This year's GaymerX2, the convention that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in games, will be the last largely due to the growing financial burden, the event's organizers announced via its official Twitter account.
"We decided that we could no longer continue as a convention as the price of running a yearly convention downtown in San Francisco was just too high — we weren't able to get the corporate sponsorship that we needed to make it something sustainable, and we were racking up huge amounts of debt to put this years con on," organizer Matt Conn told Polygon. "That being said, we're going to make the very best convention we can and we're super eager to see a rise in more alt-cons in the future, making gaming accessible to everyone."
While the organizers recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help support the 2014 event, and successfully raised more than $24,000, they were unable to cement the desired number of corporate sponsorships to help with the event's costs. Not mentioning which corporations were unwilling to assist, GaymerX organizer Toni Rocca told Polygon that they have received support from numerous other companies.
"We would love to, instead, at least shed light on the companies that do have progressive management and who do understand that the game industry cannot hide from equality any longer," she wrote. "With the collaboration of IndieCade, Cards Against Humanities is sponsoring a really incredible game room at GaymerX. Likewise BioWare is also going to be present in a big way. Alienware will be donating over fifty computers for us to use in workshops and gaming events. We are also currently in talks with the good people at Ubisoft. Outside of gaming, SheSeek has been a great sponsor."
The upcoming convention, GaymerX2, will be held at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco from July 11-13 and features talks, panels and workshops. This year's guests include David Gaider, Mattie Brice, Alexis Ohanian, Gordon Bellamy, Jaime Woo and John Scalzi. Musicians such as 2 Mello and Virt will be in attendance, along with Ellen McLain, John Patrick Lowrie and Zach Weinersmith.
The first GaymerX took place Aug. 3-4, 2013 in Japantown, San Francisco before it had to move to the larger premises at the InterContinental Hotel. The convention was created to provide a safe space for members of the LGBT gaming community and featured speakers such as Jessica Merizan, George Skleres, Jared Rea, Christine Love and Porpentine. As for future plans, the organizers may look at doing smaller GaymerX events pending the outcome of GaymerX2.
"Anything could happen with GaymerX — we're certainly not against it coming back in some other, more sustainable form, but we were basically trying to produce something that was a bit too large and ambitious for the amount of corporate interest in supporting queer geek culture," he said.
For more information about the GaymerX events, check out our interview with Conn who told Polygon that GaymerX exists to create a safe space for members of the LGBT gaming community.