TS: Just how hostile is the mainstream gamer culture to LGBT players?"GaymerCon: A Gathering For Gay Gamers" (Turnstyle)
Noah: We’ve heard lots of stories from folks telling us about times that they have felt unwelcome or uncomfortable in gaming spaces. Mostly we are hearing about online negativity; in competitive gaming one of the most common insults is ‘fag’, which can create an extremely hostile environment for people who are already feeling alienated by their sexual identity. In real-space the discourse is usually better, but when an LGBT person comes out in gaming circles there is often a feeling of needing to prove ones-self, as if being LGBT and being a gamer are somehow opposed. Even in spaces that are more tolerant, the gaming industry is incredibly sexually charged, usually in a way that is extremely catering to straight men. The frequency of appearance of ‘booth babes’ at gaming trade shows and events is a huge indicator that there is an audience being pandered to…
TS: Has there been any gamer blowback– or are folks really getting this?
Noah: A lot of folks ‘just get it’, but there are also some who seem to believe that by creating GaymerCon our intention is to fragment the gaming community into LGBT and Straight segments. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth! GaymerCon is expressly devoted to creating safe space in the gaming world for everyone, although we have a focus on LGBT participation and issues. Participation in GaymerCon is also not going to remove our presence in the larger gaming community; we believe that these identities are additive, and that we can celebrate all of them.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.