GLaDOS and TF2's Sniper Support GaymerCon

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GLaDOS and TF2's Sniper Support GaymerCon

Be Polite. Be efficient. Help Kickstart a convention for queer gamers.

John Patrick Lowrie, the actor who provides the voice for Team Fortress 2's crazed gunman assassin, and Ellen McLain, best known in gaming circles for her spot on homicidal AI impression, have given their mildly terrifying support to an upcoming convention for LGBT geeks.

GaymerCon is set to start on August 3rd, 2013, and it's going to take place in San Francisco. The convention is already confirmed, but the organizers have started a $25,000 Kickstarter to pay for events, prizes and a swankier, more centrally located venue.

The organizers stress that GaymerCon isn't just for "gay white dudes" and their companion cubes. The con "welcomes people of all genders, races and sexual identities." The organizers describe the convention as "a space where all gamers and queer geeks can come together in a welcoming and safe place." They promise exhibitor space, cosplay, guest speakers, live music and panel discussions, as well as non-gaming geek periphery like tabletop gaming, "geek chic" and tech panels.

"We believe very strongly that creating a space like this is not only important for building a strong community, but also showing new generations of gaymers that there are others like them out there, they are not alone, and there is a welcoming place for them, not just at GaymerCon, but as part of the larger gaming community," reads the convention's Kickstarter page.

As I write this, the Kickstarter is just over halfway funded with 28 days left on the clock.

Source: GaymerCon Kickstarter

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I think this con is dumb. At least the name is dumb. It is the same as naming it "girl power" or "manly man's place". Alright i understand that is for getting people's attention but that seems like way over-doing it.

Raising awareness is a good job mate

Seems a bit...foolish...to segregate gamers instead of bringing them together.

Instead of making a 'Gaymer Con', why not a panel/event at ComiCon/E3/etc?

bafrali:
I think this con is dumb. At least the name is dumb. It is the same as naming it "girl power" or "manly man's place". Alright i understand that is for getting people's attention but that seems like way over-doing it.

Raising awareness is a good job mate

I think the point of this convention is just so that there is a gaming convention where GLBTQ will know that they will be safe. Gaming in general is still the main focus, but it will also support tolerance as well.
There are probably a lot of GLBTQ gamers who have been harassed at gaming conventions (there are bound to be haters in a group of several thousand random people) and want be able to enjoy gaming without the fear of running into one of those pricks.There is still a lot of hate for the QLBTQ community out there and by supporting tolerance instead of hating on the intolerant, we might be able to speed up the process of making the world a better place.

Edit: The way I see it, people see this as a segregation when it really isn't. No one, not even the intolerant, are banned from going to this convention. It's just that it will probably have a larger percentage of LGBTQ people there and will probably be policed a bit better to prevent harassment.

Im not sure how Valve would feel seeing a headline like that, implies they're backing this (dont know if they are or not though).

Are the usual con's particularly anti-gay in anyway though? Seems a bit like senseless segregation just to make the attendees preen a bit. I can already imagine the social updates of "Oh wow, Im at GaymerCon, how open minded am I?!".

Meh, I guess its not much different than the likes of Gay Pride or having a gay orientated night club I suppose. I guess its just sensationalist nature of the name "GaymerCon" thats making me wary.

I wanted to get in before the whole "positive discrimination is bad cuz any discrimination for a minority or oppressed group is discrimination against the majority and that's bad" stuff started but it looks like I was too late.

The thing that annoys me most about that is besides the con's name there's not really any pro-gay discrimination going. They're not segregating shit, they're just explicitly stating that this con is a safe place for people regardless of sexuality.

Tanis:
Seems a bit...foolish...to segregate gamers instead of bringing them together.

Instead of making a 'Gaymer Con', why not a panel/event at ComiCon/E3/etc?

So what you're asking for is "segregation" except on a smaller scale? I don't see a fundamental difference between a gay panel and a gay con. Also this is one of the few times I can run around spamming the word gay on the escapist... yay.

Filiecs:
snip

I don't get it. Are they carrying giant neon signs saying "i am homosexual". How would they get specificly harrassed in a crowded convention, let alone frequantly. Are there any instances like that?

