As you may be aware, events have transpired in the last 48 hours that directly and indirectly affect GaymerCon and our community that we would like to address.
Here are the facts, as we are aware: Over the weekend the Reddit sub-group r/Gaymers received a cease-and-desist letter from Chris Vizzini of Gaymer.org over the trademark of the term “gaymer.” We received no such letter, and there was a brief question whether we were involved in any way with the cease-and-desist because of an article and tweet by Gaymer.org in favor of us. We assure you we were not involved, a fact later confirmed by Mr. Vizzini, who has also removed his article about us.
We personally have never had an interaction with the site. Our only engagement was back in early 2012 when we had registered GaymerCon with the state. We saw that Gaymer.org had registered the trademark for use but we took note of the phrasing of Mr. Vizzini’s quote about this issue from 2007:
“…My intention with registering the TM was to protect my self from misdirected traffic. .com, .org, .bunghole, whatever. And to protect yourself from that, you’d have to register each domain seperately. And at 1200 bux a pop, that was not feasable, so I had to register gaymer the word.
Im not trying to swipe anything from anyone. Just protect something I’ve put countless hours and thousands of dollars into developing. So I appreciate your uninformed petition against the trademark. What is wrong with people?
If someone wants to make panty hose and call it Gaymer, i dont give a shit. I just dont want ppl swiping what I have an interest in, and thats this site and all the members.”
Based on this statement, and specific instances of the term “gaymer,” which we can personally recall dating back far before any knowledge of Gaymer.org came to our attention, we believed that we could use the name GaymerCon to accuratly reflect the community that we were trying to build.
While we understand Mr. Vizzini’s desire to protect his trademark and not lose it to generic usage, we feel strongly that “gaymer” is a generic term. Even if it had not been used before 2001 (it had), we feel that it’s so commonly used by the gay geek community, (including not just Reddit and Gaymer.org, but also GayGamer.net, Facebook Groups, and even reality shows) that it is unfair to have that term coined and locked down to ONE community.
LGBTQ or ally, we are all trying to bring the cause that r/Gaymers has helped champion to the larger public and show the gay geeks of the world that there IS a safe space for them and that there IS a community for them. We respect, love, and cherish the r/Gaymers community, as well as all the gaymer and gay geek communities across the world.
We understand the legal challenges potentially at issue, but we feel that “gaymer” is a widely used, generic term and that what affects our brothers, sisters, and allies at Reddit affects us as well. We are in full support of our communities, and wish to lend our support however we can.
Moving forward, if r/Gaymers is forced to change its name, such a result could set in motion a mass rippling effect with various legal implications affecting all commnuities of gaymers everywhere. Although Mr. Vizzini’s trademark does not cover public conventions like ours, we understand the issues r/Gaymers and Toronto Gaymers are now facing, and support the need to keep the term gaymers synonymous with gay geeks and available for use by all.
We’re confident that this matter can be resolved in a way that benefits the entire community. The original intention of this trademark was to protect the community, and its imperative that we all reach a common ground and not splinter ourselves with infighting.
We love gaymers.
We are gaymers.
We support and stand by our fellow communities.
Thank you for reading this and your continued support of GaymerCon and our cause.
– The GaymerCon Team
Last night, at 8:53 PM PST, the GaymerCon Kickstarter Boss Battle came to an end. After 30 days of non stop fighting – including a dangerous mini boss who cast curse on us – we managed to rally the forces and slay the Kickstarter Boss. We gained a ton of XP (and by XP we mean new friends...1,531 of them!), but we also found a ton of Gil! In fact, 91,389 pieces! :O
We are thrilled, honored, amazed, and humbled by the response. We got covered by Forbes, Huffington Post, BBC, Game Politics, and IGN, and got support from amazing groups like Penny Arcade, Mega64, Xbox LIVE, the voices of GLaDOS and the Sniper, and Zach Weiner.
We crushed nearly all of our stretch goals, unlocking a GaymerConcert, Gaymer Brunch (for $100+ pledgers), and the Gaymer Celebrity Boss of Honor! In the coming month, as we book our venue, we are closing deals with some bands and one -really- big celebrity that, once that happens, we are very excited to announce.
