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#1 Posted by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

From their Kickstarter, GaymerCon is being promoted as "the first gaming and tech convention with a focus on LGBT geek culture."

We are creating a convention where all types of geeks can come together, meet others like them, and have a blast without having to worry about what their peers think of them or being discriminated against.. We will have exhibitor space, cosplay, guest speakers, live music, panel discussions on topics that are directly relevant to our interests, gaming industry professionals who support including queer content in their products, social events, and of course…GAMING!

It looks like they've got a decent amount of support already, with Ellen McLain (AKA GLaDOS)'s endorsement and around $12,500 of the requested $25,000 raised. I'm not well-versed when it comes to queer involvement in the arts, but I imagine similar events exist for film and other media, so it makes perfect sense to me. And I'm always in favour of a bit of progressivism in the culture, so they've got my support.

So what do you think? Is this something you would support?

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35800 posts) -

@Zenogiasu said:

cosplay

You guys have a chance to build a convention from the ground-up, and you invite this?

@Zenogiasu said:

panel discussions on topics that are directly relevant to our interests

OK, that's pretty much what I was looking for. As long as there are well-done panels relevant to the subject at hand at the convention, I'm cool with it.

#3 Posted by TheSlothKing (328 posts) -

Alrighty then.

#4 Posted by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I anticipate an inordinate amount of cosplayers in drag.

#5 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

that's a really dumb name, gotta say. I appreciate the sentiment, but still.

#6 Edited by Marokai (2785 posts) -

Silly name, respectable goal. It is unfortunate how isolated and uncomfortable being gay in geek/gamer culture can be.

#7 Posted by Dagbiker (6938 posts) -

Thats cool. I hope it works out.

#8 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@Zenogiasu said:

@Video_Game_King: I anticipate an inordinate amount of cosplayers in drag.

doesn't that always happen anyway?

#9 Posted by Bocam (3667 posts) -

dumb name

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (35800 posts) -
#11 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

this seems unnecessary. its like self segregation. whats your sexual orientation even have to do with gaming? thats right, nothing at all. nothing against peoples sexual preferences, i just dont get why this has to be sexual preference specific. is video games people VIDEO GAMES.

eh, whatever, if they wanna hold an event that segregates themselves more, i dont care it just seems counter productive to me.

#12 Posted by Marokai (2785 posts) -
@Clonedzero said:

this seems unnecessary. its like self segregation. whats your sexual orientation even have to do with gaming? thats right, nothing at all. nothing against peoples sexual preferences, i just dont get why this has to be sexual preference specific. is video games people VIDEO GAMES.

eh, whatever, if they wanna hold an event that segregates themselves more, i dont care it just seems counter productive to me.

It's a convention, not Separate But Equal, dude.
#13 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

this seems unnecessary. its like self segregation. whats your sexual orientation even have to do with gaming? thats right, nothing at all. nothing against peoples sexual preferences, i just dont get why this has to be sexual preference specific. is video games people VIDEO GAMES.

eh, whatever, if they wanna hold an event that segregates themselves more, i dont care it just seems counter productive to me.

We have a winner. Yep, it seems pretty pointless to me. But, people have the right to organize themselves they see fit. I just don't give a shit, and don't expect me too.

#14 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

this seems unnecessary. its like self segregation. whats your sexual orientation even have to do with gaming? thats right, nothing at all. nothing against peoples sexual preferences, i just dont get why this has to be sexual preference specific. is video games people VIDEO GAMES.

eh, whatever, if they wanna hold an event that segregates themselves more, i dont care it just seems counter productive to me.

Pretty much this. I don't see why they need to label themselves as 'GAY gamers', but whatever.

#15 Posted by Bocam (3667 posts) -
#16 Posted by TehFlan (1944 posts) -

Like what ClonedZero said, this seems kind of backwards to me. If someone held a specifically heterosexual gaming convention, it would be spoken out against, correct?

#17 Posted by me3639 (1705 posts) -

@TehFlan:

You are correct. Single white Hetro male or female are the biggest minority in the U.S. Probably why we are doing so well.

#18 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

@me3639 said:

@TehFlan:

You are correct. Single white Hetro male or female are the biggest minority in the U.S. Probably why we are doing so well.

woah woah woah dude, why you gotta bring race into this? you racist bro?

