5 mins read

Following my usual daily process, I clicked along to N4G this morning to check out the big news over the last day or so.

And I saw this as one of the top stories – an article from a gaming blog claiming a gay gamer convention should not exist. I’m rather angry. AirborneGamer represents everything that is wrong with games journalism. While it was always going to be a problem that anyone with time to spare is able to become a “games journalist” now, it annoys me that people are able to spread unsubstantiated hate-opinions and are not only not held accountable for their actions but actually get to be influential thanks to social aggregate sites like N4G. People like this writer from AirborneGamer ruin games journalism for those of us who understand the concept of ethics.

The piece itself is written terribly so I would hope anyone with a shard of intelligence would not have paid attention from the outset (though judging from the comments this is unfortunately not always the case), but let’s break down the crux of his argument here for the sake of it.

Essentially, this author is claiming that there is no need for a gay gamer convention, because gaming is “for everyone,” and apparently if a gaming convention out there is not for “everyone,” then it’s unnecessary.

In other words, the author is quite happy to demand that gay gamers only like to play games the way he likes to play games. And how dare they want to gather together to enjoy their taste in games and gaming culture! To this author it’s inconceivable that a human being might want to gather with like-minded people to celebrate a common interest.

Never mind that the world is filled with examples of businesses, conventions and social groups designed around special interests. There are women’s health clubs, there are magazines that are designed for teenagers, there is Halal fast food. Men might not be able to go to a women’s health club, but there’s always a gym down the road. There’s MacDonalds for people who don’t care to eat Halal.

And then there’s a freaking E3 convention for the people who couldn’t possibly handle spending a few hours around gay people. I hear that’s pretty big.

And never mind that gay gamers are so marginalised in gaming culture. When “fag” is the most common word heard (in a negative context) when you’re playing Call of Duty, you’re looking at an culture that, despite what this moron thinks, is in desperate need of an event where gay people can engage with their hobby without being assaulted by hate-speech.

To make matters worse? This guy is an American. As in one of those people who love to stand up and demand that freedom of speech be held sacred. Apparently those freedoms shouldn’t exist for the gay folks out there. It boggles the mind that anyone at all would rail against a convention that they don’t have to attend, simply because it’s not of interest to them.

If it was just the rant of a fool on his personal blog, read by ten people, then I wouldn’t be so angry by this. There are a lot of stupid people in this world, and nothing can help them. But thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this person, who quite clearly hasn’t completed a basic media ethics class, let alone a journalism degree, is able to have a real voice.

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

  • I was actually surprised to see that it got approved on N4G and I'm glad you called them out on it as I was almost planning to do to the same. This isn't the first time they've written complete shit articles and post it to N4G. They are a site that post ONLY for traffic and revenue and it's sites like their that gives sites like yours and mine a bad name, when we aren't the ones writing ridiculous articles and sharing them on the net. If it was a personal blog like you said, oh well, but it's not and an article like that undermines all of our credibility unfortunately.

    Again, props for having the balls to call them out.

  • Hi Nick,

    Thanks for dropping by and the comment. 🙂

    I have no patience or tolerance whatsoever to people using the media to spread hate. It's not moral, it's not ethical and as you said, it gives good journalists a bad name.

    I'll always be there to fight that fight 😉

  • Did you try contacting him first? I read his piece, and as is typical internet "journalism" (joke of the day), it was written for hits as are most things that are over on the site that I do not speak of.

    Would this piece be more "professional" perhaps, if you contacted him first, then wrote this. Maybe you did, and I missed it? I'm all for clearing up space, and seeing if someone can be reasoned with, before going off on them. If they refuse to see where their thinking might not make sense, or just be outright stupid, then there's not much you can do.
    If anything though, getting clarification from him, or seeing if he is open to reason would be better than simply calling him out if you are trying to make journalism better. Right now, he's probably got people on both sides of this though, and if this was about clearing up his tone, and getting him to clarify/see why he is wrong…did you go to him first?
    Perhaps, you did, and he didn't respond?
    Otherwise, it's a big "I'm right you're wrong! Let's keep writing articles for NAG's audience!"

