The Voice Of Team Fortress 2's Sniper Would Like You To Support Gaymercon

Gaymercon, a convention for everyone but with a focus on creating a safe space for gay gamers and tech fans to congregate, will be happening on August 3 and August 4 of 2013, somewhere in San Francisco. The con is happening no matter what, but — wait for it — the organisers would love for you to donate to their Kickstarter project to make it better.

Everyone is welcome to attend, the Gaymercon folks say in their Kickstarter:

We want to be clear this isn't just for gay white dudes either. We want all genders, races, and sexual identities including our straight friends and allies to come together and have a gay, geeky good time. 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.

And why are they asking for $US25,000?

Without any donations we will create a great space for gaymers to come together, build community, and have fun. WITH your donations however, we can reserve swankier and more centrally located venues, book more geeky bands to play for you, have more consoles and games to play on, have cool prizes for contests, and more. Basically the more you give, the more you get out of the con when you come. If we raise lots and lots of money, it will get the attention of the gaming industry, making them more likely to come to the show too so you can see their awesome stuff, but also let them know there is a market out there for gaymers and maybe they should pay attention to you.

More info at their Kickstarter and at the official Gaymercon site.

GaymerCon: Everybody Games [Kickstarter]


Comments

    When is Straightcon happening?

      When you gain a little perspective.

        u mad bro?

        pull the pole up your arse once in a while and see the humour

        Wow, what a bunch of left-wing liberal crap. Perspective? Please dude.

          Are you even aware of what left wing liberal *means*...

            Centre-left?

    Its a good idea, but it would be even better if they teamed with a larger event and had a Gay day (for lack of a better word).
    For instance Australia's TechEd event had a Women-in-IT day that had alot of female IT and Dev speakers come along. Was a huge hit.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    Just seems they're asking to be ostracised. What's the difference between a gamer and 'gaymer' 1/5th of fuck all.
    Pretty sure that people will always be calling each other faggots on voip, kicking up this kind of fuss is just giving those people lulz.

    It REALLY supprises me that theres subsection for gay gamers, when your mario kart what difference does it make if your gay or not? Whats the support actually for? Are we that different?!

    Doesn't this promote segregation and identify them as "different" from the rest of society?

    I thought they wanted equal rights and to be accepted, which I am all for before people jump down my throat, but which is it?

      I think the case being made by gay people is that they are "the same" in all MORALLY-RELEVANT aspects.

      Of course gay people and straight people aren't "the same" full stop. That's kind of why we have the two different categories in the first place.

      But the idea is that it isn't a MORALLY RELEVANT difference. Sure, it is a difference, but it is a difference in the same way that blue eyed people are different from green eyed people (i.e. not a big deal).

      As for segregation (I think the term you're looking for is "separatism"), I agree that separatism can be counterproductive... after all, if all the gay people just ghettoize and never talk with people outside their in-group, then 'outsiders' will be less likely to get comfortable with gay people.

      However, the reason this happens is because many gay persons have had negative experiences with 'mainstream' society (i.e. gay bashing). As such, it is understandable that they'd tend to hang around with each other... 'safety in numbers' after all. Plus, there's the fact that people just naturally get along with those that are more like them than those that are less like them (ceteris paribus).

      I agree that separatism can be a dangerous and counterproductive thing when it gets to a specific level, absolutely. But I think that it does make sense that there would be a certain level of it.

    Seems a lot of people are thinking the same as me. Why do gay people need a 'safe place' to congregate? Things like this totally perpetuate the idea of "us and them". I've never been to a con anywhere and gotten the feeling that gay people weren't welcome.

    Or are they going to be doing secret gay stuff?

      I think its more about having a "specifically gay-welcoming" place than "safe" in the LITERAL sense. That said, given that some people have been killed for being (or being perceived as) gay (and, unfortunately this does still happen sometimes), you can kind of see why a place which specifically says "yes, we welcome and tolerate people of nonheterosexual sexual preferences" would make a gay person feel more safe.

