GaymerX2 was supposed to be the last GaymerX convention. Despite tremendous love for the first and second years, it was just too much of a financial burden for organizers. And yet, thanks to an unfortunate slip up with NIS America, GaymerX staff got to see that their convention had actually made an impact on people. Suddenly, people and companies pledged thousands of dollars to help fund a third convention. Yes, at the time a third convention was off the table, but such kind gestures did not go unnoticed. As fantastic as GaymerX2 was, there are still a few changes I would really love to see if – and when – GaymerX3 becomes a real thing.
Change the name
My biggest pet peeve with the convention has nothing to do with the actual event itself. This year’s panel offerings were incredibly diverse. Attendance itself was also filled with wonderful people from all across the massive LGBT spectrum, allies, and practically anything else out there. And yet, the title of GaymerX does not reflect this beautiful reality. Instead, it presents a gaming-focused convention with heavy emphasis on “gay.”
Yes, it is a convention where LGBT players are welcome, but “gay” is not a catch-all term to the entire sexual and gender identity rainbow for all of us. Although I adore parts of gay culture, it is not something I personally label myself as. Many others feel this way as complaints about the name have been around since before the convention even occurred. The best suggestion for a new name I’ve heard so far is something along the lines of “Everyone Games” which is the convention’s current tagline.
Move it out of San Francisco
There’s no doubt that San Francisco is an incredible, unique city. Although I personally love the place, it is outrageously expensive. It’s likely that a big part of the reason that the convention is so expensive has to do with renting a hotel in the city. If the team can bear to move it elsewhere, this would likely lower their costs somewhat. Heck, there are still many great locations around San Francisco that are still cheaper than it. It’d also help because simply getting a hotel and surviving in the city for a few days is a real monetary drain on guests as well!
On a more personal note, I don’t feel that San Francisco itself requires a LGBT convention. As I don’t live there I cannot purport to say what the pulse of the landscape is really like, but it’s certainly purported to outsiders as a mecca for LGBT people. But there are folks in and around the LGBT spectrum everywhere – and where they live may not be nearly as accommodating on average. Unfortunately, GaymerX cannot be everywhere for everyone, but it makes sense to me that it should try to be available to those who may be the most starved for a sense of community.
Expanded scope of indie games
The selection of indie games on display at GaymerX2 was fantastic! I was personally very pleased to see the likes of Extrasolar, Hate Plus, HUGPUNX, Perfect Woman, Triad and many others on display. But, and this is just from my own indie-loving perspective, I had already heard of (or played) nearly all of them. All of these great creators rightly deserve their place as queer developers and I would love to see that space expanded even further. Of course, there would need to be an increase in “show floor” space, as the indie areas were pretty jam packed at current levels.
How about including up and coming developers or those who really have no name recognition as of yet? Their being showcased at GaymerX could be the start! I know that many other attendees had never heard of many of the displayed games before and viewed them all with excitement and acceptance. Many even brought their friends over to experience the games because they enjoyed them that much. I can’t think of a better place to nurture new (or overlooked) talent.
There are likely other changes that could be made with the GaymerX formula, but these are the biggest sticklers to me. Although GaymerX2 was my first experience with the event, I immediately fell in love with it and am incredibly excited at the prospect of a third. Having gone to industry and fan game conventions before I can safely say there has never been another like it. Everyone, not just LGBT players, benefits from GaymerX’s current existence. Hopefully we will see it return in even better form than before!
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]