Many of you probably haven’t heard of Gaymer X, a gaming convention that is specifically made to be a safe space for LGBT members of the gaming community. Well, it’s the convention’s second year running, and it’s growing rather quickly. In fact, its first year was larger than most first year conventions ever get. Sure, it doesn’t hold a candle to PAX, but at 2,300 attendees in year one, it had more people show up than Otakon did in its first year, or even San Diego Comic Con!
The gay friendly gaming space is now going on to its second year of funding and has opened up a Kickstarter page in an attempt to get off the ground again. It asked for a mere $10,000 to open its doors, and it easily reached this goal in less than 24 hours. The Kickstarter campaign, rallied under the hashtag #EveryoneGames, has now reached almost $15,000 at time of writing and still has 28 days to go. So, this convention is definitely happening. If you want a pass, head on over to the Kickstarter page, and pitch them a couple bucks. It will be held July 11th, 12th, and 13th at the InterContinental in San Francisco. Oh yeah, you can also donate with Dogecoins… if you are into that sort of thing.
But I’m not here to pimp this convention. I’m here to ask a question that seems to be asked repeatedly in comment sections around the internet. Is Gaymer X2 needed? That’s a rather complicated question actually. So let’s decompress it a little by trying to figure out what people mean by “needed.”
The question could mean “Is Gaymer X2 necessary?” To that I answer, no. The gaming world, and the world at large, will continue on without Gaymer X2. However, I’d also like to say that many other gaming events are also unnecessary. The gaming world operated just fine without PAX for years, for example. Heck, even E3 isn’t strictly necessary. People were developing games before E3 happened and, in these days, virtual press conferences are just as good as the real thing. Besides, most gamers get their news secondhand out of E3 livestreams anyway. So yes, Gaymer X2 isn’t necessary, but neither are most gaming related events.
The question could mean “do enough people care to make Gaymer X2 worth it?” That question is actually one of the easier questions to answer, as we have raw mathematical data to support it. 2,300 people is certainly a lot of people. It’s certainly on par with many high profile gaming events like the EVO fighting game championship series. Also, heck, it reached its Kickstarter goal, so people have answered yes to this question just by voting with their money.
The question could mean “does Gaymer X2 add anything to the gaming community?” PAX and E3, while not necessary, certainly do give people a place to hang out and have fun and share their love of gaming. Gaymer X2 does the same. Some people have come out saying that Gaymer X2 is being exclusionary, opening its doors only to members of the LGBT community. However, this also isn’t true. Straight allies are more than welcome to come. Saying that the convention is exclusionary is kind of like saying EVO is exclusionary to fighting gamers, or that the League of Legends finals is exclusionary to League of Legends players. They aren’t, but you’d probably have more fun if you were the target demographic.
As far as sheer entertainment value, guests for the convention include David Gaider, the leader writer of the Dragon Age series, Zach Weiner of SMBC Comics, and even WWE Superstar Darren Young. So there is certainly enough entertainment being added to the community by this convention’s existence.
There’s only one other interpretation of the question that I could imagine. “Will Gaymer X2 be missed if it disappeared?” Honestly, I don’t know. I consider myself an ally to the LGBTQ community, and I’m certain that having a safe space to share their love of gaming is important. Whether or not it will be missed though? I don’t know. That’s something only the LGBTQ community can answer, and likely only after the convention shuts down. Personally, however, I hope that doesn’t happen.
Senior Contributing Writer