      As for "why do they need it," well, think of it as an odd-one-out situation. People in general enjoy socializing with those that are like them (common ground). For instance, many men (indeed, the majority of heterosexual men) prefer the company of other men socially. Just as women often need their "girls night out."

      I should add that this goes both ways too. There are some gay nightclubs that actually advertise themselves as "straight-friendly" (i.e. "no, you don't have to be gay to come in and order a drink!"). This illustrates my point of the "odd one out" thing before hand; people in general often feel a sense of discomfort over social alienation (a deep-rooted sense of being different to other people). I mean, if you were in a gay bar, you'd probably feel a bit uncomfortable because, presumably, you are an heterosexual (i.e. different from the average patron).

      So yeah, its basically just about creating a location which allows people with a specific non-mainstream interest to congregate and relate to on the basis of that non-mainstream interest.

      Makes sense?

    Indeed, we do play video games. A lot of us. Does it really surprise people that we might want to meet other gay gamers - i.e., people who WON'T spew hateful vitriol while we're playing with them? If you can't understand that, you really need to take the blinders off.

    Up next - transgendercon!

    Oh! lots of comments from ppl missing the point!

    To begin with, I support same sex marriage and I support people of all sexual orientations. But this is just getting so out of hand. I have 100 gamers on my friends list, I don't know if they're gay or not because on XBL it's the one place it DOESN'T FRIGGEN MATTER!!! There's hardly a reason to have a discussion about your sexual orientation in an online gaming environment. Last time I checked gays weren't being singled out and attacked on XBL. If I were a gay man, the world might be a harsh place to live in but XBL would be the one place I could just be myself.

    I don't understand the goal of this thing, to come together and 'build a community'... Why even involve sexuality in this. If you're going to make the thing open to people of all genders and orientations, what's the point of making it about gay people? It's such a mixed message. They want to build a community for gay people, but it's not about gay people, so isn't that just a regular community? What's the point?

    And they say it's also to get the attention of the gaming industry, to let them know there's a gay gamer market to pay attention to. This whole idea just seems pointless. Do gay gamers want their own kind of games or something? By its apparently not just for gay gamers but everyone. So they want straight people to show up to show the games industry there's gay gamers that need to be taken notice of?

    This whole thing is just baffling and misguided.

    Video games are wonderful cause you don't have to be anyone. You can leave your real life baggage at the door. You have anonymity. You can be a woman, man, space marine or a freakin dinosaur. If you're powerless or frail or disabled or strong or weak or straight or gay or young or old, when you come to a video game you're who you want to be. In the world of video games we don't have to deal with ugly politics or religion or war, it's a place where the biggest problem is supposed to be freakin zombies or space aliens. Video games are a shinig example to our heavily prejudiced and bigoted society that there's a place where people can come together and play games no matter who or what they are. I realize the party is raging on the pro gaming band wagon right now but for the love of Neptune's salty underarm hair can we not try and drive that pink truck into video games ... It's a piece of baggage from the real world that just doesn't belong.

      "Last time I checked gays weren’t being singled out and attacked on XBL."

      From what I know, a lot of gay people have very different experiences.

      I'm sure you, personally, are very tolerant about sexual preference. The problem is that a significant number of OTHER people don't share your attitudes. This is what the pro-gay thing is a reaction to. If all people were totally "big deal, some people are gay, some people are straight, some people are bi, but it doesn't really matter" you'd be right. Unfortunately, not everyone accepts that.

      I agree that video games themselves are escapism. But as for "big pink trucks into video games," remember that a lot of video games refer to heterosexuality in some way. Mario goes to rescue Princess Peach, his love interest (for instance). Marcus Fenix has Anya Stroud. etcetera.

      Now, some players of video games are gay (and some are bi and some are asexual etc etc). If you want to make an escapist fantasy (which we both agree video games are), you need to make the fantasy RELATABLE to the audience. So, obviously, a world where there is NO reference at all to non-heterosexuality becomes LESS relatable (not necessarily completely unrelatable) to a non-heterosexual audience.

