Gaymer X Writeup by GeekPinata!
I was unable to attend GaymerX last weekend, so I decided to do an impromptu giveaway via twitter and my facebook fan page. I used a random number generator to choose the winner, and I was thrilled that my friend Crystal won! Crystal runs her own blog, Geek Pinata, and I asked her to do a writeup of the convention for me.
GaymerX is the first convention of its kind: a LGBT gaming focused on geek queer culture. It was held this past weekend in San Francisco, CA and I was lucky enough to win entry thanks to Nice Girls Like Sex Too. It is hard to begin describing my experience as I want to say so many things at once, but that’s a good thing! I’ve been to several cons at this point in my life and GaymerX has become a favorite just from this one time visit.
From the get-go, I could see that literally everyone there was having a great time. And despite some thinking otherwise, the con wasn’t exclusive to the LGBT community, it was open to people who also support the LGBT community. I myself am a supporter of the community. I was not excluded, I was welcomed with open arms and engaged constantly in friendly conversation whether it be while waiting in line for a panel, or just browsing at the booths. It was also a great learning experience as I sat and listened at panels discussing gender and the challenges that the LGBT community faces in the gaming world.
Perhaps the most memorable moment for me was during the “Plot Conditionals with Benefits: Creating Romances in BioWare Games” panel with BioWare writer David Gaider and BioWare Community Manager Jessica Merizan. They both discussed a lot about how they both, as well as BioWare, find it extremely important to include more LGBT characters in the stories they write. And the most poignant moment, to me, was when a con-goer inquired about future plans to include more transgender characters. David Gaider responded that not only is it something they want to strive for, but that they also want to strive to do it better. He talked about how in Dragon Age 2, there was a transgender character in the Mark of the Assassin DLC named Serendipity. He noted that a fan posted on the BioWare Social Network about how hurtful the scene was, especially for them as they are a transgender person. Though he nor writer Mary Kirby meant no harm by the scene and *thought* it was harmless, after reading that forum post, they realized that what they had done with the way the wrote the scene was wrong and a mistake.
Just hearing that from him, hearing it audibly and hearing the genuine regret in his voice was truly overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. So often in games there are stereotypical or negative portrayals of types of people, whether it be trans people, women, a particular race. Often there are those of us that speak up about how harmful it is. And often, it goes either unheard or completely ignored. In this case, not only did they hear it, they took the feedback to heart.
Between the support directly from companies in the gaming world to open discussion about how to make improvements then meeting all the new people I did, GaymerX can be summed up in one word: awesome.
I left GaymerX with a lot of hope for change in the gaming world, as well as a lot of new friends.
Thanks so much for the writeup, Crystal! I’m so glad you had a good time at GaymerX.