GaymerCon's Kayce Brown Dishes on GaymerCon, the First LGBT Gaming and Tech Con

By: Boo Jarchow
August 29 2012 9:00 AM

GaymerCon, the world’s first gaming and tech culture convention with a focus on LGBT Geek Culture, is nearing the end of its Kickstarter campaign to fund the event. And more than double the original goal of $25,000 has been raised so far.

In the last month GaymerCon raised over $70,000, and in doing so, have hit their stretch goals of holding a GaymerConcert and inviting in a celebrity Boss of Honor alongside awesome nerd bosses like Zach Weiner of SMBC Comics, Mike Fass (Zangief) of Street Fighter: The Later Years, and chiptune specialists EZKL & Aethernaut.

GaymerCon has since added an additional goal: if they reach $100k, the team wants to create an app-type system called GaymerConnect. The idea is that “you can easily go in and find other Gaymers to play your favorite games with. Playing Call of Duty? Here are all the Queer Clans. Looking for someone to fight against in Street Fighter 4? Here are 20 awesome geeks to play against.”

We here at SheWired are super excited for GaymerCon, which is scheduled for August 3-4,  2013 in San Francisco. The specific venue is yet to be announced (as all the support on Kickstarter and elsewhere has indicated that a bigger venue is needed than originally thought), but an update will be posted as soon as its booked. Keep up-to-date with all the GaymerCon details - like bands, celebrity Boss of Honor, venue and more - on the GaymerCon Facebook Page, Twitter, and official website.

And, most importantly, check out the GaymerCon Kickstarter campaign before 11:43 pm EDT on Friday, August 31, to donate. By the way, the incentive packages for donating include discounted 2-day and VIP badges for the Con (get your tickets now!), t-shirts and bitroms, sticker packs and more. If you're an artist interested in setting up a table, you can donate and have your own reserved space to make and/or sell stuff. 

Beginning with just a small group united in wanting to do something for the LGBT community in the gaming world, the group organizing GaymerCon continues to grow as the support for it spreads. The team behind GaymerCon is “a bunch of tech and gaming professional geeks” from around the world, but mostly based in San Francisco and Seattle. They are “a diverse team ranging from comic book artists to professional fundraisers and engineers - all LGBT folks of every creed and color.

SheWired talked with one of those professional geeks, and GaymerCon board member, Kayce Brown about some GaymerCon details, how she got into gaming, and why this event is the first of its kind.

For anyone who doesn’t know, what is GaymerCon? And just for fun, what does it mean to you?

Gaymercon is the world’s first gaming and tech culture convention with a focus on LGBT Geek Culture.

To me, it means creating a safe and super fun environment where everyone is welcome to be themselves within the gaming community. We strongly encourage not just the LGBT community to join us, but our straight allies as well.

How did the idea for GaymerCon come about?

The idea originated from Matt Conn who grew up as a gamer and saw a need for something like GaymerCon as it's never been done before.

Matt Conn and Kayce Brown

What are you and the GaymerCon team most hoping to achieve by hosting the event?

It’s really great to have the chance to make an LGBT space in the gaming community, which, surprisingly hasn’t really been done before.

Do you have an estimate for percentage of gay gamers worldwide? Even more specifically, how about lesbian gamers?

Oh jeez. I'm actually not sure of this number so not sure that I want to call that out in an interview. I think a "shitload" is probably appropriate.

When did you start gaming?

I was eight years old when I first started gaming. And, I'm dating myself here, but I rocked Atari.

What is the first game you remember playing? What about the one that got you hooked on gaming?

The first game I remember playing was Frogger when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was incredibly competitive and refused to come out of my room until I'd beaten every level.

Where do you see the future of gaming?

Gaming is actually a massive industry that drives higher revenue than the film or music industries and I don't see that slowing down. What I am excited to see is the future of the LGBT community becoming more mainstream in gaming.

Gay characters are extremely rare in gaming – far more rare than gay gamers. Even lesbian or bisexual female characters – which tend to be more widely accepted in other forms of media – are virtually non-existent. Why do you think that is?

Well, surprisingly there is a lot of homophobia within the gaming community for gay gamers, whether they be gay, lesbian, Bi or Trans.... which is precisely why there is such a need for GaymerCon.

More on next page...

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Your Kickstarter campaign ends on Friday, and you have done extremely well thus far. Did you expect such great support of GaymerCon?

We knew we had a great idea and that it would be well received, but we didn't expect so much attention and so much support at this early stage. We feel so encouraged, honored and thrilled at the amount of support we've received.

If the Kickstarter campaign gets $100K, your team hopes to build an app called GaymerConnect. I am all for this plan. If the funding goal isn’t met this year, will the app still be in the plans for the future?

Absolutely.

Can you give any details about the potential celebrity Boss of Honor? Who would your first pick be?

Ohhh, now that's a big secret. We can't give away all the goods yet. What I can tell you is there are several very big names rallying around GaymerCon.

What are you most looking forward to at the first GaymerCon?

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the people at GaymerCon enjoy the feeling of being able to be 100% themselves in a space created especially for them. I can't imagine a better feeling than knowing we've made a difference.

Are there any specific ideas for the future of GaymerCon that you can share with us?

If I told you, I'd have to kill you... ;) ALL will be revealed when our Kickstarter ends THIS FRIDAY!

Is there anything else you’d like to say that I didn’t cover?

Shewired is amazing and the GaymerCon team really appreciates the support of the lesbian community.

Check out GaymerCon's promo video from Kickstarter below:

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