The one goal that we didn’t hit was $100K for GaymerConnect – but we still are going to go for it! Honestly, that number was a bit of an arbitrary goal – we wanted to do something like GaymerConnect anyways, but the extra funds that we raised can go into getting design, front-end, and back-end developer help. If you’re an engineer or developer and would like to help out, please drop Andrew (our Tech Director) an email at [email protected]. We’re excited to make this a reality – but please keep in mind that making what we want to do is a lot of work and time, so it may be a short while before it’s up to full speed, but we’ll keep you in the loop on our progress!
Wow. We have over 1,200 attendees for GaymerCon and its 11 months out. The next things that you’ll hear from us in the next month or so are:
– What Venue we have locked down
– What hotels we are working with
– Launching GaymerCon 2.0 with Panel Picker, Forums and more!
– When we’re going to open up badges again for sale (depending on the size of the venue)
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to make GaymerCon not just a reality, but something truly special. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, cosplay ideas, panel suggestions, and seeing your purty faces in SF next year. Stay tuned to this blog, gaymercon.org, and our FB and Twitter for more updates!
You are amazing. We’re showing the world that #everyonegames. GAYMERS UNITE!!!!!!!!
We got a really cool artist to draw up a poster for a hangin’ in your game/gay area of town – take these, print them out and hang them up in your area of town! If you do (and take photos) we will give you a prize! :O Or just hang it in your room. <3
Should we make these into posters?
Love <3 <3
With just 6 days left to go, we’ve gotten a bunch of common questions, and wanted to make sure that you saw the answers to them.
I would like an extra badge(s), extra bitroms, or would like to upgrade the badge that comes with the artist alley spot.
Cool beans! You can totally do that – to add extra badges, we ask that you add either +25 to your order for regular badges, or +90 for a boss badge. We’ll be asking anyone who donates over their amount what they would like to use their extra funds for. For extra bitroms, just add +45 per extra bitrom you’d like. We’re flexible on the limited edition bitroms, but you can’t get extra gold ones like this (duh).
I live out of the country – will you ship to me?
Yes! In the interest in keeping it simple, we only ask that you add +$5 to your order for shipping. If you order a bitrom and live in say, russia, and don’t add $5, we’ll ask you to please paypal us or something after the Kickstarter is over. Within the US, shipping is free.
How will the whole..badge system work?
After the kickstarter is over, sometime in the near future we will send you a code that you can go onto our site and enter to redeem for the package you ordered. Bitroms will be sent to you, and for VIPs who ordered who can’t make it, we can send you your shirt – however, badges, VIP swag bags, and any other goodies need to be picked up at the con.
Why is it called GaymerCon?
The name is a play on the word Gamer, and we feel that Gaymer is an all inclusive word, that includes lesbian, trans, straight allies, and all of our friends. While a title like LGBTQ & Friends Gaming Con would probably be more apt, we’re also aware of that whole “branding” thing that those business folks talk about o_O
Why is it 18+?
This is due to the liability of having minors at the event – we realize that queer youth are one of the groups that would be the most moved and effected by the con and its goals, and we hope that we can open it up as we move forward (and we are actively looking at solutions), but due to this being year one, and all the potential liabilities involved, we are, at least for now 18+.
Why don’t you have a venue? Who’s speaking? What is going to happen there?
These are all things that we’re working on booking right now – due to the extremely high demand (and funds raised!) we’ve had to look at larger venues and bigger potential bands and celebrities. These things take some time, but we’re going to keep you in the loop as much as possible. We have some really cool people we’re in the near close-to-end stages with, and hope we can book them before the end of the Kickstarter. We just brought on a Volunteer Director, Art Director and Programming Coordinator, so we’re really focused on building our team up in the past few weeks to make sure we have the people on hand to make sure we can handle the now thousands, not hundreds of awesome Gaymers coming to GaymerCon next year 😀
What about the haters?