#19 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1500 posts) -

I'm not gay, and won't claim for a second to speak on behalf of them (and even attempting to would be claiming they're a singular group), but I suspect a large part of this is letting gay gamers get together in a place that isn't the internet (whether it be gaming forums or online games), which has a reputation for being (to put it mildly) intolerant. Most gays gamers are probably firmly in the closet online, which makes perfect sense -- imagine this kind of juvenile shit, only probably significantly worse.

Also, imagine growing up the kind of nerd that would go to a gaming convention, and also being gay. Many people complain about being picked for being a heterosexual nerd -- imagine that, only way fucking worse. Those saying this is pointless or counter-productive have no idea how much something like this might mean to someone who has probably felt like an outsider for so much of their life.

@TehFlan: Are you fucking serious?

#20 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (529 posts) -

@Marokai said:

Silly name, respectable goal. It is unfortunate how isolated and uncomfortable being gay in geek/gamer culture can be.

I can think of a bunch of far worse subcultures for gays to be apart of. Anonymous assholes on Xbox Live aside, the gamer/geek culture is mostly accepting I would think.

#21 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Great, now the jocks will start calling us gaymers. Thank you GaymerCon.

#22 Posted by mlarrabee (2868 posts) -

I understand the sentiment behind it, but introducing and encouraging segregation seems counterproductive.

#23 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

It is indeed kind of weird that they're trying to combat segregation by self-segregating. But then on the other hand they're also saying that straight people are welcome, so in reality it's just another con focused on bringing people of similar interests together.

#24 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

This seems kind of weird, this can also be looked at as discrimination. It's like saying "Hey why don't we make a gaming convention just for black people?" They're creating an unnecessary separation that didn't really exist before.

#25 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

I just hope some good Gears of War, Persona 4, Cho Aniki, or Final Fight cosplay come out of it.

#26 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

@GrantHeaslip said:

I'm not gay, and won't claim for a second to speak on behalf of them (and even attempting to would be claiming they're a singular group), but I suspect a large part of this is letting gay gamers get together in a place that isn't the internet (whether it be gaming forums or online games), which has a reputation for being (to put it mildly) intolerant. Most gays gamers are probably firmly in the closet online, which makes perfect sense -- imagine this kind of juvenile shit, only probably significantly worse.

Also, imagine growing up the kind of nerd that would go to a gaming convention, and also being gay. Many people complain about being picked for being a heterosexual nerd -- imagine that, only way fucking worse. Those saying this is pointless or counter-productive have no idea how much something like this might mean to someone who has probably felt like an outsider for so much of their life.

@TehFlan: Are you fucking serious?

wait, uh what? like WHAT? in the closet online? im heterosexual and do you know how often thats come up in online gaming conversations with strangers? a big fat ZERO TIMES. does that make me a closet hetero? nope! that just means my sexuality is not something that was important to the game at hand. why the fuck are you talking about your sexual preference when playing halo? it makes no sense.

what i was saying is that instead of making LGBT specific gaming conventions, why not make the normal conventions more welcoming. i dont mean make the normal ones LGBT themed cus thats also counter productive. i just think the effort and resources should be spent in helping them be more openly accepted in every day scenarios rather than segregated situations like this.

like i have absolutely no problem with gay dudes, i know a few, im friends with a couple. ive even been hit on by gay dudes before. you know what being hit on by a gay dude did for me? while i rejected him and told him i was straight, i felt fucking awesome the rest of the night. i mean a gay dude hit on me. thats pretty damn ego-boosting. i wish more gay dudes would hit on me lol

i have nothing against them, i just think making specifically gay conventions and the such is counterproductive since they just want to be accepted in normal society. its self segregation to the definition.

#27 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

This is a dumb idea. I mean, shouldn't you be making a convention for everyone? Not just something that a certain amount of people will feel good about, but everyone? I don't see this as a step towards equality at all, it just seems like a way to separate one from the other into groups. I kind of feel like a lot of people aren't doing this whole "let's try to make everyone equal" ordeal correctly, even when it comes to gay "marriage". I don't want to go into depth about it, but it just doesn't seem to me that anyone is going in the right direction towards equality.

#28 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@NTM: it's not segregating anyone though? you can certainly still go if you're straight, it's just a different option for people.