    As for, "There are a lot of stupid people in this world, and nothing can help them." I could provide you hours and hours of video evidence of this one a daily basis from my job.

  • The reason why that article was posted was because the original idea would only create even more segregation. It really isn't needed if you consider that we are all gamers regardless of sex and/or sexuality. Everyone is welcomed to any conference, you are not asked about your sexual preference at the entrance, so why is a conference created only for homosexuals needed? It would only get more negative attention without bringing anything good or new to the table.

  • There is absolutely no historical evidence that a social gathering for gay gamers could cause any more segregation than they're already exposed to thanks to the behaviour of the children on the Call of Duty servers.

    No evidence. At all.

    Opinions are utterly worthless if they're not backed up with evidence. That's journalism 101 – quite literally that is the first thing I learned during my degree.

  • Hi Davis,

    Yes, I know 🙁

    Unfortunately this is one of those cases where I had no choice but to link to it. Without that link this piece would make no sense whatsoever.

  • I've donated to the GaymerCon Kickstarter, and I don't even live in America! I think there certainly is a need for spaces where gamers of all genders and sexualities can have fun in a comfortable, safe, accepting environment and enjoy their hobby together. Though I wish the name was more inclusive (I contacted the organizer and though he's adamant that the convention LGBT-friendly, there's no denying that the term "gaymer" generally refers to gay men), it's definitely a step in the right direction.

    Anyone who says these spaces are unnecessary is purposefully choosing to ignore a wide range of gamers who often feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in virtually all "normal" game convention settings.

  • I'm glad there are some voices of reason in the Internet ^_^.

    It amazes me how utterly selfish some people can be. I am not gay, but I can fully appreciate that gay people might just like the opportunity to gather with like-minded people to celebrate their hobby.

    The fact that people (and judging by the response this story has had on N4G, a lot of people) would even think to criticise the existence of a harmless event that they don't even need to attend is completely depressing to me.

  • I don't agree with his view, I have my own similar one but I do find it laughable that you felt the need to insult the guy/girl more times than you poked holes in their argument.

    Was that the second thing you learnt at journalism school?

  • You might try logically processing the situation instead of whining about a lack of evidence, especially considering that this is a modern day issue and not one easily cross referenced with any previous historical events.

    To someone who already has issues with alternative sexuality, they're only receiving this message, "We're too good for your conventions and need to distinguish and separate ourselves from straight gamers." Sound irrational? Sure, but the conflict arose from a lack of first hand experience and ignorance to begin with. This is the point that people are trying to make. If the LGBT community truly wants progress and equality, then they would simply embrace the conventions that are already available and celebrate the fact that so much integration has already taken place.

    If they want to go through with this convention idea, then fine. I support the freedom for them to do so without question. However, I can't rationally expect this to cause anything more than harm.

  • Sydney's gay and lesbian community is not segregated. It's a fully ingrained part of the city culture, despite struggling under the same unfair and homophobic discrimination laws that they suffer in other communities around the would.

    And yet the biggest street parade here each year is the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. In fact, that's become such an event that a huge number of straight people join in (and let's not forget the organisers of this event are not excluding straight people at all).

    So there goes your theory. This is why you need evidence to back up your opinions. "Because I think so," just doesn't work.

  • It's nice to see you responded to his article in a professional manner, instead of resorting to ad-hominems. But seriously, can you not see why someone might think this is unnecessary? (And he didn't say anywhere "You're not allowed to do this!" he said it is not necessary) What content could you host? If the only plight gay gamers have in the gaming world is 12 year olds spouting "ur a fag", is a convention really -that- important? And why is it focused on sexual preference (something that doesn't actually have anything to do with playing video games, unlike your comment about women's gyms and halal food)? There are a lot of issues within gaming culture that could be addressed at a gamer convention specifically created for that reason, but instead we get this.

  • "In other words, the author is quite happy to demand that gay gamers only like to play games the way he likes to play games."

