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#1 Edited by Milkman (16225 posts) -

You can't make this shit up.

http://indiestatik.com/2013/12/17/pax-diversity-lounge/

PAX has gotten a lot of flack over the last couple of years for it's owners being kind of dickheads. Now, clearly looking to change their ways, they plan on introducing the "Roll for Diversity Hub & Lounge", which is essentially a place where all the weird people can go and talk about their feelings, I guess? The space will apparently offer information on diversity issues, whatever that means. Maybe a pamphlet listing the acceptable things you can call a black person.

No word yet if diversity water fountains and bathrooms are in the works.

#2 Posted by cmblasko (1006 posts) -

I will re-post my response to Dave Lang tweeting that a short while ago...

Did PA hire a crazy person to manage their business recently? They have made so many questionable moves lately that it seems like someone who is really out of touch is in their ears.

#3 Edited by GorillaMoPena (1684 posts) -

I can't believe in theory several people read this over and not one person went.

"No this is fucking stupid, we shouldn't do that. We should just make the whole thing safe for those people"

#4 Edited by ZolRoyce (418 posts) -

Is it really that bad? People keep grumbling at it, can anyone explain why? Like really explain? If it bugs you so much don't visit that room during PAX? I don't know, it seems like it's cool for the people who are into it and the rest of us can ignore it. Doesn't seem like a big deal to get upset about.

Am I wrong? I'm not even be facetious. I genuinely want to know if there is something I'm missing about this that it's a horrible idea.

#5 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (708 posts) -
@zolroyce said:

Is it really that bad? People keep grumbling at it, can anyone explain why? Like really explain? If it bugs you so much don't visit that room during PAX? I don't know, it seems like it's cool for the people who are into it and the rest of us can ignore it. Doesn't seem like a big deal to get upset about.

You don't make an event inclusive by introducing a segregated area where the organisers tacitly say diversity is okay.

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (9372 posts) -

Well now we know where all the "cultural diversity" and "equal pay and equal rights" propaganda will be...

What I imagine are old people walking there in full safari get-ups as if going on a trek to hunt lions and elephants all moving about in there 'observing' the various ethnicities and cultures trying to learn about them like they were untamed, wild beasts.

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#7 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11000 posts) -

@zolroyce: I think what makes it an affront to most people (including me) is the idea that there needs to be some sort of segregation at PAX, as if the entire convention shouldn't already be for everyone who loves the kinds of things that PAX ostensibly celebrates. I mean, there are panels and stuff focusing on minority issues, but those are different than saying "Here's a special place for you marginalized types to be all marginalized together".

#8 Edited by cmblasko (1006 posts) -

@zolroyce: Promoting diversity by separating people into groups is a bad way to approach the issue. The entire area should be a "diversity zone," not specified pockets.

Also, the idea that Penny Arcade of all people are going to teach me about diversity is fucking ridiculous.

Edit A: The more I hear from PA the more I really hope people follow through with their threats from earlier in the year to boycott future PAX events.

Edit B: ALSO also, this reeks of a PR stunt trying to make up for the kind-of intolerant stuff that the one PA guy (I forget which it was) said at the end of the last PAX.

#9 Posted by OGinOR (314 posts) -

Wow....this thread is why "safe spaces" need to exist...

#10 Posted by Encephalon (1174 posts) -

Oh god I can't believe this is real.

#11 Posted by Milkman (16225 posts) -

@zolroyce: They're describing this lounge as a "safe space" for "women, LBGTQ, people of color and disabled people." Shouldn't, conceivably, the entire show be that? Doesn't saying "hey, if you're different, go here" seem a little counter intuitive? Wouldn't it be a smarter idea to try and mix all these people into one healthy environment?

#12 Posted by Hailinel (22703 posts) -

Man, what.

#13 Posted by RadecAU (90 posts) -

@zolroyce: It's described as a safe and welcoming environment for issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of colour, disabled people and mental health issues. That sort of suggests the rest of the event won't be safe and welcoming for those groups, that's pretty gross.

#14 Posted by jerseyscum (852 posts) -

A sort of camp where certain types of gamers can concentrate really hard on diversity issues sounds like a great idea. You guys, I really don't see the problem.

