The Looking "Talking" podcast catches up with cast members Michael Lannan, JC Lee, and Gabe Liedman to talk about the "GaymerX" episode of the show that aired over the weekend on HBO. They are joined by GaymerX and MidBoss Games co-founder Matt Conn to talk about the episode's authentic portrayal of the event, the GaymerX conference, and resistance within gaming culture against change.
Yesterday during the bittersweet #1ReasonToBe panel, Gamasutra editor-at-large Leigh Alexander and entertainment and culture writer (for publications such as Boing Boing, Wired, and more) Laura Hudson announced the launch of a new site dedicated to gaming with a focus on giving a voice to women and minority voices. The site, which you can find a placeholder for at offworld.com, is called Offworld.
A brief message on this placeholder site explains what it is all about and why it is so important that it exists.
In episode 8 of HBO's "Looking," the majority of the episode takes place during the LGBQT gaming event GaymerX3, and co-organizer Matt Conn (who is also the co-founder of MidBoss Games and a developer on the LGBQT-friendly cyber punk adventure game Read Only Memories) even gets a cameo.
Speaking to Conn (who is currently at GDC promoting his game) briefly via IM, I learned some of the lengths that producers went to to make this game-focused episode of the show as authentic as possible.
LGBT-advocacy group GLAAD has announced its Media Award nominees, and while games are not traditionally part of this award, the group has given BioWare a "Special Recognition" award for its representation of LGBT characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
In its announcement the advocacy group said that Inquisition earned the recognition for its "many complex and unique LGBT characters prominently integrated throughout the game."
MidBoss Games has announced the launch of the "first completely public playable demo" for its cyberpunk themed adventure game Read Only Memories.
"Over the last 10 months we’ve had an amazing time showing off our game at events like GaymerX2, GDC, Indiecade, PAX and E3," note MidBoss Games in its announcement about the demo. "Now we finally have a chance to put a final(ish) version of the game’s Prologue & Chapter 1 in your hands."
With a little under 60 hours to go, the Kickstarter campaign for "GX3: Everyone Games" has managed to surpass its funding goal of $80,000. As of this writing, the LGBTQ gaming event has managed to raise $82,971 from 814 backers. Formerly known as "GaymerX," GX3 will take place in the San Francisco/Bay Area in November or December of 2015.
Electronic Arts has acknowledged a problem with The Sims 4 not allowing users to share their Sims through the online gallery if it contains "gay," "homosexual," "queer," or "lesbian" in the character's name or description.
The problem was first brought to light by German YouTube personality Anna Eichenauer, who runs the "Why Stuff is Great" channel dedicated to games (you can find the Why Stuff is Great video on that subject here).
Gaymer X has launched the Kickstarter for Gaymer X3, though the next event is a long ways off and will not bear the "Gaymer X" name. The name of the event has been changed to "GX3: Everyone Games," in an effort to offer a fan gathering that was more inclusive to all including those who do identify with the "gaymer" label and those who don't but want to hang out with their friends in a safe and welcoming space. While the venue has yet to be determined, co-founder of the event Matt Conn notes that it will take place in the Bay area due to popular demand.
Prolific indie game developer Anna Anthropy has released her latest game, Gay Cats Go to the Weird Weird Woods as a Freeware download for Windows PCs. Built using Gamemaker, Anthropy's latest game stars her and her partners' cats, who go on a magical adventure in the woods together. The game is described as "a low-pressure, enjoyable, exploratory experience" that will take players about 15 minutes to finish.
NIS America and GaymerX have amicably settled their differences, after a tumultuous day of bad press that reflected poorly on all parties involved. Sadly most of the bad press stemmed from a simple miscommunication between GaymerX co-founder Matt Conn and two principles from NIS America's PR & Marketing department. The dispute, over a $3,000 sponsorship deal at the recent GaymerX 2 LGBTQ event in San Francisco, has been resolved and the parties involved have apologized to each other for the miscommunication.
Stockholm, Sweden's week-long Stockholm Pride Festival kicks off today, and to celebrate Swedish retailer Webhallen is auctioning off a custom rainbow flag colored PS4 which it is calling the "Sony GayStation." Proceeds raised from this auction will go to the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights.
The first gay companion character in the Dragon Age series was revealed on the official Dragon Age: Inquisition web site by BioWare.
Marriage has always been an important part of the Harvest Moon series, but has remained "traditional" since the game's launch so many "moons ago." Speaking to Joystiq Natsume's Graham Markay, Vice President of Operations; and Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO of Natsume indicated that Nastume is looking into the issue very closely and are listening to what fans of the popular and long-running farming sim-RPG want.
Three major game publishers are showing their support for the LGBTQ gaming community by taking part in this year's GaymerX convection, taking place July 11 - 13 in San Francisco. Ubisoft, NIS America, and console maker OUYA will take part in the second annual event that celebrates LGBTQ geek and gaming culture. All three companies will be present at this year's event and will take part in panels, workshops, events, and goodies for attendees.