    I think your taking things out of context. What does sexual preference have to do with how you enjoy games? None, and that's what the article is about. he never stated that he wanted people to enjoy gaming "his way" he clearly stated that if you enjoy games you should be able to celebrate with others.

    This con draws lines that don't need to be drawn. By all means have one, but it is unnecessary. I find it funny that people complain about not being included and then go and make a con that essentially excludes others.

  • The Mardi Gras is celebrating gay and lesbian culture though. Its sort of like the Chinese New Year. Having a convention for gay gamers is akin to having a convention for Irish gamers.

  • Erm I don't recall the other Sydney Mardi Gras that was happening before they started the gay and lesbian one?

    Your proof makes no sense at all so bang goes that theory?

  • I made no comment on Sydney's community being segregated or not, so I haven't a clue what point you're trying to make there. If the gay gaming convention is available and open to all, that's fantastic but changes very little. They are still, even if only unintentionally, broadcasting the notion to the community that they are distinguishing themselves from the straight members of the industry and gaming audience. To debate if this is a rational response or not is futile – it is what it is. It's then up to the people making such decisions to take that into account and more carefully represent themselves if they truly want to be accepted equally. This isn't "because I think so", this is how people really are. I stand by the fact that this convention only stifles the progress they're seeking. If they feel misrepresented at conventions or in the community at large, then it's up to them to take a more active role in already existing conventions and positions within the industry. Make more legitimate representations of gay characters in games, have more gay developers taking a presence in the industry, and so on…

    This is simply not the way to handle things.

  • Here's a question for you: why do you care how a group of people want to participate in gaming culture? Does the existence of women's health clubs upset you because a woman would rather not exercise in the presence of men? Are you upset because a Muslim wants to eat halal food?

    It's none of your (or mine) business, and the suggestion that it's "unnecessary" for a person to experience gaming the way they want to enjoy gaming is deeply offensive.

  • Are you honestly implying I'm upset by women's gyms and halal food? They exist for a reason, women's gyms so that they can work out, shower, do yoga or whatever without worrying about being oogled at by men, and halal food exists for religious/health reasons. Both have a reason to exist and an issue they address. What is the issue gaymercon is addressing? The creator is perfectly entitled to create it, but to get offended when someone calls it unnecessary is just silly.

  • Gaymercon exists so gay gamers can enjoy their hobby amongst people they feel comfortable with. How hard is that to understand?

    If there's a group of gay gamers that have decided to put on a convention because they find it necessary than it's not for you, me, or anyone else to tell them that they're doing something wrong or even harmful to the gaming community.

  • Don't like a gay gaming convention? Don't go to it. Holy shit, that was easy!

    It blows my mind how heterosexual white males seem to always feel they can talk for other groups, especially minorities, and then try to dictate what kind of gatherings they're allowed to have.

  • So you're saying that gay gamers can't feel comfortable around everyone else at a normal convention? See, you don't have to answer that question because it's intentionally ludicrous. There's a point in that if you take the time to think about it.

    And the issue isn't (and shouldn't be) whether it's right or wrong for people to take issue with this convention. People are simply acknowledging the very real fact that many will and that there are much more constructive ways of approaching the problem than to have a gay gaming convention. I think this is what you, and many others, are misunderstanding here.

  • There really isn't any reason for this convention. There really isn't a good reason for it not to happen either, I just don't think it's necessary.

    E3 is meant for gamers of any and all types. So are the other gamer conventions. There would be a massive backlash if someone where to try and host a "straights" only gaming convention (as well there should be, people shouldn't be excluded for anything like that), so why do some people feel that the opposite is required?

    In regards to people shouting fag online in call of duty? Has anybody seen that episode of South Park (and I can't believe I'm referencing that show, but this one episode fits so well) where a bunch of people riding motorcycles get called "fags"? The aren't refrencing there sexuality, they're calling them obnoxious jackasses. Different people have different meanings for words. Fag referring to some obnoxious moron is a pretty common definition to a large number of people (half the kiddies firing the word off at an chance have no idea that it also has a meaning of some who is gay).