They should really invest in a better name. Written, it looks like someone made a typo. And when spoken, Gaymer and Gamer sound identical.
I'm also a little confused as to why this exists. I mean, I'm all for gay rights, but do we really need a convention to celebrate it? I'm straight, but this feels like they're saying that gays need a separate place, because god knows they can't go to a real gaming con. I would think their efforts would be better spent trying to communicate that homosexuals are as much a part of gaming community as anyone else.

image

I don't have anything more to say about this.

bafrali:

Filiecs:
snip

I don't get it. Are they carrying giant neon signs saying "i am homosexual". How would they get harrassed in a crowded convention, let alone frequantly. Are there any instances like that?

This is humanity we're talking about. There is bound to be instances like that.
If a gay man is at a convention with his lover and they decide to give one another a kiss or are holding hands like a regular couple then there would be a lot of people who assume they are gay. Now imagine there is a strongly anti-gay person there who wants to "teach those homosexuals a thing or two". (not saying all anti-gay people are violent)

Chances are he's going to find some way to to harass the couple and get away with it. Such as purposely running into them and/or insulting them as he walks by and gets lost in the crowd.

I can say that this has probably happened at least several hundred, maybe more, times just due to the random nature of humanity in general. I could be wrong, but again, humans.

Edit: Personally, I think the name is just an advertising gimic to get the word out there and raise awareness for the con. More people, especially LGBTQ gamers, that know about this con the more money the con makes in addition to providing a safe place to LGBTQ gamers.

Do gay folk really need it to be called Gaymercon to feel welcome?

I'm all for GaymerCon.

If there are Queer Film Festivals, a Queer-focused gaming convention is surely not uncalled for?

Most people seem to think of this as some form of segregation, like gay gamers are trying to distance themselves from heterosexual ones. That's not the case.

You have to realize that gaming is still very straight white male dominated, and while this is lessening, mainstream game developers and designers still focus heavily on this. That is why gay main characters, queer romance plots and intergendered or intersex characters are very rarely seen.

Apparently E3 this year was very much that case: Female and gay reporters alike finding themselves out of place amongst the dozens of booth babes and "RAAAGH! Action manly muscle shooting take-the-wench-as-a-trophy, RAAAH" game trailers.

And so this way, the queer community can showcase that, yes, we exist and yes there are plenty of people who are open-minded enough to support queer gaming.
It's taking steps like these that will allow the medium to mature.

Yes I'm sure there will be twinky guys in cosplay, possibly a drag show, who knows.

But for every "frivolous"/fun event, there is the potential for talks on building realistic queer characters for games with script writers, queer gamers getting their thoughts on gaming styles out there - potentially to game designers, and queer-identifying game voice actors/motion capture artists/designers/writers/programmers/etc. out in force to show the masses that they too can make an impact in their loved hobby.

Filiecs:
snip

I don't think it is reasonable to seperate gaming conventions based on sexual preferences just because of some PROBABLE dispute that would be resolved with the help of some decent security.

I always thought that seperation should be the last resort while dealing with problems within the community.

Yawn.

Yup, I'm starting a kickstarter campaign for a 100% white male straight convention. Is that acceptable?

The same groups who bitch about segregation are asking for more segregation, but convenient segregation - it's a joke, and sorry, but I'm not aware of many poor gay people - can't a convention for gays be supported by the gay community? - why is it a kickstarter!

This is no way to move on. Shouldn't we be working towards acceptance and equality, not segregation based on cloud funding and non-existant issues. Really, do gay people really have an issue with masculine games?
Gay people can still be masculine, it's their sexual preference that is important - if sex is not a factor in a game, then what is the big bloody deal!
Any game I've played that has sex as a gameplay mechanic, supports the option to be gay - the gay community need to stop being so butt-hurt and stop trying to drag their lifestyle into everything they do. Being gay does not define them, they do not need to be playing as a gay character... here's a notion - videogaming is about ESCAPISM - why would anyone want, or need to drag their life into videogaming, if you can't do that, then that's a social problem, not a kickstarter solution. Frankly, bringing sex into a videogame is seldom necessary, it's actually pretty creepy IMO - anyone who has had a relationship knows that videogames and a sex life are either/or decisions - they don't gel together. If you want to express your sexual preference, or represent your beliefs, or make a social statement - do it in real life, not in a videogame. Trying to bring these issues into videogames is fucking depressing. Will gay gamers be happy when EA is targetting them directly? - making gay videogames? - because the entire rest of the gaming world just wants decent games to play, we tend to be emotionally stable enough to make the distinction between real life and videogames. Our ego's are intact, we know that the chunky dude on screen DOES NOT REPRESENT US! - it's a videogame character.

