E3. The proverbial Mecca of the gaming industry, as a friend of mine put it several years ago. I simultaneously look forward to and dread this event. On the one hand, it was one of my first events when I started working in the gaming industry. On the other hand, it still seems less like an industry showcase and more like a circus spectacle that simultaneously brings out the best and worst in my gaming compatriots. It kind of reminds me of San Diego Comic Con, only slightly smaller and all about video games and not at all about shopping. (more…)
I’m proud to have backed both GaymerX (formerly GaymerCon) and Gaming in Color. And I’m thrilled that both projects were funded (GaymerX spectacularly so). Both of these events are quite relevant to my interests, being a gay, genderqueer female who has been working in the game industry for almost ten years.
GaymerX has gotten a lot of flack, mostly of accusing gay gamers of wanting to segregate and isolate themselves instead of trying to integrate into the gaming community as a whole. I think people miss the point. Consider the rampant use of homophobic slurs (notorious on Xbox Live). Gay characters are still punchlines as often as they are respectable (though this IS changing, thanks to games like Mass Effect, DragonAge, and the non-judgmental freedom of Skyrim). Gay gamers are still a minority, and the desire to seek out others like us and allies who support us in a safe space of our own creation is a natural desire. GaymerX is not inherently exclusionary; it is, as the tagline “everybody games” implies, inclusive of all. I wholly support GaymerX’s goal of creating a safe space for gay gamers and their allies to gather and share in their common interests. Jim Sterling has a lovely post on Destructoid that goes into thorough and eloquent detail on the issue. At any rate, I will be attending GaymerX as an artist, and have an artist table where I’ll have prints, chainmail, and possibly some leatherwork available. You can check out my GaymerConnect profile here.
Gaming in Color definitely has my interest. I absolutely count my blessings in terms of being comfortably out in a very supportive office environment, but it hasn’t been without its trials at times (what do you do when a game your company publishes has some problematic content?). I’m curious to know what things are like for my compatriots elsewhere in the industry, and how they handle the challenges they encounter. I’ll be sending in a write up to the Gaming in Color folks (you can, too!).
All told, I’m pretty lucky in terms of my place in the industry. Sure, there are some things I want to improve (and work at it within my means), but where I’m at isn’t as bad as it could be. Hopefully events like GaymerX and Gaming in Color help to carry things forward.