    Ultimately, there will always be ignorant morons who can't get past things like sexuality/race/gender, but from what I've seen, they tend to be the vocal minority. The shout the loudest and make it seem like they're bigger then they are, just like there are people on the other side of the fence that seem to hate anyone that's straight/white/male. A convention like this is just going to rile up those people, while the quite majority (on both sides) will just continue on as they normally would because they know what's right.

    But, like I initially said, there's no problem with a convention like this, I just don't think it's something that's needed as the author of the article stated. Personally, I'd go if it was located within a decent travel distance to me.

  • Wow, Matt S, that was somewhat of a homophobic response. You just said that gaymers prefer being around gaymers by default when that is not the case. Gaymers don't mind being around non-gaymers as long as there is acceptance and tolerance. Do you see rampant intolerance at regular gaming conventions? If there isn't, then why would a gaymer specifically want to be around other gaymer to talk about a hobby (gaming) which can just as easily be talked about at a regular convention?

    It IS an unnecessary segregation. It's like having a Gay Blizzcon. Sexuality should have nothing to do with playing games. There isn't much discrimination against LGBT in gaming aside from the little kids you find on XBL. In fact, racial minorities are even more greatly discriminated against but you don't see gaming cons dedicated to a particular race. When you shoot the nth Arab in your next shooter or kill your next Russian, do you feel guilty? Why are there no Arab gaming conferences where Arabs are a minority? Why are there no Russian gaming conferences where Russians are a minority? That is because it creates unnecessary segregation when we are all united by a single cause: gaming.

    If there was even a hint of anti-LGBTQ at any of the gaming conferences, then you'd have a point in that gaymers would prefer to be in a safe place where they aren't discriminated against but I don't see gaymers being discriminated at any of the existing conventions.

    Being "gay" or "lesbian" or "transgender" does not make it that you suddenly share all the same interests as a gay, lesbian, or transgender as you've just implied. A gay person can be identical to a straight person but would only differ in who he or she is sexually attracted to. A masculine, macho guy can be gay, while a feminine, girly girl can be a lesbian. A masculine, macho gay guy would have more in common with a masculine straight guy than he would have with a flamboyant effeminate gay guy or even a flamboyant effeminate straight guy.

  • So, in your opinion, the sole reason this exists is because gay gamers feel uncomfortable around people when the don't know their sexual orientation? Gaming conventions don't check your sexuality, they don't have anything anti-gay. The gaming community is one of the most inclusive out there. Despite people calling each other fags not many people actively dislike gay people.

    Your suggestion that gay gamers feel uncomfortable unless they know they are within a largely gay convention is much more insulting than someone calling it pointless.
    Nobody is saying it shouldn't happen. Nobody is saying that it's harmful to the community. Nobody is hating on the gay community. People are saying "Whats the point?" and here you are jumping up and down saying "Stop getting so offended" while simultaneously insulting the gay community.

  • Nothing, but I doubt any Irish would get offended when someone calls the idea unnecessary, since being Irish doesn't have anything to do with being a gamer.

  • There is an Arab gaming conference:

    There's also a Brazilian, Australian and probably Irish one. There's a South African one. There are all open to people who aren't locals, but then the gaymer conference will also be open to straight people.

    I cannot believe that people have used this article to continue a ridiculous and juvenile debate that should never have existed in the first place. It stops now or I'll simply be locking it down.

  • censoring free speech.. nice ultimatum :P..

    Also the South Africa gaming expo is just a normal gaming expo, held in SA.. that's got sweet bugger all to do with a gaymercon..

    I'm blown away by how you are seemingly linking random events to try and prove something else. It's weird.

  • Did you misread the part where it says "Dubai World Game Expo" and not "arabian gamers con"? Its not a convention about Arabian gamers as much as E3 isn't about American gamers.

  • This is not free speech. This is a Website where I set the rules, and as this topic has now irritated me enough, it is over.

    Thank you for all your time, and if you'd like to continue your debate, go find one of the hundreds of other stories on this topic out there.

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