It's like everyone is automatically a homophobe unless they proove otherwise! - gotta represent the gay community, they aren't historically into videogames, but there's a market there right? - better capitalise. Maybe if Mario is wearing assless chaps, gay people will like him more. That's a horrible paragraph, and I'm not serious - I'm just thinking like a videogame publisher.

I don't think that putting themselves in a different category ("Gaymers"? Pathetic.) is what's going to get them integrated in the "gamer culture".

I think this is a neat idea. Why not have a convention with a focus on the LGBT community in gaming and Geekdom? I'd go to it if it was in the UK. I think the gaming and geek community is large and mainstream enough to support something like this (at least in the US). Hopefully it will be successful and throw a kick ass convention as well as raise the profile of the community in geekdom, and general.

Only downside is that it's in San Fransisco :( The UK needs more cool conventions like this (though it's been getting better the past couple years).

Goodness this thread.
1. It's not about segregation (like they, the people making this convention, said) but acceptance. To sit back and let people use homosexuality as an insult or belittle people because of sexuality or gender identities, not drawing attention to it because you aren't drawing attention to people who don't deal with those problems? That isn't equality.
To make a place where anyone can go and where equality is explicitly protected, where you can be sure that the convention-holders will defend you if you have a problem, that is equality.
2. Is the name a little weird? Sure. Is it any reason to not support this? Don't think so.

The con "welcomes people of all genders, races and sexual identities."
Did nobody read this?

Grey Carter:
...mildly terrifying support to an upcoming convention for LGBT geeks.

And for my dick-move of the day, I'll point out that you forgot a letter in the homosexual alliance acronym, Grey. Evidently they've gone ahead and added a "Q" onto the end which wikipedia defines as being "Queer" or "Questioning". Personally I'd have to hope it's the latter as the former seems like a derogatory name for homosexuals in general.

That said, was there really a big problem with...ahem, "gaymers" being discriminated again? Are they really in need of their own speciallized convention to feel empowered? I really don't care what other people's sexual orientation is as it's really none of my damn business, but do we REALLY need yet another gaming con tailored to such a specific demographic? In the end it doesn't really matter to me since I've never been to a con (and that makes me sad) in the first place, just wondering if gaymers are feeling so put down and put off by standard gaming marketing that they need a con dedicated just for them.

Now that I think about it, though, other than Notch inexplicably and pointlessly declaring that all livng things in Minecraft are gay (in a world without sex, how can there be sexual orientation?) I don't think I can think of any game that features an openly gay protagonist or even some gay characters other than that dude from GTA IV. Meh, at this point I'm just starting to ramble with my thoughts.

Edit:

theblindedhunter:

1. It's not about segregation (like they, the people making this convention, said)

THAT'S why this is leaving me with such an odd feeling! I know that this convention is supposed to be empowering to "gaymers", but isn't wanting a convention dedicated to singling yourself (as a demographic) out a form of self-segregation? Certainly seems that way to me.

Why on god's green earth is there resistance to this? It's an expo designed from the ground up to appeal to homosexuals, who face facts are not the most welcomed and included subset of our society right now. Also, if you want to attend, there is literally nothing stopping you. But this is a place where they can be open and explore and enjoy an aspect of themselves where they know it will be safe and acceptable.

I cannot imagine a reasonable individual who would be against that. Especially since they're not saying you can't attend. Though I have my doubts any of the haters are afraid they'll be barred at the doors.

To all the people who are saying that it's exclusionary: Unless you stand up and tell people not to use the word 'gay' or 'fag' or 'homo' as a pejorative, you're not doing your part to make the overall gamer community and inclusive one. And since I absorb nothing but flak whenever I do that pretty much everywhere, we're not quite there yet, gents. We're not as inclusive and focused on equality as you may think.

