can fiction writers make a difference in today's hyperpolitical discourse? Should they feel obliged to try?

Moderator: Daniel Erickson

Panelists: Daniel Erickson, Sheila Hartney, Lyde Van Hoy, Pigeon, B J Thrower

Tracks: Writing & Publishing, Culture & World Affairs

3:00 PM | Location: Sooner A

A Storyteller Is Born: Game Mastering 101

We discuss the humble beginnings of learning to run your own TTRPG (Table Top Role Playing Game). From tips to tricks of the trade, rules to know (and break), to choosing the right system for you and your players and developing home-brew elements to customize a game, these experienced GMs and players tell all for new dungeon masters.

Moderator: Pigeon

Panelists: Pigeon, Brook Bullock, Joshua Cook, Rook Riley, Seth Skorkowsky, Christina Stiles

Tracks: Gaming

7:00 PM | Location: Embassy Hotel: Interior Courtyard - Atrium

Literary Beers

Join panelists in the hotel lounge for lively conversation. BYO beverages, please.

Moderator: Julie Barrett

Panelists: Julie Barrett, La Blanke, Brook Bullock, Charles Dane Clark, Dr Paisley, Phillip Drayer Duncan, J.H. Fleming, Tim Frayser, Caleb Haldane, Nick Johnson, Bekah June, Mike Kennedy, Kimber, Dennis McDonald, Paula Helm Murray, Pigeon, Alan J Porter, James Simpson, Bradley H Sinor, Sue Sinor, A C Smart, Stevo the Gutter Nerd, ET Wardwell, Steven E. Wedel, Mario Wytch

Tracks: General Interest, Writing & Publishing, Meetup, Food & Drink

2:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Writers Change the STEM World

Talk about “a wish to build a dream on”! From Edward Bellamy's prediction of the credit card to Clarke's projection of communications satellites, we survey how imagined tech in science fiction has influenced the world.

Moderator: Pigeon

Panelists: Pigeon, Aaron Bossig, Rhonda Eudaly, Everyday Futurist, Brian A. Hopkins, Ted Pennella

Tracks: Writing & Publishing, Science Fiction, STEM

4:00 PM | Location: Sooner A

The Hero's New Reality

The Hero's Journey, one of the most appealing narrative structures, takes a person from the ordinary to extraordinary then back again. How do these steps define a hero? How do our encounters with fictional heroes shape our worldviews when we face similar challenges IRL?

Moderator: Dara Fogel, PhD

Panelists: Dara Fogel, PhD, Pigeon, Alan J Porter, Selina Rosen, Bradley H Sinor

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Cosplay, Writing & Publishing, Gaming, Comics

11:00 AM | Location: Sooner B

Groupthink, Misinformation, Moral Panics, and More

Survey the behavior of those caught up in societal panics. Examples are the Red Scare, (fictional) child-abuse rings, Satanic panic and D&D, mad gassers, and such. Must a group define itself by defining and condemning an Other, even if the Other ain’t there?

Moderator: Dara Fogel, PhD

Panelists: Dara Fogel, PhD, Dr Paisley, Mark Finn, Pigeon, Joey “Okie Space Queen” Rodman, A C Smart

Tracks: General Interest, Culture & World Affairs