      Sure, one could handle the subject material terribly. For instance, one could have Luigi break out into a rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" in the middle of the game. This would INDEED be an extremely intrusive "big pink truck" being driven into the game.

      But, say, Mass Effect 3? It handled the material tastefully. It didn't force it. It didn't treat Cortez or Traynor any differently from any other character.

      So it is possible to address nonheterosexual sexual preferences (which would improve the game's relatability with a subsection of the audience) WITHOUT driving Big Pink Trucks into games.

        All I'm saying is that I don't think gays need to be defended in video games. I have been a member of Xbox live since the original Xbox days and I have not heard a single case of a gay person being attacked for being gay, not a single one. If gays are being singled out and attacked for their sexuality, it's not an epidemic. I'm sure it happens, but let's face it, people just don't even talk about being straight or gay online. It's almost irrelevant. Put a women in a lobby however and you'll see someone get discriminated against. But if we held a 'girlmer con' people would tell women to grow thicker skin and deal with it.

        And as far as same sex couples being represented in video games I don't think it's a problem. If anything, an overabundance of gay or lesbian characters in games wouldn't line up with reality. Lesbian and Gay people form a minority of our society and I feel like they're represented adequately in games. Games I've played recently: Mass Effect has same sex relationships, Skyrim and The Old Republic allow same sex relationships. Dragon Age had gay characters. Fallout had a lesbian character, the chick from the Guild. I remember Fable had gay characters, I'm pretty sure Reaver was gay, Bully had an achievement for having a gay relationship, GTA had gay characters. These are just my personal experiences. I'm sure with some research a LOT more examples would surface.

        I'm just sayin, if people are claiming that same sex relationship options or gay/lesbian characters are under-represented in games I think they're mistaken. There's probably more representation here than in movies or TV. And the idea that gay men are targets in online games is absurd. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but in nearly a decade I've not witnessed it. I think this is just a case of people trying to make a cause where it's not needed.

          I'm glad you've never seen a gay person be attacked for their sexuality. What I am saying, however, is that other people have had very different experiences. Your experiences may not be a representative sample (and theirs may not either, but I've heard multiple accounts of gay people being attacked over Xbox Live, and you're honestly the first person I've ever read saying that they've never heard this thing happening).

          That said, I don't think a gay gamer convention necessarily HAS to come from being attacked. It is simply a matter of people sharing common ground. And as you point out, openly nonheterosexual people are a minority. Doesn't it simply make intuitive sense that they'd want to gather together?

          People enjoy the company of those similar to them. That alone provides a sufficient explanation for the existence of conventions like these.

            I guess I'm different. As a father I've avoided sites specifically for dad-gamers. The great thing about video games is that video games ARE our common ground. By leaving the things about me that define me in the real at the door, I'm open to a greater diversity of people online. I'm a 32 year old dad and my three best friends in the world are a 22 year old Serbian DJ and a female Music teacher from Adelaide Australia and an English CEO. They're people I talk to every day on the phone and now see in real life. And they're people I'd not have had the chance to meet outside of the gaming environment that sheds our age/sexuality/social class. I'm more for shedding minority groups and forming communities of gamer parents/gays/girls/Christians etc and letting gaming be the thing that is our common ground we relate to. I'm having trouble articulating this but when I get online I'm not a dad, I'm not a white male, I'm not Australian, I'm Shadow Artiste, a spartan or the rider from Trials HD or some other fantastic character. And the person next to me isn't a foreigner, they aren't a minority, they aren't a low income earning single parent, there also a spartan or a Gear and shooting shit together.

            A convention for gay gamers is a good idea. But I still don't get this because it's not for gay gamers, it's for everyone. But I can't figure out why they're trying to bring attention to issues which, admittedly in my own opinion, don't exist.

            Anyway, that's just what I think. Who knows?

    *I realize the party is raging on the >PRO GAY< band wagon right now

    I mis typed that bit

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