It's like a gay bar; different goals, obviously, but both of them are for people on the LGBT spectrum to feel welcomed, where they may not at other places.

#29 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

@Zenogiasu said:

I'm not well-versed when it comes to queer involvement in the arts, but I imagine similar events exist for film and other media, so it makes perfect sense to me.

There's Glasgay! in Glasgow every year, which features a film festival.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgay!_Festival

Also, if you ever work in any form of the media (maybe with the exception of radio and print), you'll find a lot of gay men. Just go to any gallery opening.

#30 Posted by Laksa (240 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

tl;dr Hit on by gay man.Wished to be hit on by more gay men.

Give it a go next time, you never know. Gaming buddies

#31 Posted by FateOfNever (1809 posts) -

That seems like a real. super. fucking. dumb. name. That aside though.

This reminds me of something from the Hot Spot a long time ago, when talking about girl gamers, and how there were "girl gamer specific clans" and how it was pretty much one of the worst things because instead of integrating yourself as just an individual that plays game and trying to make it more social acceptable you're taking yourself OUT of the culture you're trying to be an accepted part of and are basically creating a sub-culture to be apart of because the main culture isn't good enough. But you're not doing anything to make the main culture better, to make it good enough to be apart of, you're just separating yourself from it and hoping that fixes it.

I'm not saying that this won't make anyone feel better about their situation, but, I also feel like this is more of a bandaid to a bigger problem. The bandaid will help heal the short term problem, but it won't help the bigger, long term problem. I also don't know that this will get anyone that thinks it's perfectly ok to say racist, homophobic, and just downright awful and disgusting things to change their minds about what is acceptable to say to another human being, period. And I feel like most of the people that say that awful shit that no one wants to hear really don't care what the sexual orientation, or race, or whatever else, of the person they're saying that stuff to actually is (gender being one of the few exceptions, probably.)

But you know what, whatever. Maybe somehow it will work out and it won't be awful, it will give gay people in the community an outlet, and nothing truly stupid will come out of it. Or maybe something will go truly awful with it and hate crimes will be committed there and then the gaming community as a whole will look all the worse for it. Or maybe it will be super awesome and everyone will come together and the gaming community will be a shining beacon of acceptance and love.

I just can't help but think after seeing the boycott Atlus stuff that there will just be panel after panel of things that may just cause way more harm than good to both their cause and to the community.

Either way, I guess I hope for the best for them.

#32 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@FateOfNever: the boycott atlus stuff is one person, don't forget.

and it's not like it's easy or even possible to somehow fix everyone's minds to get them to realize that degrading women or homosexuals is a bad thing, or that using that slang otherwise is also bad. What else do you expect them to do?

#33 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

So what do they say at the entrance? Oh come my way. Get it?


Hilarious jokes aside, I wonder what the scope of this thing will be. Still, it's a wierd way of segregating yourself. Is it really the way to go?
#34 Posted by FateOfNever (1809 posts) -

@Animasta: Yeah, the Boycott Atlus stuff is pretty much just one dude on a crusade, but I don't know what would stop someone from getting a panel at this convention and using it to pretty much try and destroy a company because they interpreted something one way while others took it another way. Not that there couldn't also be good panels talking about effective ways to get more gay, transgender, so on, so forth, characters into games in ways that does them justice and doesn't just mock them, but I still feel the concern is there (at least for me.)

And yeah, I know it's not really possible to get someone to change their minds about what's acceptable to say. Not that no one would change (sometimes it's punk kids that really have a lot of growing up to do, kids that pretty much think the only way they can talk effectively, or like a bad-ass, is to say a bunch of words that people just shouldn't say) but at the same time, I don't know how holding a convention that none of those people will probably ever go to of their own free will work towards solving that problem either. I suppose if the convention was enough of a success and started to receive wide public/media attention it may make some people begin to realize how bad it is to say some of the things they say while playing games? Which, if this convention can do that, then more power to them. Though at the point that it would reach wide public/media attention, I would begin to grow concerned that it may help one problem but make another problem even worse (it may help get some people to stop using that language, but it may just paint gamers, as a whole, as the scum of the earth to societies that are only just beginning to start to accepting gaming as an acceptable hobby while accomplishing almost nothing to get the people that are using that language to stop.) Not that one problem is worse than the other though, or that one should be put before the other (as in the fighting game community stuff that came up earlier this year, that stuff should still come up and be talked about regardless of how it may make the gaming community as a whole look to the rest of society) that's just me contemplating how things could eventually pan out.

