This weekend, the highly anticipated Gaymer X convention will finally take place in San Francisco; just under a year since it made headlines for a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in nearly four times its original goal. Gaymer X will be the first LGBT gaming convention focused on queer gamer culture, and is being staged in SF's Japan Town district on August 3rd and 4th. Passes will be available at the door.
The swell of enthusiasm and support following Gaymer X's announcement (formerly known as Gaymercon) was a pleasant surprise for organizers as well. Co-founder Kayce Brown expressed their excitement, saying that she "seriously had no idea what to expect. I was just hoping that we'd make our goal so when we did that within 4 days and the press started happening, we figured we were on to something. We went from thinking we'd probably be in a small venue with a small group of people to taking over Japan Town in San Francisco with a couple thousand attendees expected. We've been very fortunate to bring on amazing sponsors and our media partner, Logo TV. We've gained more support than we ever dreamed would happen inside a year."
Besides being a great place for LGBT gamers to meet one another, the convention will host a show floor and full array of panel discussions featuring video game industry representatives from companies like Bioware and Electronic Arts. Other panels will focus on topics ranging from online communities, to gaming career paths, to comic drawing.
Founder and creative director Matt Conn says he wants Gaymer X to both provide a place for LGBT gamers but also send a message to the industry at large: "I hope that we can provide a safe space for gay, lesbian, trans, and queer gamers of all kinds to come together in a safe space to talk about their hobbies and have a dedicated community for them to grow and discuss. In the long term, I hope that companies are able to see the amount of support and how large this community is growing, and will begin to actually look at how they treat homophobia and queer issues in their games and begin to actively write dialogues involving queer characters and work towards safer online communities for mainstream online games."
As to why the time is right for Gaymer X to take place, Community Director Toni Rocca thinks the intersection of contemporary technology and social advancement is a big part, saying "We're in a time right now where human rights are progressing faster than ever before. With the quickly growing accessibility and affordability of technology putting the internet in people's hands-- often literally-- information and stories are being spread faster and farther. Because of this, it has become much harder for people to live ignorant or disinterested with the unfair treatment of marginalized individuals and communities."
Anyone interested in learning more or attending can do so at Gaymerconnect.com.