#15 Posted by JeanLuc (3518 posts) -

All the Paxs I've been too (3 I think), everyone there has been some of the nicest, most inclusive people I've ever meet. Unless there's some secret dark part of Pax where everyone are racist assholes that I've some how avoided this seeing this whole time, I don't really get why this exists.

#16 Edited by punkxblaze (2877 posts) -

Coming soon: diversity bathrooms, diversity drinking fountains, diversity backofthebusses.

Yeah this is a fucking terrible idea.

#17 Posted by OGinOR (314 posts) -

@jerseyscum: Right? And giving these folks their own space feels like a great way to call attention to the issues these gamers face. I have no idea why anyone would oppose this, especially coming from a games conference whose stance on these issues has been questioned in the past.

#18 Edited by Chaser324 (5958 posts) -

@jeanluc said:

All the Paxs I've been too (3 I think), everyone there has been some of the nicest, most inclusive people I've ever meet. Unless there's some secret dark part of Pax where everyone are racist assholes that I've some how avoided this seeing this whole time, I don't really get why this exists.

I've never been to PAX, but as far as I can tell, the statements and policies like "Diversity Lounges" from the people running the event are 99.9% of what makes people uncomfortable and the crowd that actually attends the event are barely 0.1% of the issue.

Moderator Online
#19 Posted by jerseyscum (852 posts) -

Looks like a place where I can wear my Dickwolf shirt with pride

#20 Edited by MC_Hify (305 posts) -

@zolroyce: The people critizing it feel that the entire show should be a "safe place" as opposed to just one area of the show, which of course it should be. Penny Arcade should not be tolerating bigotry and hate speech at their convention and I honestly don't think they do. They think it is basically a place where everyone who is not a heterosexual white man is supposed to go to keep them away from everybody else. They are recoiling from the term "Diversity Lounge" the same way I recoil from the term "free speech zone" to refer to a caged area a mile away from the event you protesting.

They think this because apparently nobody actually read the documents and they are basically having a knee jerk reaction like they do to everything else.

While "Diversity Louge" is a really shitty name and brings up thoughts of segregation, the actual area appears to be: 1) A place where you can get information about diversity, for lack of a better term, panels, gaming groups, etc. at the show. 2) To exist as a place to highlight diverse gamers and games so you can find out about them as a means to bring these issues to more people and greater recognition. 3) Provide an area to discuss diversity related issues, because I'd guess you otherwise have to meet in a hallway or something to do that.

They really shouldn't have said "safe space" or called it a "Diversity Lounge"

I pretty much agree that gaming needs to seriously be more aware of the things they say and the games they make with regards to diversity as I think the current state of it is really fucked up. If you don't think there is a serious problem with the way women are generally depicted in gaming I think you are deluded. But it makes me sad to see people who I would otherwise agree with have a thoughtless knee-jerk reaction to things like this rather than a thoughtful one after actually reading the document. To think Mike and Jerry are bigots after a few dumb comments made reacting to a tidal wave of hate and Mike not fully understanding every diversity related issue in existance at the time would require you to ignore everything else they've ever said or done.

Edit: By the way, the term "safe space" does not literally mean "you won't be punched here." It has a very specific term relating to the women's and LGBT movements. Safe-space

#21 Posted by rachelepithet (1252 posts) -

As long as there is a lounge for date raping pick up artists, swastika fashioned school shooters that draw tarantula erotica, doomsday prepping birth certificate truthers, arab immigrant Ferrari collectors, and men's rights activists, then I'm fine with it. FAIR is FAIR.

#22 Edited by Immunity (56 posts) -

@milkman: I think the idea behind this is to have a safe place to discuss issues like how "women, LBGTQ, people of color and disabled people" are represented and treated in the game industry and not some kind of segregation camp that everyone seems to be making this out to be. I don't see anything wrong with wanting a safe place to discuss this kind of stuff, since discussing them on the internet usually ends terribly.

It seems to me that PA has some good intentions here, but it does sound pretty gross when you first look at it. I don't think it's as bad as everyone seems to be making it out to be, but people seem to really hate PA these days so I'm not surprised that everyone's getting upset about it.

#23 Edited by GalacticPunt (983 posts) -

Polygon decided to run a photo of a PAX Panel that was 96% white males for this story.

I thought it was hilarious... until I recognized it as the CAH Ryan Davis memorial. :(

Future PAX events...