I dunno, I'm kind of just thinking out loud at this point, probably due to being so tired, so some of my thoughts may not even make total sense right now.

#35 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@FateOfNever: I'm sure they'll screen panels to make sure crazy people don't get on em.

#36 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@Grissefar
So what do they say at the entrance? Oh come my way. Get it?

Hilarious jokes aside, I wonder what the scope of this thing will be. Still, it's a wierd way of segregating yourself. Is it really the way to go?
Still waiting for the hilarious joke...

Anyhoo, to the people saying "why would your sexuality come up online?", actually stop and thing about it.

My personal recent experience playing TF2 (the only online game I'm currently playing regularly) on PC, with a regular group of fairly chilled dudes being around quite frequently, the words "fuck that is so gay", "don't be such a fag," , etc, etc, get thrown around all the time.

When words describing a basic tenet of who you are are being casually tossed about as insults by guys who are pretty much exemplars of good online behaviour compared to your Live gamers or Dota players, how is that supposed to make you feel about yourself and being accepted online? At this stage, homophobic insults are basically a part of gaming lexicon and culture.

So while I think that a convention aimed specifically at any one group isn't the best solution in the world long term, I can completely understand the desire for it and don't begrudge it. The gay bar example above is actually a perfect parallel here.
#37 Posted by chrissedoff (2075 posts) -

@TehFlan said:

Like what ClonedZero said, this seems kind of backwards to me. If someone held a specifically heterosexual gaming convention, it would be spoken out against, correct?

A-ha! Then we'd see who the real bigots are.

#38 Posted by Feanor (1386 posts) -

I wonder if Chick-fil-a will be catering the event.

#39 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -
@Tim_the_Corsair said:
@Grissefar
So what do they say at the entrance? Oh come my way. Get it?

Hilarious jokes aside, I wonder what the scope of this thing will be. Still, it's a wierd way of segregating yourself. Is it really the way to go?
Still waiting for the hilarious joke...
Wow man, I  explained the pun in the spoiler warning in case somebody didn't get it.
#40 Posted by YoThatLimp (1876 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

I understand the sentiment behind it, but introducing and encouraging segregation seems counterproductive.

This is how I feel. This would be a great PAX Panel and would help shine a light on ignorance within the gaming community.

#41 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@Grissefar
@Tim_the_Corsair said:
@Grissefar
So what do they say at the entrance? Oh come my way. Get it?

Hilarious jokes aside, I wonder what the scope of this thing will be. Still, it's a wierd way of segregating yourself. Is it really the way to go?
Still waiting for the hilarious joke...
Wow man, I  explained the pun in the spoiler warning in case somebody didn't get it.
Sorry duder, I was just taking the piss, I should have ;) after it or some such
#42 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2451 posts) -

@Marokai said:

Silly name, respectable goal. It is unfortunate how isolated and uncomfortable being gay in geek/gamer culture can be.

Yeah well, an isolated convention is not helping with that. Mix and mingle, I say -- there is no better way to increase tolerance. We need a convention for everyone under the LGBT banner that doesn't force that obnoxius "Yay, look at how gay we are!" attitude down everyones throat.

#43 Edited by Marokai (2785 posts) -
@atomic_dumpling: What a ridiculous argument this "segregation" stuff is. In this age of social networking, likeminded people are always reaching out to connect with other likeminded people in one way or another. This is no different. It's just a bunch of gay geeks that thought it might be fun to create something that other gay geeks could be into. They're not organizing some sort of heterophobic plan of world domination where they will create gay-only gangs of gaming clans to invade every multiplayer game in existence. A gay gamer convention isn't a gay pride parade, there's no "shoving down everyone's throats" going on. (None that isn't consensual of course.) A single convention people thought might be fun is not turning a gay gamer into a life of horrible gay-only solitude. Not everything in the world is taken to it's horrible dystopian conclusion. Sometimes a thing is just a thing.
#44 Posted by GreyFox (137 posts) -

I'm sort of in the target audience for this, but I don't see how it goes together. It's like making a Farming & Comics convention.

Am I missing something here?

