It doesn't take much to stir the hornet's nest does it? Gamers claim to be a welcoming group of people but as the comment section of the recent "A Gay Gamer Convention is NOT Necessary (Gaymercon 2013)" article has shown there is a sizable portion of gamers who were insulted by the very idea of a gaygamer convention more than anything else because it allegedly promotes segregation and they should just go to the other "normal" conventions like ComicCon etc. At first; I was rather blase about the subject at hand because I have had no desire to go to a convention of any sort whatsoever. It's not that I hate people, but I feel a lot better when I'm not around them.
I post my comment saying that they were well within their rights to have a "Gaymercon" or whatever it was since there has been other groups of people who have used conventions to talk and express different viewpoints such as Star Trek fans, anime fans/otakus/cosplayers, furries, My Little Pony fanboys, and a whole other host of various fan-based conventions. Little did I know that people would get so worked up over the mere concept of a convention that primarily appeals to gay gamers would cause such an uproar.
When I returned from work, I trawled through the posts that were increasing at a rapid rate which had an underpinning theme. That gay gamers or "gaymers" if you will, wished to be separate from the mainstream gamer community and that they should just go to those "normal" conferences if they want to meet people with the same interests. The comments then started to escalate to the point where people were openly wondering if any sort of deviant behavior would take place at such an event, claiming it'd be a prime pick-up spot for "gaymers". I honestly don't understand why people are gossiping like elderly fishwives over gamers who happen to be homosexual, but whatever. As I scrolled down through the increasingly vitriolic responses to the very idea of a gathering of gay gamers, a saddening realization struck me on where the medium is right now.
Some people were claiming that this would cause a divide in the gaming community because gay people are trying to form an alternative community of gay gamers, but doesn't this divide already exist? The amount of homophobia that is spewed on competitive multiplayer, as well as the acrid racism certainly shows what a wonderfully inclusive community we are. Oh sure you can argue they can always mute them or block them, but then again; surely you can see the point of a group of like-minded individuals sharing a forum where they can freely express their ideas, their frustrations, their points of view across to others? Isn't that what conventions are supposed to do?
Indeed, I'd like to tackle some of the core arguments that is against this gaymer conference, as some are deliberately obtuse.
1. What's the point of this convention? We're all gamers! Stop trying to segregate!
What's the point of any convention? To foster a community and to exchange ideas and in this case; gay gamers and LGBT issues in gaming. In terms of segregation; Sci-Fi shows like Star Trek or Star Wars have their own unique conventions as well as numerous Sci-Fi conventions as well. They aren't segregating but only wish to provide an environment where fans can talk freely and exchange their ideas that is perhaps not provided by the various other conventions.
2. For people who are demanding equal rights; they sure try their best to be different.
Maybe they are just being themselves and would like an environment where they can do that without any awkward stares? Perish the thought.
3. They are so trying to go there and get hook-ups! LOLZ
Just like any other convention I suppose. I would wonder how much deviant behaviour goes on in conventions like Blizzcon or Comicon or E3 but then I realise that I don't give a damn about frivolous distractions.
4. Gay exclusive event?! Why don't we have a STRAIGHT exclusive event?
E3, GamerCon, ComicCon, and all the others can be considered "straight" if that's what you really want. You can also attend the Gaymer thing without fear of being turned away simply because you're straight but you won't. We all know why.
I could go on but I feel I've made my point aptly. As gamers, we tend to be attracted to spurious articles that do not warrant the attention it garners. One would've hoped that we have moved onto a point were people can be who they are without molestation or abuse from the ignorant or the bigoted. Be it race, sexuality, disability or whatever feature that makes you stick out from the crowd. Unfortunately, we do not live in those times yet and acceptance can only happen when people start being logical and can learn to tolerate another person's point of view without the need to belittle or marginalize a minority because we simply don't agree with them.
Put it this way. If My Little Pony can get a "BronyCon" why can't a gay gamer have a "GaymerCon"? I've also embedded a video and I wonder if there are many people on here who share similar sentiments.