EDIT: Since Polygon had the class to delete the photo once they realized the oversight, I'm chopping it out as well.

#24 Edited by audioBusting (1299 posts) -

Lol, that is incredible. What a mess. To be fair, a lounge for specific gaming communities like the disabled would be interesting, but lumping them all up into one "diversity" space seems really misguided. The wording is all so, so wrong.

#25 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4655 posts) -

Yeah, send everyone different off into the corner so the normal folk don't gotta deal with them. Geez, PA.

#26 Posted by EveretteScott (1325 posts) -

I can't believe in theory several people read this over and not one person went.

"No this is fucking stupid, we shouldn't do that. We should just make the whole thing safe for those people"

@radecau said:

@zolroyce: It's described as a safe and welcoming environment for issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of colour, disabled people and mental health issues. That sort of suggests the rest of the event won't be safe and welcoming for those groups, that's pretty gross.

@oginor said:

Wow....this thread is why "safe spaces" need to exist...

Not putting my input in this discussion or anything.
Just the word 'safe' needing to be used at all. The world isn't safe, everywhere is unsafe so to speak.
It would be nice if people could be comfortable everywhere though, of course.Just isn't how it is.

#27 Posted by Disaya (261 posts) -

Oh god I can't believe this is real.

#28 Posted by DeviTiffany (400 posts) -

Putting it all in one area like that I can only imaging this going down the same way that episode of King Of The Hill did where Bobby got a job modeling fat kids clothing.

#29 Edited by cmblasko (1006 posts) -

@galacticpunt: Seems like McWhertor changed the picture really quickly and didn't initially realize what it was from, so good on him.

#30 Posted by Datajack (80 posts) -

Polygon decided to run a photo of a PAX Panel that was 96% white males for this story.

I thought it was hilarious... until I recognized it as the CAH Ryan Davis memorial. :(

The writer wasn't fully informed of source of panel pic, but has rectified it soon as he was notified.

#31 Posted by ripelivejam (2783 posts) -

just stop guys, stop digging yourself such a hole. man i used to be all about PA, back around when they were doing the original podcasts for the comics was the height for me. they just seemed like some genuinely fun, slightly twisted guys into making comics and trolling Jack Thompson. well i suppose i'm particularly put off by mike, but everything they do now seems so tired, forced, and insular. the very least they could do is stop burying themselves under the weight of their own hubris. just make some damn comics and put out a decent gaming convention once a year and SHUT UP (or at least mike should shut up).

#32 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1619 posts) -

Inclusion by exclusion. Great idea.

#33 Posted by Datajack (80 posts) -

just stop guys, stop digging yourself such a hole. man i used to be all about PA, back around when they were doing the original podcasts for the comics was the height for me. they just seemed like some genuinely fun, slightly twisted guys into making comics and trolling Jack Thompson. well i suppose i'm particularly put off by mike, but everything they do now seems so tired, forced, and insular. the very least they could do is stop burying themselves under the weight of their own hubris. just make some damn comics and put out a decent gaming convention once a year and SHUT UP (or at least mike should shut up).

But...then again they do, and are constantly ridiculed for not doing more for the "Diverse PA Community". Then they push out hubs, panels, and workshops to try to foster that part of the community again and get lambasted continuously by people grasping at straws and shouting "Doublespeak!". Gets tiresome after awhile.

#35 Posted by jerseyscum (852 posts) -
#36 Posted by ripelivejam (2783 posts) -

@datajack said:

@ripelivejam said:

just stop guys, stop digging yourself such a hole. man i used to be all about PA, back around when they were doing the original podcasts for the comics was the height for me. they just seemed like some genuinely fun, slightly twisted guys into making comics and trolling Jack Thompson. well i suppose i'm particularly put off by mike, but everything they do now seems so tired, forced, and insular. the very least they could do is stop burying themselves under the weight of their own hubris. just make some damn comics and put out a decent gaming convention once a year and SHUT UP (or at least mike should shut up).

But...then again they do, and are constantly ridiculed for not doing more for the "Diverse PA Community". Then they push out hubs, panels, and workshops to try to foster that part of the community again and get lambasted continuously by people grasping at straws and shouting "Doublespeak!". Gets tiresome after awhile.

yes but do you really think a "diversity lounge" is the best way to go? i was willing to overlook a good chunk of the dickwolves shit etc. but they just kept dragging it out ad nauseum, and some things mike has said recently have been very ill-advised, regardless of what else he's done to try to mollify/rectify it. the damage has been done, at the very least it's a fuckload of bad press for them. and mike at least doesn't seem too willing to learn from his mistakes.

i'm not as hateful of them as some are but my god they need to rein it the fuck in.