What about them? If you’ve backed GaymerCon, you’ve voted with your dollars and this has been way more of a success than even are wildest dreams – we knew that there would be those who would be against the idea of the con, from varying degrees of legit concerns. For those who do have actual concerns, we aim to be as transparent and open as possible to answer questions. Have thoughts, concerns, ideas? Hit us up on FB (/gaymercon), @gaymercon, or on our site at gaymercon.org
What is this 100K goal? GaymerConnect? What?
So we really really REALLY would love to make a program/app that helps Gaymers connect to one another. Find gay guilds, find other queer players to play with, etc. We have a few engineers helping us out, but to make it really shine, we’d like to bring on some design, front-end, QA help to make it really cool. Even if we don’t hit 100K, we’re still going to try to make it happen! Want to help out? Let us know!
Is this REALLY going to happen?
Uh, yes. The date, August 3 & 4th, 2013 is 100% locked in and will NOT change. We now have the funds to get a great location, have really cool music & celebrity talent, great speakers, and the ability to bring on awesome folks to make this something that could be really cool. We hope to make an experience that everyone is going to leave GaymerCon feeling like they personally got a lot out of it, while also helping to bring these dialogues to the greater gaming public. We realize that, becuase its a con and people’s experiences will vary depending on their social group, who they meet, what they do, etc, that there’s no way we’ll be able to ensure that everyone is going to have the best time of their life, but we’re going to try our very hardest to get as close to 100% completion as possible.
SHAMZWOW. What a crazy ride! Just after we posted our last update, we zoooomed past $60,000 and now have unlocked our Boss of Honor. You have helped us level up and we can’t thank you enough. Just please don’t hit B while we’re evolving!
We can’t announce who it is just yet, but the person that we’re in the final stages of confirming is someone that a lot of you have asked for. We’re very hopeful that it’ll come through. We also have some really cool bands lined up. As we get final bookings, we’ll be sure to let you know, even if it’s after the end of the Kickstarter.
In the meantime, we have just 7 days left until the end of the Kickstarter. We’re really excited to announce our Final Boss Stretch Goal that has been a dream of ours to begin working on; with the additional funding, we’ll be able to make it an amazing reality.
We want to build an app – web first, then mobile, called GaymerConnect. The idea? 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.
The best (and most relevant) part: we can coordinate GaymerConnect with GaymerCon itself, setting up an easy and instant way for you to connect online with all the awesome people you meet at the con. Plus badges, because every app has that shit these days!
We’ve begun working up some mockups of how this would look, but with this additional funding, we’d be able to hire designers and front end engineers to make this a reality.
A very awesome Gaymer hanging out with Kratos at Bent-Con (WHICH YOU SHOULD REGISTER FOR! seriously)
Even if we don’t hit $100,000, we would love to give it a try. We feel extra confident that we can do something amazing with the extra funds to help connect Gaymers outside of GaymerCon.
Let us know what you think – right now this is something our Tech Director (Andrew) has been hoping to build for a while now and we want to hear from you – is this something you’d be into? Would you like to be able to connect with other Gaymers and LGBTQ-friendly guilds?
We are so happy to have hit all of our initial stretch goals and are psyched for this final stretch. Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line through our contact form on our site if you have questions, would like to reach one of us for an interview or sponsorship info, or if you just want to say hi!
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for continued updates and fun stuff!
– Andrew, Kayce, Matt & Jack
PS: We just brought on a Volunteer Director and Programming Coordinator so we’re really excited to begin moving forward on getting panels and fun stuff booked. 😀
Hey Gaymers & Allies!
Wow – this has been quite a ride. From all the press and volunteers who have graciously donated their time, to all the support we’ve gotten from our over 1,000 (!!!) backers, this has been truly a dream come true.
We expected that it would be a hard fought fight to even get enough interest to raise $25K, and instead, the outpouring of support and love that you’ve shown us has forced us to think much bigger, and thankfully, we now have the support and capital to do that.
