WHAT IS THE DIGITAL VILLAINY SUMMIT?
DVS (pronounced "devious") is an adults-only yearly online furry convention with a silly, supervillain bent. Each year we gather artists, entertainers, writers, streamers, and all kinds of other colorful community members to raise money for charity. To date, DVS has raised over $58k CAD!
YOU'RE FUNDRAISING FOR CHARITY?
Yes! Our chosen charity for 2023 is akt, an organization based in England, created in 1989 to serve LGBTQ+ people between the ages of 16 to 25 who are homeless or otherwise living in a hostile environment. They provide support in getting people into safe homes and employment, education or training, in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities. Find out more about their history and the services they provide on their website!
HOW DO I TAKE PART IN DVS?
We stream on Picarto, an artist-focused livestreaming service with easy-to-use multistreaming abilities and a permissive attitude towards erotica, making it perfect for our purposes. We've chosen Picarto because most other services (Twitch and YouTube in particular) have very strict policies prohibiting discussion or visual depictions of erotic subjects, and have done little to help minority creators who experience frequent hate raids and other forms of harassment.
Additionally, a DVS Discord server will operate for the duration of the event. You can watch and comment on goings-on either way. Keep an eye on this website for up-to-the-minute details!
SO YOU'RE NOT SUPERVILLAINS IN REAL LIFE?
Nope, it's just stylish geeky fun. Like cosplay, or renaissance faires, or drag. It's a sex thing for more than a few of our members, too-- capes and tights can be just as kinky as leather or latex.
IF YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER, WHY DO YOU STILL CALL YOURSELVES SUPERVILLAINS? THAT DOESN'T SEEM VERY VILLAINOUS TO ME.
You know what? Okay. Let's get real for a moment.
Think about all the people in the world who put a lot of effort into convincing you they're "good" people. Politicians, religious leaders, celebrities, cops. How many of them really care, and how many of them are just covering their asses while reinforcing our society's deeply screwed up status quo? Meanwhile, queers have existed since our ancestors climbed down from the trees, and yet somehow in 2023 we still have to fight for the barest scraps of human dignity from the powers that be. We're encouraged to assimilate, to conform to what popular culture defines as "safe" representation, and to keep any deviance hidden from sight. Those of us without the luxury of passing as "normal" are treated as freaks and pariahs by our governments, our workplaces and our peers. A resurgent authoritarian nationalist movement – what used to be widely recognized as fascism, before right-wingers got better at working the refs, and co-opting or destroying noncompliant media – is increasingly unafraid to advocate the genocide of "undesirables." How is any of this good? How is any of this worth fighting for?
Is it any wonder that, in the midst of unprecedented global chaos, hundreds of queer people have found catharsis and community in imagining what it'd be like, if they had the power to push back and build something better? Or that, given the chance to actually make a real, tangible difference for an otherwise painfully underserved LGBTQ2S community, they'd take it in a heartbeat?
It's all just for fun, though. Just a little bit of kinky, campy Saturday morning cartoon fun. Right?
HOW DO I WATCH DVS?
DVS makes use of the artist-focused livestreaming service Picarto's multistream feature- this allows up to four channels to be playing on the same page at once! As long as each channel is in the official DVS multistream, you'll be able to see it playing by visiting https://picarto.tv/dvsonline.
NOTE: Multistream events are best viewed on desktop. Streams marked as mature by their host are unavailable in the iOS app version of Picarto due to Apple's restrictions on adult content.
HOW DO DONATIONS WORK? ARE THEY TAX DEDUCTIBLE? CAN MY EMPLOYER MATCH THIS?
Our on-stream donations go through popular fundraiser service Tiltify. Attendees are able to send their donations directly to the charity via card or Paypal (some payment options may not be available depending on the region you are located in). If you decide to donate through other means during the event, feel free to send the receipt to email@example.com, and we'll add your donation to our grand total on the website's front page.
Whether or not your donation is tax deductible or matchable depends on where you are, where your job is, and where the charity is- our 2023 charity, akt, is located in Britain. This means that if you are in the US, your contribution is not deductible under the IRS. We are not tax experts- please forward all in-depth questons to the charity, your job's appropriate personnel, or to a tax professional. For quick reference, akt's company number is 04494989 and their charity registration number is 1093815.
WHY PICARTO AND NOT TWITCH/YOUTUBE/PICZEL/KICK/BILIBILI/OWNCAST/NIMO/FACEBOOK LIVE/YOUR OWN BESPOKE STREAMING SERVICE/ETC?
Lots of reasons! Twitch itself does not allow discussion or visual depictions of erotic subjects, has done little to help its minority creators who suffer from frequent hate raids, and has implemented some very controversial and draconian DMCA rules. It's also owned by Amazon, a craven and morally bankrupt corporation. Hosting DVS on Twitch (though we tried the very first year!) would run counter to everything we're about. Youtube is similar, if not even more strict about their content than Twitch is.
As for Piczel and other, newer streaming alternatives- while we appreciate that they exist, they're often much less streamlined and more tech-knowledge intensive than Picarto is. The convention's organizing staff is already very familiar with Picarto and its quirks, and many of our guests are first time streamers. The less friction, the better!
We'd also love to have our own service that we manage entirely, but that takes time and skills of many, many minions that we don't currently have. If you're someone who's very passionate about streaming service alternatives, we're always looking for more minions to help with organizing the convention each year! Keep an eye on our Twitter and reach out when next year's minion applications are live.
CAN I STILL WATCH THE STREAMS AFTER THE CON IS OVER?
Yes! Similar to last year, there will be a VODs page available a week or so after the convention is over. We do depend entirely on the hosts to send us their recordings though, so if there's a stream you missed that isn't available, that means we never received the video from the host. Sorry!
HELP! I'M HAVING AN ISSUE WITH PICARTO! FIX IT!!
Have you checked the Picarto help center? This contains a lot of answers to common tech issues- streams not loading, buffering frequently, etc. If your question is more specific, check our handy dandy list!:
- Can't hear any of the streams? If you've loaded up the page and no audio is playing, you may need to click the speaker on the stream itself on and off to forcefully unmute it. If that doesn't work, try clicking on the volume bar itself.
- Can't send messages in the Picarto chat? There is no guest chat- accounts must be registered for at least 14 days to participate in the Picarto chat. If you're having issues, join the Discord instead to chat with other DVS attendees.
- When trying to view a stream, do you get a "this content probably doesn’t match your preferences" message? Enable mature content in your settings. iOS app users will sometimes continue to have issues- we recommend viewing the streams on desktop anyway to get the full experience!
- Want to view just one stream? Pop the chat out (the double squares above the chat window) and fullscreen the stream you'd like to view.
- Are two streams you want to watch on at the same time? Most streams are being recorded and will be viewable on the convention website after the con is over! If you're really concerned about a specific panel, please read out to the panel host specifically to ask.
- Have a question/complaint that isn't addressed here? Please email us or open a modmail ticket on the convention-weekend-only Discord server! We'll do our best to get back to you in a timely manner. Please understand that during the event we are extremely, extremely busy, so do not take it personally if we do not get back to you during the convention.
Do not be rude to volunteer staff.