It would seem that reports of GaymerX's death were a little premature. Organizers of the queer game conference announced months ago that they wouldn't be able to continue past their second year, but now they hope to forge ahead, albeit with some changes.
The most visible change is the new name: instead of "GaymerX," it's now "GX: Everyone Games." That's likely to quell some criticism that the conference attracted for using the term "gaymer," which isn't fully inclusive of the entire queer spectrum.
"We've become more and more aware that not all of our attendees identify with the 'gaymer' label," organizers wrote in a post for their Kickstarter campaign, which ends in just a few days.
They added, "And while we love all our gay dude friends, we realize there are more people than that who want an awesome space to hang with their friends in a safe and diverse environment."
The conference is returning to San Francisco, an expensive city that in the past posed a financial barrier to some attendees. But the next one will in November or December of 2015, a time of year when tourism dips and venues are less expensive.
The anticipated minimum budget: $159,500. Of that, organizers are hoping the Kickstarter effort can bring in about half. As of this writing, it was about $8,000 away from the $80,000 goal.
The performance of the Kickstarter campaign will be a key indicator of just how ambitious the conference's third edition can be. Organizers guessed at attendance for the first GaymerX, then overestimated attendance for GaymerX2, and although ticket sales were robust, they didn't meet expectations. The venue, booked well in advance, proved too large for the crowd that showed up.
Now the people behind the conference will gauge their venue requirements based on participation in the fundraising campaign.
Organizers are clearly taking a budget-conscious approach with the revamped event, and have revealed some of their financial planning in the interests of transparency. A proposed budget shows that the venue alone would account for nearly half of their expenses, with taxes consuming more than a quarter.
None of the staff will be paid until the event passes $157,501 in funding.
"We want to keep doing what we're doing," said founder and creative director Matt Conn. "We know that this work is important." Also leading the con are president Toni Rocca, volunteer director Soraya Een Hajji, A/V director Fred Riding, and head of design John James.
In its first two years, the conference has drawn thousands of queer gamers from around the world and featured panels, exhibits, game rooms, and concerts. Guests have included David Gaider, a gay writer whose credits include Dragon Age II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights, as well as game voice-over icon Ellen McLain and cutting-edge game researcher Colleen Macklin.