What is QGCon?

Spring 2017, Los Angeles
The 4th annual Queerness and Games Conference has been announced!

The Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon) is an annual, community-oriented, nationally-recognized event dedicated to exploring the intersection of LGBTQ issues and video games. QGCon got its start at UC Berkeley, where it was hosted in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The fourth annual conference will be held in Los Angeles in the spring of 2017. The event is free and open to the public.

Accessibility, inclusion, and creativity are key values of QGCon. We seek to foster dialogue between scholars, game developers, and game players. QGCon audiences are diverse. We believe in an intersectional approach to queerness. Addressing topics of gender, race, ability, body type, class, etc. reminds us that the struggles (and victories) of those of us who play from the margins are interconnected.

Past QGCon keynotes have included visionaries from both queer studies and video games, such as: Naomi Clark, Jack Halberstam, Merritt Kopas, Brenda Laurel, Colleen Macklin, Lisa Nakamura, Kathryn Bond Stockton, and Sandy Stone. QGCon has also inspired a whole new academic sub-field, Queer Game Studies! To learn more about this work, check out this handy Queer Game Studies 101.

Why QGCon now?

“The Queerness and Games Conference is a bastion of idealism in a turbulent sea of beauty and concern. We stand at a difficult yet pivotal moment in the history of video games, when the game-makers who design some of the most powerful examples of the medium are also those who put their safety on the line simply by sharing their creations.

It’s no secret that it’s difficult to be queer in games. The games community and the games industry have struggled for decades with homophobic and exclusionary practices. Straight, white, cisgender men have long dominated the landscape of games. As GamerGate has made clear, speaking up for diversity in this hostile environment takes real courage. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we create welcoming spaces for discussing sexuality, gender, race, and difference in video games.”

– from “Queerness, Games, and Beyond,” Bonnie Ruberg’s introduction to the QGCon 2014 special issues at First Person Scholar