We’re hard at work on booking a bigger convention space that can hold now dramatically increased attendance demand, figuring out who will play at the GaymerConcert, as well as bringing on volunteer & art coordinators. Within the coming months, we plan on launching a PanelPicker and Forums on our site so that we can grow the community and make sure that we are building the Con that you all have helped make possible.
A couple notables from this past week:
– We’ve been covered by a bunch of amazing folks these past few weeks, capped off by an interview with Matt and Kayce on the BBC earlier today. Check it out!
– We’ve hit our $50,000 minigame stretch goal – and will now have a GaymerCon Organizer Brunch on Sunday, August 4th for all pledges over $100. If you’ve donated $95 or $99, we think its worth bumping it up a few bucks for the meal and a chance to hang with cool kids like SMBC’s Zach Weiner!
– If you haven’t checked out the pledge levels lately, give them a look. We added a bunch of new things, including getting your voicemail message done by the Sniper from TF2 or GLaDOS, getting video game style art portraits of you hung on the walls, and gift baskets donated by some of our amazing friends, like Penny Arcade and Mega64!
– We’re creating a YouTube.com/GaymerConPlay Account where we’ll continue to host our Google Hangouts, Let’s Play videos, and other more lighthearted, less official content from the GaymerCon crew – come subscribe for more off the cuff, fun videos created by us and the community.
– We are EXTREMELY excited to be closing in our our top stretch goal of $60,000, and have been putting out lines to huge celebrities that we’d love to see at the con for the past week or two. We haven’t gotten any confirmed bites yet, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to get someone amazing to help push the Gaymer cause to that next level and show the mainstream that LBGTQ gamers come from all walks of life.
It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks, and as history has shown, the last week of a Kickstarter is usually the craziest – but we’re ready! We’re excited to make this con a reality and help make a gaming and tech convention where you can truly come as you are.
You are all amazing. We are honored and blessed to have the opportunity to bring this to life.
Matt & Jack (and the entire GaymerCon crew)
Like donkey krang? That’s not right.
Please go give it a look see and let us know what you think! We’ll have updates as it progresses..thank you all to everyone who’s helped us get this far…it’s on!! 😀
We are a group of geeks who love to game and consider ourselves a part of the emerging gamer community, but feel like there is a lack of diversity and choice in that demographic. We know that there are many LGBTQ, women, and minority gamers out there, but they are not well represented in gaming media and culture.
This is why we are creating GaymerX and GaymerConnect.
Our goal is to provide a safe and fun place for gamers to congregate and celebrate gaming and geek culture from the prism of the LGBT, minority, and female perspectives. We respect all views and understand the viewpoints of those who are against this cause, and hope to work very hard to assuage worries and concerns that you may have, but we would love to hear from you either way!
GaymerX is important because gaming is a HUGE industry, one that is larger than movies or TV at over $11B per year spent, and yet, for example, there has never been a major release of a game that has had a gay or lesbian main protagonist, and games that have tried to provide even simple options (like Mass Effect 3) have been met with heavy protest.
We believe that there is a huge segment of LGBT, minority and female gamers who are not represented in the gaming culture well and although conventions like PAX have been extremely open minded and welcoming (and are fucking awesome), the gamer culture, overall and as a whole, is still very focused on the middle class, young white male demographic which seems to dominate all marketing and product decisions. We want to break through some of those walls, and show the true spectrum of gamers that exist. Our hope with GaymerX is not to split the LGBT, minority and female population away from the main group, but instead provide a safe space for discussion and dialog.
We also know that there are objections that some people (maybe you!) have to our Con. There is criticism that we may be excluding ourselves or, that these issues have no place in the public dialog in gaming. We feel that the fact that many of these issues have never been publicly discussed in mainstream gamer media makes GaymerX important if just for the dialogue and debate that can come with the growth of the Con. It’s also important to note that we don’t wish to impose onto the lifestyles of those who are perfectly happy with the current state of being – we are focused on supporting and educating, not forcing political statements down throats.
Thank you for your interest in helping make the world a safer, better place for all gamers. We love you and appreciate your support.
– Team GaymerConnect