You can’t really pick a bad GX3 event — all of them feature smart, dedicated folks and friendly people. But seeing as we can’t be in four places at once, you gotta pick and choose your events wisely, lest you miss out on some cutting-edge discussions and funtastic games.
So while we encourage everyone go visit the table-top room, arcade and safe-spaces throughout the day, here’s Friday’s events that have us most excited.
12pm – Queer Gamers Coast to Coast (Marriott Salon III)
If you haven’t heard of Matt Baume, Google him — he’s done everything: published a book on his extensive work for same-sex marriage, made a charming YouTube channel explaining LGBT politics and produced a gay pop-culture podcast called The Sewers of Paris. He and his long-term partner James Morris interviewed a bunch of queer gamers around the U.S. over the past year, and they’re debating what to do with their 40+ hours of footage. Your response at this session will help them decide, plus you’re bound to learn a thing or two about what bonds queer gamers together.
1pm –Make Your Own Damn Game – (Marriot Salon I & II)
2pm – We Need More Diverse Games, How To Get There? (Marriott Salon I & II)
C’mon… this panel is the very reason GX3 even exists, right? We all played games as kids and wished that the Mario Brothers would end up with Toad or Bowser, or that Princess Peach would rescue herself and meet a nice princess (Mushroom Kingdom be damned). And while we’re at it, how about some racial, gender and body-diversity in games too? Stop wishing and start working to make the change happen — the all-star panel will offer suggestions how. Perhaps we can start a petition to get companies to make more inclusive games while we’re at it? Hmmm…
3pm – Cherry’s Triple-Glazed Donut Jam with Sprinkles, Part II (Marriott Salon VI)
We’re not gonna lie: we chose this one purely because it promises “delicious donuts,” but there will also be computers with Twine — the easy-to-use storytelling software — and a teacher to help you learn how to start making story-based games quickly. Plus, the event lasts three hours, so even if you decide to go to one of the other awesome events at this hour (and there are a bunch of them), that just means more donuts and learning time for us, suckers.
4pm – Journalists Discuss: Actual Ethics in Game Journalism (Marriott Salon I & II)
We like the subtle shade this panel’s title throws at the gamer-movement-which-must-not-be-named (everyone’s sick of talking about those turds). For those who actually care about the subject, there’s plenty to learn and debate, but show up early! Seating is limited, most likely because the panelists kick so much ass.
5pm – Mental Health for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Gamers (Marriott Salon I & II)
After countless centuries worth of mind-warping, socially reinforced gender stereotypes, a brave minority is rejecting said stereotypes to re-discover our greater humanity. But being a gender revolutionary ain’t easy. Two actual psychological experts will help you learn about the struggles and support trans and gender non-conforming communities face. Then afterwards, show each other some love (consensually, of course). Also, the body-painting session with “artistic nudity” and the film on women in gaming — also during this hour — sound pretty rad as well.
6pm – Building Inclusive Gaming Communities On & Offline (Marriott Salon IV)
Putting a bunch of people with the same interests together doesn’t instantly make a community — that shit takes work. Several industry heads put theirs together to discuss the best way to make positive, inclusive spaces both online and off. Plus, the panel features Donna Prior, the executive director of the new game and geek convention OrcaCon, and Sean Howell, CEO of the gay social app Hornet (or as we like to call it, “Whore Net”). However, if you want an inside look at the future of GX3 and its organizers’ other queer gaming efforts, that’s worth a spin too.
8pm – Friday Night GaymerX Concert (Marriott Salon I, II, III)
If you missed Thursday night’s V.I.P. party, you’ll get another chance to enjoy the jazzy game tunes of Super Soul Brothers and a slew of other excellent musicians including NY-based rap artist SAMMUS, the delightfully weird duo The Doubleclicks (they have a cat keyboard, y’all) and most likely some chiptune bleeps and bloops for old-skool 16-bit fans. Oh, and there will be booze; that too.
8:30pm – Furoticon How-to-Play and Beginner Tournament (Marriott 3rd Floor -The Turing Room A & B)
The fact that this evening event is listed as “18+, Adults Only” is your first clue that it’s probably going to be a filthy good time. It’s apparently a card game that uses “bedroom drama” and “sexy creatures” in an “an adult-rated card game that welcomes all genders and sexualities.” And who knows? If you play your cards right, you might end up scoring!