#37 Posted by Reisz (1358 posts) -

Yeah this doesn't seem like an issue. . . . Unless you're someone who has suddenly been categorised as "Diverse" when you previously just thought of yourself as a game developer,enthusiast etc.

I mean come on, this is just the wrong approach. Can you imagine showing up for work one day and being told that due to who you are the rest of your colleagues are at a meeting being trained on how to treat you differently from the rest of the work force?

I don't know about you guys but I've never met someone so "diverse" that I've needed instructions as to why they're just another human being.

Openness, Acceptance, Welcoming, Understanding. Didn't see any of these words in that document.

#38 Edited by Video_Game_King (34594 posts) -

Putting it all in one area like that I can only imaging this going down the same way that episode of King Of The Hill did where Bobby got a job modeling fat kids clothing.

You mean like this?

#39 Posted by Sergio (1773 posts) -

Oh lord, people reading into it what they want so they can feel outraged and offended.

#40 Edited by OGinOR (314 posts) -
#41 Edited by joshwent (1777 posts) -

Well, there hasn't been a good ol' ignorant backlash at the Penny Arcade guys in a while, and I thought I was safe. Fuck if I didn't see another one coming.

This should be clear to anyone not going into news about PAX expecting that they're all trans hating rapists, but the point of this place is actually not to segregate minorities!

It's (pretty clearly) just to give room on the show floor to booths about diversity. In almost every PAX, there have been panels about Women in gaming, Trans people in gaming, Disabled gamers, etc. This Roll for Diversity Hub & Lounge (terrible name) will just be a place for those panels, or any other similarly themed groups, to have actual representation in the convention itself.

I'd say, and I think people decrying the idea here would actually agree, that it's pretty cool.

@milkman said:

@zolroyce: They're describing this lounge as a "safe space" for "women, LBGTQ, people of color and disabled people." Shouldn't, conceivably, the entire show be that? Doesn't saying "hey, if you're different, go here" seem a little counter intuitive? Wouldn't it be a smarter idea to try and mix all these people into one healthy environment?

Well, no, they're really not describing it as that. Okay, the reactionary screaming masses are saying that they're saying that, so I understand the confusion, but here's the actual quote from the document:

In an effort to continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment, PAX is introducing the Roll for Diversity Hub & Lounge. This place will exist as a resource for PAX Attendees to find information related to issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of color, disabled people, and mental health issues in gaming.

People are making this out to be, "Hey lesbian, your game doesn't belong on the show floor. Get in the Diversity Lounge!". This is obviously not that. People of all creeds and kinds and whatever can have their games anywhere. That goes without saying. This is uniquely a space for non-specificly game related info surrounding diversity issues. They've had tabletop game lounges, handheld lounges, and lots of other interest specific places in all PAXes around the world. This'll be just another special-interest area so interested people can go to one spot to get all of the info. And maybe people who aren't interested will check it out anyway... and learn something!

It really saddens me how folks (Alex Navarro) are blowing up at their misinformed impulse reaction to this announcement, not the reality itself. PAX as a convention, since day one, has gone out of its way to be by far the most progressive and inclusive major gaming convention in the world. From their (still sadly revolutionary) no booth babe policy, to letting individuals host panels on an infinite range of whatever's important to them in gaming. But because of twitter mob mentality, they're nothing but consummate villains. That is why we can't have nice things.

See y'all at the lounge!

#42 Posted by Datajack (80 posts) -

Yeah, send everyone different off into the corner so the normal folk don't gotta deal with them. Geez, PA.

Worked out well with the Tabletop section of the hall. Those Dragon Dice players were the WORST kind of freaks!

#43 Posted by Skooky (473 posts) -

I came to a completely different conclusion than the people that hate Penny Arcade so much that they still care about what Penny Arcade does.

