Sydney Is Hosting Australia's First Queer Gaming Festival

Adding to the growing list of game conventions taking place in this country, GX Australia is bringing the Gaymer X festival from San Francisco to Sydney in early 2016.

GX Australia describes the upcoming festival as "Australia's first queer gaming convention".

The event is in the early stages of planning, but the current plan is to hold the event at the Australia Technology Park on February 27-28.

"Much like the amazing team in the States we're seeking to provide a safe space for gamers, geeks, and allies whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity," explained Joshua Meadows, the Director of GX Australia. "We want to create an opportunity for people who feel out of place at mainstream gaming and pop culture conferences the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, hang out with others like them, and have fun without worrying that they might be made to feel unwelcome."

GX Australia is currently working with a number of publishers and other interested parties to get funding for the show. There are also plans for a crowd-funded Kickstarter for interested folks to get early bird tickets.

According to the team, their running on a fairly tight schedule to get the first show up and running, but are hoping to make GaymerX an annual event in Sydney.

"We'd definitely love to do it annually,"said Joshua. "GX, formerly GaymerX, in the US has been an annual event since 2013, and we don't see any reason why we can't offer the same experience to Aussie gamers. However, we're planning responsibly and have to get the first one successfully accomplished first! After we have an idea of interest and community support we'll have a better idea of what we can offer in 2017 and beyond, but we've got our fingers crossed that the Australian gamer community is as receptive and interested as the US one has been for GaymerX."

You can find out more about the event here at the official Facebook page.


    I know they were casting about for sponsors, hopefully they can get funded to deliver something great

    I really wish we lived in a world where there didn't need to be a "gay" /"queer" gaming convention. It shouldn't matter if you are gay/trans/anything, it's a games convention and it should be safe and inclusive for everyone.

    I hope they get some awesome sponsors and presenters though.

      I really dont know how i feel about this. Like, having an game expo for "queers" seems almost backwards. A game expo should just be that, an expo regardless of orientation...

        I was under the impression that IS how expos are, I've got no problem with something like this happening, the more the better. But I don't really see where the need is for a completely separate convention like this

          Well the point is the same as any other convention, to gather people with similar interests.

          It's just in this case (As with most other gay events) the main interest is something different.

          Marketing. It's a point of differentiation. We forget that conventions ultimately exist to make money. They're a business and this is a differentiator for them.

            I would imagine if they were in it purely to make money they'd run something a little more mainstream. Gaming is pretty mainstream, and supporting the LGBT community is pretty huge right now, but mashing them together doesn't create something nearly as profitable as say a gay sexuality expo that works like a zoo for boring, straight, married people.

            Last edited 02/07/15 3:11 pm

              LGBTI is a huge market in the eyes of businesses. You can make a mint from somewhat niche markets that still have plenty of consumers.

              Sounds cynical but it makes perfect business sense.

          You've never been the object of discrimination which is nice but also means you don't know why. How many people use "faggot" as a verbal attack in online forums and in games.....this is a place where they can enjoy their hobby without that kind of abuse. Its safe.

        Next step - drinking fountains for the queers, the back of the bus reserved for queers, so on and so forth!

      What about a convention about queer themes in games, or queer characters in games? Or about queer authors? I mean, sure, you can put all those things in regular conventions, but there are so many hours in so many venues and most of the gaming population aren't queer. Why can't we have our own thing?

        Tis an interesting conundrum.
        On the one hand, such things are not really covered much in other major events so it's reasonable to create a new one that does.
        On the other hand, it is kinda reinforcing the segregation and us/them perspective that is such an issue.

        Reading the article the convention doesn't seem to focus on queer themes/characters etc, it's appears to be a gaming convention made because gay people allegedly don't feel welcome at current gaming conventions. If that's the case it's more likely to push the segregation thats supposed to be stopped and looks to me like some bandwagon jumping to squeeze money out of the current goings on in the world. If there was an anti-gay stance within gaming conventions it would be understandable. Games are games and gaming conventions should be about games. Slapping a "gay version" badge on everything is more likely to drive a large wedge between people. It's easy to see this as a bit of exploitation given what's been happening.