All I see is:

"We're gay! Give us money for extra stuff at our, all ready happening, convention!"

Kickstarter = Beggars

Nothing wrong with that tho. Hell, I'm still waiting on the Valve HL3 kickstarter to happen.

Any day now...

EDIT: I guess it's nice to see iconic game voices trying to help a cause.

surg3n:
Yawn.
Yup, I'm starting a kickstarter campaign for a 100% white male straight convention. Is that acceptable?
The same groups who bitch about segregation are asking for more segregation, but convenient segregation

It's not segregation because it's not 100% LGBT, the kickstarter page points out that straight people are welcome to go as well, it's about raising awareness, like a gay pride parade, and it's also about presenting a environment to gay gamers where they aren't going to be verbally abused by those around them or people online, nor is it about putting gay people or options into videogames and removing masculinity, did you even read the kickstarter page? or are you just ranting due to a irrational fear that games having gay people and options in them will destroy the industry and reduce it to whatever the hell you imagine gay people play, because in reality they play the same games as you and everyone else.

Ellen McClain was already awesome, now she's reached a singularity of awesome.

If this is about building bridges, then using such an on-the-nose pun in the name is immediately burning them down again.

This is...........stupid. If you like games then you like games. What the fuck does your sexual orientation have to do with video games? Also:

Agow95:
it's about raising awareness,

Awareness about what? Gay people? I'm pretty sure we're all aware they exist.

It's a meetup for people who are in the LGBT community that also like gaming, and everyone is welcome, regardless of gender/orientation. WHY is this segregation?

By the same logic, any gaming convention would be "segregation" because it would "only include gamers". Just no.

anthony87:
This is...........stupid. If you like games then you like games. What the fuck does your sexual orientation have to do with video games? Also:

Agow95:
it's about raising awareness,

Awareness about what? Gay people? I'm pretty sure we're all aware they exist.

1. That there is a large number of LGBT gamers and
2. (you might have noticed this if you actually read the rest of my post) That many of these gamers are abused on the basis of their sexual orientation and that many people ignore it because they feel it's not a problem simply because it's not their problem.

I... dont get it.
Why do gay gamers need their own convention? Did they even ask for it?

Its not like they're overly segregated in the gaming community either, I'm pretty sure the gaming community (The mature ones at least. Read: Not Xbox live) accept them for who the are and really couldn't care less about their sexual orientation.

Am I missing something? Because this just screams money grab to me.

Anyone saying gay people don't need this, or shouldn't do this, needs to spend more time at The Borderhouse to see how they are treated.

Anyone complaining about the name needs to spend more time at Rock Paper Shotgun to develop an appreciation for the art of punning.

Sober Thal:
Kickstarter = Beggars

Not beggars. Begging is just asking for money out of charity. A kickstarter is more like a busker who requires payment in advance; if all goes well there will be a return on your investment, as long as you give the scruffy student enough loose change for him to play his awful acoustic version of 'Sweet Child of Mine'.

OT: I have no problem with the con, but good lord I hate fucking Gaymers. It's so damn sugary, like the Bacardi Breezer of ciders. Naming your gay convention after a brand of drink widely regarded as girly isn't really helping the stereotype, lads :-P

Prof.Beany:
I... dont get it.
Why do gay gamers need their own convention? Did they even ask for it?

Its not like they're overly segregated in the gaming community either, I'm pretty sure the gaming community (The mature ones at least. Read: Not Xbox live) accept them for who the are and really couldn't care less about their sexual orientation.

Am I missing something? Because this just screams money grab to me.

You're missing the fact that the 'xbox live' community represents the overwhelming majority of the gamersphere. Because I'm assuming you're lumping in the WoW, CoD, BF communities and so forth. The big ones. Having vacationed in those communities from time to time I can tell you one thing for certain: homosexuals don't get a lot of positive talk. In fact one of the number one insults that crop up time and again are homosexual pejoratives.

