Gaymercon, the first LGBT gaming convention, has just secured funding and is slated to make its Aug. 3-4 2013 debut in San Francisco. While the convention has loads of support in both the LGBT and in most gaming communities, there has also been a bit of a Gaymercon backlash, as reported by huffingtonpost.com.
This backlash, partly in reference to a heated debate on the subject that took place on IGN.com, is centered on and around the idea that there is no need for a separate gaming convention based on sexuality. Critics of Gaymercon seem to be suggesting that all gamers, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. are already accepted at most conventions, so creating a new convention with an emphasis on sexuality is unnecessary.
Gaymercon director Matt Conn says that he understands why some people don’t "get" Gaymercon, but he has a different perspective: “I think that a lot of people are very well intentioned and are like, 'Well, I treat gays as equal, so why does this need to be there? They are segregating themselves.’ It’s hard to explain if you’re on the outside,” he said. He went on to say that we “live in a world where there is still a very, very strong resentment toward the gay culture. We still need to fight for our community, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Conn says the focus he and other Gaymercon organizers have is on gaming, not gayness, and on their website, they acknowledge the diversity and humor common in the gaming community, listing lawyers, monsters, nuns, and holograms (among others) as those welcome to join them in their geeky other-ness. The website also notes that “Gaymercon is open to all,” and that they view gaming as a “shared experience that helps us escape, educates us and helps us to define who we are.”
Other conventions, like PAX, for example, have had LGBT themed events, but haven’t drawn the criticism Gaymercon has.
What do you think, Masterminds? Does Gaymercon create further separation? Is the criticism it’s receiving valid? Or is it, as The Huffington Post suggests, “a welcome addition to gay nerd culture?” We turn it over to you to discuss.