Wally S is a game developer, author, artist, and cosplayer who has written such Twine games as The Leggy Blond and Your Merman Boyfriend. Wally recently made their GaymerX East speaking debut with the presentation “The Great Chasm of Nonbinary Content and How We Can Fill It“, examining not only how far LGBT representation has come in video game narratives, but how much further there is still to go for nonbinary characters, whether gender is even necessary in games, and how our existing stereotypes and tropes can be useful for creating non-traditional characters.
GaymerX, the world’s only annual video game and geek culture convention for the LGBT+ community and its allies, has arrived on the East Coast! After four successful events in California and one in Australia, the first GaymerX East was held in New York City the weekend of November 11–13.
I attended GXE, as did many other Polygamer alumni. I invited three of them to participate in a panel about their work in gaming diversity, how they stay inspired and motivated, and how they define success. Joining me in this discussion were GaymerX founder Matt Conn (episodes #01 & #32); ethnographer and voice actor Khadeja Merenkov (episodes #05 & #10; and undergraduate community organizer Francesca Carletto-Leon (#33).
Stream the audio recording of this panel below or from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Mixcloud, acast, or TuneIn, and stay after the credits for a bonus discussion about the viability of the upcoming Nintendo Switch console.
Steven H. Garcia is an artist of gay erotica, especially of the pinup variety. His models are characters from throughout geek fandom, including movies, comics, and video games. His 2016 wall calendar showcase popular icons such as Superman and Batman, Ash from Pokémon, Street Fighter’s Ken and Ryu, Spider-Man and Deadpool, Harry Potter, and more. When not creating art, Steven is the co-host of the Gayme On video game podcast.
Steven recently exhibited at GX3, the third annual GaymerX convention. In this interview, Ken and Steven chat about their experiences at that event; how Steven finds real-life models for his art; representation of gay characters in comic books; whether Steven’s art represents or violates canon; how objectification of male characters is similar to and different from how women are traditionally portrayed; and why a video edition of an audio podcast isn’t a bad idea.
GX, or GaymerX, is an annual convention focused on games — video games, tabletop games, card games, and creating a fun and safe space for gamers and gaymers of all identities to have fun and hang out with like minded folks.
Although it’s a “queer space”, with many of the panels revolve around queer issues or queer devs, GX is made for everyone and everyone is welcome!
This year’s special guests include:
- Jennifer Hale, voice of Commander Shepard and a ton of amazing lead characters including Samus Aran (Metroid) Jaden Korr (Star Wars), and Naomi Hunter (MGS)
- Natasha Allegri, creator of Bee and Puppycat and a part of the success of Adventure Time (and the creation of Fionna and Cake!)
- Dr. Rob Jagnow, co-creator of the hit games Cogs and Extrasolar
- Zach Weiner, creator of webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
- Ellen McLain, voice of GLaDOS (Portal)
- John Patrick Lowrie, voice of The Sniper (TF2)
Musical performances from:
- 2 Mello
- Super Soul Bros.
I’m honored to be moderating a panel at the GX3 conference in San Jose this December 11–13. "Unheard Voices" will feature podcasters Anna Tarkov (Unconsoleable), Tanya DePass (Fresh Out of Tokens), John James (Minus World), and Polygamer alumnus Shawn Alexander Allen (Nuchallenger) on the following topic:
"Get heard with podcasting! The past two years have seen an explosion of diverse voices taking to the airwaves to discuss race, gender, and equality in gaming. This panel will examine the motivations, equipment, and challenges to getting heard."
Formerly GaymerX, GX3 is an annual convention of games and gaming culture for marginalized voices and their allies. The event was co-founded by Matt Conn, Polygamer‘s first guest and recent guest of Less Than or Equal. This panel will mark my first time speaking on the West Coast and my first conference panel on equality and diversity since "Sex, Sexy & Sexism" at PAX East 2014.
Tickets for GX3 are still available. Come hear our panel on Saturday, December 12, at 11:01 AM PST!
Gaming In Color is a feature documentary exploring the queer side of gaming. After being Kickstarted in 2013 and enjoying a limited release in 2014, the film had its official debut on May 19, 2015. Featuring interviews with GaymerX organizers and attendees and discussing topics such as representation in video games, Gaming In Color serves as a 62-minute primer on the intersection of sexuality and gaming.
In this interview, Gaming In Color director Philip Jones discusses how they took over the project after its acquisition by MidBoss Games; the documentary’s coverage of transgender issues; the reception the film has received from industry developers and publishers such as Riot Games and Electronic Arts; and why, in a pay-what-you-want distribution model, a customer paying only $1 to stream the movie was evidence the film was reaching its target audience.