Homosexuals are having a tough time right now (which is nothing new). Did you see the lines of people outside Chik-fil-A's lately, queuing up to show their support for the oppression of their civil liberties? Can you imagine what that would feel like if it was tens of thousands of people all showing their solidarity in declaring you, Prof. Beany, a sub-person?

Let them have a gaming convention. Let them have something tailored to them, celebrating them, a place where they know they can be open about themselves and be surrounded by those who are like them. A safe place where they don't have to worry about maybe being harassed and accosted, someplace where they can feel like it's for them.

It's true that cons like PAX don't necessarily discriminate, but that doesn't mean that subsets of people can't have one that's for them. And just in case you're worried about it being some sort of reverse discrimination, you're welcome to attend to.

In fact, it's sort of the flipside, isn't it? I mean lets face it: what with booth babes and such, it's pretty clear that video games are marketed largely to heterosexuals (and being the overwhelming societal majority that's no surprise). Homosexuals are welcome to attend, but it's not for them. You (and the rest of us really) are so used to having things catered to us, for us, that it can be nigh-on impossible to imagine what it might be like if it wasn't. Well, a con like this gives them a place where in some small way, it will be.

Are they not allowed that little bit? That tiny thing, without the rest of us 'enlightened' folks trying to cut them down?

Sounds like a cool idea to me.

I don't see anything wrong with a convention where gay gamers can meet.

The coming out progress is something that can be very difficult and hard to understand for people who've not gone through it, hence all the "It gets better" videos that are out there. Having a convention full of people who know what you've been through, can relate to that and also share one of your major interests in life sounds like a great place to meet friends or even partners.

I'm not saying that sharing an interest or having gone through a similar process of coming out is required for friendships, but I do think it helps.

Especially as I believe many gay people tend to keep their sexual orientation a bit quiet it can be nice to have a convention where you don't have to and spend time on your favourite hobby in the process.

And to all those people calling this bad and segregation. Stop talking about things you haven't the faintest clue about. You're just as annoying as those Fox News reporters who talk about games without having done the faintest bit of research. Do some research first about what it's like to come out, what it's like to be constantly viewed as, and even view yourself as, 'different' and how having a convention that's aimed specifically at you might help.

itsthesheppy:

-snip

Ah, heres my problem: Im Australian.

Im used to a much more tolerate climate than that of America so this naturally seems like overkill to me. I know of many, many a gay-gamer in my online communities and theyre treated exactly the same as any other, but of course USA is a much different story on that matter with the whole predominantly christian culture and all that, not to mention the crazies like Westboro.

But by all means I can see how this would be a good thing in such a terrible climate for differing sexuality as the USA. But I have to wonder how theyll deal with the inevitable attention this will garner from overzealous groups opposing gay rights, because there sure are a lot of them over there...

The Random One:
Anyone complaining about the name needs to spend more time at Rock Paper Shotgun to develop an appreciation for the art of punning.

"Art"? I mean, I guess if you can put a crucifix in a jar of piss and call it art you can apply the same label to puns, but still. I'd take my chances with pissy Jesus, personally...

Prof.Beany:

itsthesheppy:

-snip

Ah, heres my problem: Im Australian.

Im used to a much more tolerate climate than that of America so this naturally seems like overkill to me. I know of many, many a gay-gamer in my online communities and theyre treated exactly the same as any other, but of course USA is a much different story on that matter with the whole predominantly christian culture and all that, not to mention the crazies like Westboro.

But by all means I can see how this would be a good thing in such a terrible climate for differing sexuality as the USA. But I have to wonder how theyll deal with the inevitable attention this will garner from overzealous groups opposing gay rights, because there sure are a lot of them over there...

Yeah. The gay thing is a really depressing battleground here in America. Land of the free, indeed.

This is the kind of thing the USA needs. I mean there are pastors getting on CNN saying that homosexuals should be rounded up in internment camps to keep them away from general population. Whereas something like this would seem to indeed be overkill and unnecessary if you didn't know what life was like in this country, speaking as someone who lives here, it's definitely needed.

My state legalized gay marriage though so... at least I have that.

As a gay person, I think this is stupid.

"Treat us as equals while we do things that separate us into 'us and them'.

Parades in my mind are bad for this same reason.

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