      The don't need their own convention they just want a convention where the theme is gay gaming. They weren't pushed here because all the straight conventions keep them out, they just decide to do this to create a venue where they can highlight things that are relevant to them and their communities. I would also imagine a lot of the people involved aren't particularly interested in going to PAX to talk about the issues that gay gamers face. I know I don't go there to discuss social causes even though they are important to me.
      It's not really any different to someone hosting a D&D convention rather than participating in a general table top game convention.

        Which edition of D&D do you feel most closely approximates having gay sex?

        Last edited 02/07/15 3:28 pm

    What makes this “Australia’s first queer gaming convention”? Saying “we’re seeking to provide a safe space for gamers, geeks, and allies whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity” would suggest it's just a gaming convention where everyone is welcome, which should be the case for any gaming convention. Not being an expert I'm interest to find out how/why other conventions make anybody feel unwelcome. Surely it's all about the games, right???

    Seems like a swing and a miss by these comments.

      And how many of these commenters here are gay, and/or would be likely to attend a conference like this? I think @jasnjazz 's comment lower down makes a pretty good point as to why something like this is a good idea. I've seen how people who happen to be gay have been treated at some of these gaming conventions (or just in general), and I sure as hell wouldn't want to be treated that way myself. While these conventions have been pretty welcoming FOR THE MOST PART, there have always been people willing to put people down due to their sexual orientation. If GX Australia will give people a platform to celebrate their love of gaming without feeling unsafe, then I'm all for it.

        I know what you are trying to say, it just has no bearing on what I was trying to say. That while the concept is laudable, it just ain't going to generate enough of a crowd to be financially viable.

          Why don't we let GX Australia have a crack at it before we rule it as a financial failure? I think you'll likely be surprised.

            Hence the two qualifiers in my original post "Seems" and "by these comments". Do you understand now?

              I guess not. First you state that it seems like the idea is hit and miss based upon the comments here, to which I raise the point that most of the people commenting about this aren't the people that the convention is targeting, so it'd be pretty silly to judge whether it's 'hit or miss' based upon their comments alone. You then state that "while the concept is laudable, it just ain't going to generate enough of a crowd to be financially viable", which seems to be purely based upon speculation and not fact, to which I reply that we should probably see how it goes before prematurely stating that it'll be a financial failure. To which you just reiterated your original point. I'm not trying to pick a fight here, only to have a dialogue, but I guess I mustn't understand what you're getting at if you're reiterating what I've already replied to.

                One of the more popular Australian gaming blogs shows close to zero interest in the event. That is the purpose of my original comment and my assumption that it is not economically viable.

                  I see where you're coming from, but I'd say that it'd be more accurate to say that the regular posters on Kotaku AU (who I've personally observed to mostly identify straight) have no interest in this event. Sure, you're certainly right that you could judge GX Australia as a 'swing and a miss' purely by the comments on this one article, but that'd be a pretty foolish way to judge it.

    nice. looking forward to the next straight gaming convention...

    oh wait...

    So much for equality ay?

    "You are not your orientation" should be stapled to these idiots in places where they can't miss it. Laughable, JSYK this sort of thing is why you get bullied

    Legit question: Can straight people attend?

    Also what's the difference between this and any other convention (besides the marketing spin) when all other conventions are "safe for gamers, geeks, and allies whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity"?

      Yes straight people can come. It's just making a safe place for the queer gaming community. I have brought straight friends to gay clubs before, as long as you don't get all shocked by gayness then their is really no problem.

      And despite the whole thing about other conventions being all accepting and inclusive, I always hear fag, faggot, and gay used as derogatives all the time as gamer. At least at this event I can know that I am in fact welcome.

    Being a queer gamer myself, and have attended various gaming expos, I do still feel there is a place for this.

    Ever played any online FPS? The amount of derogatory things said about gay people is unbelievable. It's the old "keyboard warrior" syndrome.

    The gaming world is still very much a hetero-normative place. Women aren't all that welcome, queers and trans people alike.

    I don't know how many times when I've mentioned I have a boyfriend "that's gross man", "keep it to yourself"

    What we really need is the racist, homophobic, bigoted troll convention so they leave all the other conventions to the half decent folk.

    But that wouldn't work either, they need people to look down on to feel big. :(

    Stupid humans.

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