Penny Arcade To Build PAX 'Diversity Hubs'

PAX Will Now Have

The organisers of the Penny Arcade Expos will next year be introducing 'Diversity Hubs' which will focus on issues relating to women, LGBTQ, people of colour, disabled people and mental health issues. The idea is to be more inclusive but is voluntary segregation the right way to go?

Website Indie Statik first posted images showing the plans, which have subsequently been confirmed to Kotaku by Penny Arcade.

The "Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge" at PAX events in Seattle, Boston and Melbourne will be "a resource for PAX attendees to find information related to issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of colour, disabled people and mental health issues in gaming".

They'll also serve as a "resource for industry professionals and fans to interface in a setting focused on diversity, receive diversity training, learn more about diversity, and meet people from diverse communities".

These areas - "a safe and welcoming environment" - would also be lounges, which apart from the main PAX events would have their own stuff like diversity-themed booths and panels.

It's an interesting move. On the one hand, it's a proactive step. Penny Arcade has faced its fair share of criticism over the past year, much of it stemming from the company's poor handling of the "Dickwolves" fiasco.

On the other, it could easily be seen as marginalising these groups, creating what I've already seen be called a "zoo".

"Our goal was to highlight diverse groups (and organisations that represent diverse groups) in the industry that might not necessarily get exposure otherwise", PA's Robert Khoo tells Kotaku. "We have a limited number of slots, and the booths are free. In addition, since all of our content is spread out at the show rather than 'tracked', the hub will also be a resource for people to find the diverse sessions, events, and exhibitors."

You can read the proposal in full below.

PAX To Increase Inclusivity Effort With "Roll For Diversity -- Hub And Lounge" [Indie Statik]

WATCH MORE: Gaming News


Comments

    Idea's good, but an idea like this is all in the execution.

    It's interesting how they describe it as a safe place, implicitly admitting that the rest of the place isn't.

    Perhaps a better approach would be a simply written policy that everyone can understand which essentially says "behave or fuck off" and then have people actually believe people when they've been harassed and eject the harasser Get rid of the problem rather than try to firewall the more vulnerable people.

      Not necessarily. Is a police station being built in an area an implicit admission that the area is dangerous? I see this as more as an information source rather than necessarily a walled off area for GLBITQ gamers.

      As for the rules, they have them listed out quite simply; http://aus.paxsite.com/faq#do-you-have-any-rules-or-guidelines-for-pax and the more detailed policy http://aus.paxsite.com/safety-and-security . My understanding is that anyone found to have broken any of the rules is more or less ejected immediately from the convention - no second chances.

    Well that's certainly a glass-half-empty way of viewing things. Makes for better headlines I suppose.

      How so? The headline is a completely neutral statement.

        I can't speak for mrwaffle but I'm thinking his problem is in the first paragraph article text i.e. 'The idea is to be more inclusive but is voluntary segregation the right way to go?'

        Sounds kind of like a leading question to me where you're highlighting the erroneous idea that it's a place for minority people to sit around and segregate themselves as opposed to the correct idea that it's for education and training purposes. The fact that the rest of your article highlights this second idea as opposed to the first is pretty sad...

          Weirdly, I never actually wrote that.

          You can see my original post on the US site here:

          http://kotaku.com/pax-will-now-have-diversity-lounges-penny-arcade-say-1485455044/@lukeplunkett

          Thanks, that's what I meant to say, the opening paragraph is shown in the main page too so my brain picked the wrong expression.

    Oh you PA guys.... whatever will you do next?

    http://i.imgur.com/M0El5JW.png

    "The idea is to be more inclusive but is voluntary segregation the right way to go?"

    No. I like that someone actually posed the question though. We don't usually get two sides to a social issue around here.

      THE EXTREMIST LEFT WING VIEW IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT VIEW ON KOTAKU. If you disagree, prepare for the downvotes.

      Last edited 18/12/13 7:55 pm

      So do you feel welcomed at all those gay conventions you attend (as you have no other option)?

      If you read the article, rather than posting like a whiny elderly Liberal Party voter, you'd actually realise these areas are to educate people about LGBTQ issues - which you would imagine most LGBTQ people already know.

      So it's nothing at all to do with segregation but about educating arrogant white straight dudes who think 'everything is just fine' because the world is set up the way they want it.

    So it'll be like an expo of those original kotaku "issue" articles. Cool... wait no.

    The term diversity hub conjures images of PS3s and 360s being bussed in to school with the elite PC.

    What does LGBTQ mean?

    I can guess most of it is Lesbian, Gay, Bixesual, trans-gender and... ummm quiet? Maybe I'm wrong on all of them.

      Queer or Questioning.

      You can also get LGBTIQ where the I is intersex.

      Last edited 18/12/13 11:52 pm

Join the discussion!