In the latest edition of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that aired last night, the comedian and former correspondent to the Daily Show (who also served as fill-in host earlier this year for John Stewart while he filmed a movie) made fun of the situation surrounding Nintendo's stance on same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life.
During the show, Oliver pondered what the Nintendo universe would be like if various Nintendo characters were allowed to have same-sex marriages. You can check it out to your left.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the latest GamePolitics Poll results (should Kickstarter adopt an equity-based investment model?), the web-hosting service that dared to throttle the FCC, the national Reason-Rupe poll about gaming, and the Tomodachi Life controversy. Download Episode 98 now: SuperPAC Episode 98 (1 hour, 8 minutes) 78 MB.
The founder of indie developer Vagabond Dog wants games to be honored for LGBT content and has taken the bold step of asking LGBT media advocacy organization GLAAD to start recognizing video games in its annual Media Awards. Justin Amirkhani made his case for games shortly after the organization criticized Nintendo for not including same-sex relationships in its Mii simulation game Tomodachi Life.
Nintendo has issued a new statement on the controversial decision not to include same sex relationships in its Mii-based life simulator, Tomodachi Life.
The company apologized for disappointing many of its fans, and attempted to explain why same sex relationships were not possible in the European and North American versions of the game releasing June 6.
The short answer: it was not possible for Nintendo to change the design of the game or to provide a post-release patch, calling such an endeavor a "significant development change."
GLAAD (an advocacy group for people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] community) issued a statement yesterday lambasting Nintendo for not including a same-sex relationship option in its 3DS game, Tomodachi Life. Nintendo's Mii-based "life simulator" for 3DS releases on June 6 in the United States.
Nintendo will not add same-sex relationships to Tomodachi Life's western releases, despite vocal and strong support amongst fans in the United States and Europe. Tomodachi Life is a 3DS game that lets players take control of their Mii avatars as they go through everyday events, like moving into a new apartment, meeting new friends, doing chores, and more.
Organizers of GaymerX say that this year's event in San Francisco, GaymerX2 will very like be the last event they organize. Speaking to Polygon, GaymerConnect's Matt Conn told Polygon that the cost of securing the venue and other things related to the event were just too high and the successfully funded Kickstarter campaign did not generate enough money.
GaymerX has issued a "call for submissions" for those interested in speaking at the second annual GaymerX convention in San Francisco this summer. Speaker submissions will be accepted via the event's website through the end of April. The GaymerX2 event will be held once again at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown San Francisco from July 11 - 13, 2014.
In case you didn't know, GaymerX2 is an event that provides a friendly atmosphere to the LGBT-gaming and geek community. Friends of the community who don't happen to be LGBT are also welcomed.
While Handsome Woman Productions would not "name names," it is hinting that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has forced the indie development studio to change the name of its "gay-themed" fighting game, "Ultimate Gay Fighter." The studio said that it would change the name of the game featuring LGBT characters due to what it called "legal pressure from an unnamed mixed martial arts promotional company."
Organizers of GaymerX2 have released a new video featuring Ellen McLain (the voice of GLaDOS in Portal) and John Patrick Lowrie (the man who brings The Sniper to life in Team Fortress 2) urging the gaming community to attend the second annual LGBTQ friendly gaming convention taking place July 11 - 13 at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco - and to contribute to the ongoing Kickstarter to fund the event. You can check out the video to your left.
The second annual Different Games Conference will take place Friday, April 11th - Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at NYU’s newly opened MAGNET (Media and Games Network) Center in downtown Brooklyn, organizers announced today. Organizers of the event describe it as "NYC’s first conference dedicated to addressing issues of diversity and inclusivity in games through the lenses of design and criticism." The event is a volunteer-run collaboration between New York University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Far Cry 3 writer Lucian Soulban said in an interview posted on the official Ubisoft blog that the introduction of gay protagonists in AAA video game is not going to happen "for a while." He goes on to say that the current sales and marketing system is the primary barrier to entry for the creation of gay protagonists in large-scale games.
Putting aside the fact that the Arizona law that would allow businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians is likely unconstitutional, critics are saying that it will also hurt the state's ability to engage in commerce across state lines, damage local businesses who do not want to refuse service to anyone and will be lumped in with those who do, and may cause companies who want to bring jobs to the state to find somewhere else to go (either they are publicly opposed to the bill or do not want to be associated with the state or its controversial legislation).
Organizers of last year's first gay gaming and geek culture convention have launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding for this year's event, GaymerX2. This year's event is scheduled to take place at the San Francisco InterContinental hotel from July 11 - 13 in San Francisco. According to organizers, they need to raise $10,000 to put a deposit down on the venue.