#44 Posted by ZolRoyce (418 posts) -

@mc_hify said:

@zolroyce: The people critizing it feel that the entire show should be a "safe place" as opposed to just one area of the show, which of course it should be. Penny Arcade should not be tolerating bigotry and hate speech at their convention and I honestly don't think they do. They think it is basically a place where everyone who is not a heterosexual white man is supposed to go to keep them away from everybody else. They are recoiling from the term "Diversity Lounge" the same way I recoil from the term "free speech zone" to refer to a caged area a mile away from the event you protesting.

They think this because apparently nobody actually read the press release and they are basically having a knee jerk reaction like they do to everything else.

While "Diversity Louge" is a really shitty name and brings up thoughts of segregation, the actual area appears to be: 1) A place where you can get information about diversity, for lack of a better term, panels, gaming groups, etc. at the show. 2) To exist as a place to highlight diverse gamers and games so you can find out about them as a means to bring these issues to more people and greater recognition. 3) Provide an area to discuss diversity related issues, because I'd guess you otherwise have to meet in a hallway or something to do that.

They really shouldn't have said "safe space" or called it a "Diversity Lounge"

I pretty much agree that gaming needs to seriously be more aware of the things they say and the games they make with regards to diversity as I think the current state of it is really fucked up. If you don't think there is a serious problem with the way women are generally depicted in gaming I think you are deluded. But it makes me sad to see people who I would otherwise agree have a thoughtless knee-jerk reaction to things like this rather than a thoughtful one after actually reading the press release. To think Mike and Jerry are bigots after a few dumb comments made reacting to a tidal wave of hate and Mike not fully understanding every diversity related issue in existance at the time would require you to ignore everything else they've ever said or done.

Edit: By the way, the term "safe space" does not literally "you won't be punched here." It has a very specific term relating to the women's and LGBT movements. Safe-space

Alright, so I get that, the PA guys really should have watched their language with that one but maybe some people are taking it far more literally then it needs to be. A learning area about the troubles that certain groups within the larger gaming/nerd cultures go is the intended effect and I don't see that as a bad thing. But it might be a good idea if they called it anything else and made sure to be clear about what it is for and for some people to not jump the gun at being angry about it immediately.

The best outcome for this is to see it in practice, show off the effects that this learning area has, while also showing that pax is still accepting/wants everyone to mix everywhere in it's corridors not just one little area over there and for some people to go 'whoops, guess I judged that too harshly."

#46 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4027 posts) -

I still like Penny Arcade, and I love this idea too.

#47 Edited by crusader8463 (14305 posts) -

Anyone that sees this as anything other then their passive aggressive way of saying fuck you to all the people screaming at them is just being silly as far as I'm concerned. Obviously I don't know them personally, but after watching all their PATV stuff they strike me as the kind of guys that are very laid back, don't take anything seriously, and are of the school of thought that when it comes to comedy nothing is taboo. And I for one support that idea. At no point did they ever say or do anything out of pure malice to a group of people but they are being propped up as scapegoats for people to scream their ides at and blame them for the evils of the world.

It seems like nothing short of them going on stage and lighting themselves on fire while screaming we are sorry would make some people happy.

#48 Posted by JasonR86 (9372 posts) -

Anyone that sees this as anything other then their passive aggressive way of saying fuck you to all the people screaming at them is just being silly as far as I'm concerned. Obviously I don't know them personally, but after watching all their PATV stuff they strike me as the kind of guys that are very laid back, don't take anything seriously, and are of the school of thought that when it comes to comedy nothing is taboo. And I for one support that idea. At no point did they ever say or do anything out of pure malice to a group of people but they are being propped up as scapegoats for people to scream their ides at and blame them for the evils of the world.

I don't think they mean harm. But they also look really dumb using any form of the word 'diversity' when you're discussing a specified, delegated, segregated area within a large convention where this diversity is supposed to live. Shouldn't the entire convention be diverse? Isn't it silly to even consider creating something called 'diversity lounge' as if to imply that the rest of the convention isn't diverse enough and shouldn't it be in the first place?

Online
#49 Edited by Milkman (16225 posts) -

@joshwent: I think you comparing this thing to the tabletop and handheld lounges is exactly the problem. You seriously don't see the problem with essentially saying "Here at PAX, we have all sorts of niche interests. Like tabletop games, handheld games and the gays!"?

#50 Posted by Icemael (6269 posts) -

It is only appropriate that ridiculous criticism should be responded to with a ridiculous measure like this.