Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gay in Gaming Cons

For now, I want to talk about the gaymer movement in conventions.  The most visible of these is the group that operates the Tabletop Gaymers website.  They're the ones responsible for all of the rainbow Gaymer and Ally ribbons you see at GenCon every year.  This year they're doing it again, but with a twist.  At first they planned to fund the ribbons through a GoFundMe (disclaimer: I donated), but later the makers of Cards Against Humanity agreed to spring for paying for all of them (or here, for those without group access), leaving more funds to go to other conventions and to be pledged to help end LGBT youth homelessness.  For those of you that don't know, LGBTs make up a hugely disproportionate share of America's homeless youth.


The Tabletop Gaymers have put together a bevy of awesome events this year and I want to make sure that you know about them!  There are social events for meeting up on Thursday evening and Friday lunchtime and evening.  There are several seminars including Diversity in Gaming Culture, Gaymers, Diversity in Gaming panels by GenCon and by Paizo, the ever-popular Queer as a 3-sided die (sold out), and How to Make Gaming More Inclusive.  Of course, don't forget the Saturday night party event at Talbot Street.  This thing starts at 9PM and is definitely NOT sold out.  So pick up some tickets for only $22 (includes entrance and shuttle to/from downtown).



I also want to talk about another seminar that's already happened.  At PaizoCon back in May, Paizo's staff presented a seminar about diversity in Pathfinder.  There are some really good points here and I like the candor with which Paizo's staff deals with this issue.  To whit:
1) They admit that diversity is something that everyone needs to constantly strive for;
2) They admit that there are some areas where they feel like they have made strides (GLBT, gender) but there are others where they face real challenges (primarily racial diversity);
3) They admit that they need to improve on all fronts, even the ones where they have made progress; and
4) An audience member asks about diversity and incorporating characters with physical disabilities such as blindness.  This was among the best discussions about how the company could bring discussion of this topic into the game--both as an accessibility issue for reading sourcebooks but also as presenting characters like that in their materials.  Great job!

I was going to round this post out with a reference to FlameCon, which just concluded in Brooklyn.  But, I've used up a lot of space already so check out pictures on io9.com.