#45 Posted by Rohok (553 posts) -

My Irish people were persecuted and discriminated against hardcore when first coming to America, and I'm not running around going "I'M PROUD TO BE IRISH". Can I have a white-male Irish gaming convention now?

#46 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2451 posts) -

@Marokai said:

This is no different. It's just a bunch of gay geeks that thought it might be fun to create something that other gay geeks could be into.

Sure, I don't dispute that at all and wish them an awesome time of fun and video games.

Maybe it is my skewed Western European perspective, but I just think that certain parts of a given minority always tend to emphasise the perceived difference, for better or worse in the big picture (I am of latter opinion).

#47 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I've always kinda hated the words 'my' community uses. Queer, "gaymer", etc. Not to mention the fucking plethora of sexualities. Do we really need more than "into same, different, or don't give a fuck"? But enough of that.

@Clonedzero said:

this seems unnecessary. its like self segregation. whats your sexual orientation even have to do with gaming? thats right, nothing at all. nothing against peoples sexual preferences, i just dont get why this has to be sexual preference specific. is video games people VIDEO GAMES.

eh, whatever, if they wanna hold an event that segregates themselves more, i dont care it just seems counter productive to me.

There's plenty of room to look at gaming through the homosexual perspective and see a hell of a fucking lot different a landscape than from the heterosexual perspective. I can see where you're coming from, but they aren't segregating themselves in the sense that whites segregated blacks, but in the sense that nerds segregate themselves from non-nerds at Comic Con. It can focus the panels on the role the gays play in the industry, look at gay perspectives, and address the issues that the industry has in regards to homosexuality.

I wouldn't be interested in this just because I've never felt particularly uncomfortable as a gay nerd. No one at PAX ever uttered any sort of gay slur around me. I don't think I ever heard the word "gay" used in a nasty way, even.

It's a tricky thing. When you look at it as "a safe place" then yeah, I think this is unnecessary. Because making a safe place means you're allowing the rest of the world to just continue being the way it is. Much like acting out and being as gay as you can possibly be just to prove that you're not a bad person puts a negative light on our community. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you need to dress up in leather and be paraded around on a leash. I mean, hell, if you enjoy that sorta thing, go for it, but if you're just trying to push the boundaries or find a "safe place" you aren't going anywhere.

But, if you look at it as a place to interact with people of a similar perspective and interested in parts of the industry that "normal" gamers are less interested in, I see no problem with this. E3 is for press, PAX is for fans, this is for gays. Dragon Con is for Dragons, or some shit. Communities form out of similar interests. It's perfectly natural. As communities grow more and more massive, like the gaming community, major subcommunities are bound to form as well.

I think this is a lot less about labels and being separate than a lot of people are going to think, just because the gay community has, at large, been a fucking shit show when it comes to not acting like a bunch of children. This just seems like a place to get to know other gamers who are gay and think/talk about gays in gaming. Different people have different perspectives. Saying that Gays aren't in a very different place in the industry than straight males is a little silly, and of course they will often feel differently and be interested in different subjects and more or less accepting of some as well.

#48 Posted by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

But, if you look at it as a place to interact with people of a similar perspective and interested in parts of the industry that "normal" gamers are less interested in, I see no problem with this. E3 is for press, PAX is for fans, this is for gays. Dragon Con is for Dragons, or some shit. Communities form out of similar interests. It's perfectly natural. As communities grow more and more massive, like the gaming community, major subcommunities are bound to form as well.

This echoes my sentiments pretty well. This con seems like its meant to fill a niche, and the demand seems to be there ($14k in 3 days is pretty impressive). I wouldn't call it segregation any more than I would call PAX the gamers "segregating" themselves from the rest of society. Everyone is welcome at this con; there's no discrimination. The gaming community is massive, and it makes sense to break it down into smaller subcultures to appeal to more concentrated interests. And given the amount of homophobic vitriol casually tossed around on XBL and the like, a safe space for gay gamers seems like a very honourable goal. It might not fix the problem--I agree that an LGBT-focused panel at PAX would do much more to remedy this--but it looks to be meant as a reprieve rather than a panacea. I believe it is advertised as such, as well.

#49 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

While I'm against holding these kind of things that seem to promote exclusity even more I applaud the effort and hope it leads to many good things.

#50 Edited by jerseyscum (861 posts) -

The cosplay is going to be FABULOUS!