https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gxaustralia/gx-australia-2016-australias-first-queer-geek-gami/widget/video.html

 

Hey listen!

Heard of GX/GaymerX? This awesome convention has been taking place in the San Francisco area since 2012! It’s great if you live in the United States already, or can afford the expensive airfare to go overseas, but what about those of us who are a little more bound by gravity?

GX is coming to Australia!

We’re thrilled to announce that GX Australia, with the support and blessings of the talented team in the United States, is taking place in Sydney next year! It will have everything you’ve come to expect from GX, but with home-grown spin and tons of Australian style! February 27th and 28th, 2016 will see us host the first GX Australia event at the Australian Technology Park, minutes away from central Sydney!

Image courtesy of GaymerX.
Image courtesy of GaymerX.

We believe that all gamers and geeks deserve a space to play, share their interests, and meet like-minded folks without fear of harassment or bullying because of who they are. Video games have come so far, with tons of great examples of representation in both mainstream and indie titles, but there’s still work to be done to make sure everyone feels included.

Geekery brings people together in ways unlike any other form of entertainment, whether you’re creating your own story in single-player RPGs or sitting around a table with your best friends. We want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to participate in that joy whoever they are.

With your help and support we can make this happen — backing us on Kickstarter will give us the chance to bring the highly successful US convention to our country and ensure that geeks and gamers of all stripes have a space to hang out in. Plus, backing us in Kickstarter gives you tickets at early bird prices! Once the campaign ends, the full ticket price will be $85 AUD for the weekend so this gives you a sweet reward for getting in fast!

Image courtesy of GaymerX.
Image courtesy of GaymerX.

Wait, you mentioned GaymerX — what if I’m [not gay/don’t play video games/don’t have a console/etc]?

Do you like comics? Sci-fi movies? Fantasy novels? A massive fan of Sense8, or know the Marvel Cinematic Universe inside and out? GX Australia is for you! We’re a celebration of everything geeky and nerdy, whatever that means to you! If you want to help us in making a safe and inclusive space for everyone, you’re welcome regardless of what your interests are. And you don’t need to be gay to participate — the more diversity, the better!

How is this different from GX in the US?

More than simply bringing the convention across the ocean, we want to give it our own special Australian flair. To that end, we’re excited to offer a few things for the first time in any GX-branded event:

  • We’re 15+! Let’s face it — queer teens need support, and we think it’s hugely important to make this event available to those who aren’t out yet to friends or family. That’s why, for the first time at any GX event, we’re making the convention open to anyone fifteen and older; if you’re younger than 15, no worries! Just get a parent or guardian to come with you!
  • We’re huge! With an expo hall of over 6000sqm, we’ve got the largest space in any GX event to show off our generous sponsors, talented developers, and creative artists! This gives us plenty of space for attendees to see some of their favourite companies and celebrities up close and live.
  • Home-grown Australian talent! We’re already overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from Australian indies, and we’ve got your best shot to meet the makers of some of your favourite Aussie games in person.
  • Watch highly anticipated panels live online, or view all of them soon after! We’re going to have popular panels available for immediate and live streaming as they happen, or just watch all of the awesome discussions in your own convenience soon after the convention concludes!
  • Conveniently timed for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade! This annual pride festival is one of the largest in the world and draws thousands of people each year. Whether you live in Sydney already or are visiting for the convention, we’ve locked our date in a week before Mardi Gras itself — come for GX Australia, stay for the parade!
Image courtesy of GaymerX.
Image courtesy of GaymerX.

Our exhibition space is enormous — approximately 6800sqm, so we’ve got tons of space to show off everything you’d expect at an awesome convention: there’s room for the big publisher displays, but we’re also carving out areas to showcase home-grown Aussie talent in all its forms. Plus, we hate wandering around and getting lost as much as you guys — the biggest benefit of such a huge space is that everything is easily located and within reach of the entire event, so you never have to wander around in confusion.

Image courtesy of the Australian Technology Park.
Image courtesy of the Australian Technology Park.

The Australian Technology Park is conveniently located in Redfern, right near Central Station and heartbeats away from the Sydney CBD. We’ve made sure that the entire venue is 100% accessible, with lift access and ramps available to panel rooms as well as the registration area, expo hall, and toilets. (Redfern Station is slated to have accessibility upgrades between now and February 2016; if these are delayed, we will provide shuttle services to make sure that everyone can easily reach the venue by public transportation.) We’ve also ensured that there are gender neutral bathrooms available for attendees who would prefer to use them.

In addition to the enormous expo area, we’ve got several rooms for panels — including a huge theatre perfect for holding the opening/closing ceremonies as well as any big, exciting panels. We want to have tons of awesome discussions in these rooms, and we’re excited to see what ideas you all have!

Image courtesy of the Australian Technology Park.
Image courtesy of the Australian Technology Park.

Events like this draw in attendees from all over the country, and all over the world! We’ve negotiated some awesome prices from hotels and serviced apartments near the ATP itself — we’ll have more news about this as the campaign progresses, so stay tuned!

Image courtesy of GaymerX.
Image courtesy of GaymerX.

What do I get out of this?

We’ve got a ton of awesome support from the indie community here in Australia as well as overseas and with their generous support have a bunch of incredible games to offer backers on Kickstarter. Depending on your pledge, you get a download code for some of these awesome games as well!

Some of the cool games you can get with your pledge: Armello, Ninja Pizza Girl, Hacknet, Hand of Fate, Read Only Memories, Satellite Reign, Kitty Powers' Matchmaker and Coming Out On Top!
Some of the cool games you can get with your pledge: Armello, Ninja Pizza Girl, Hacknet, Hand of Fate, Read Only Memories, Satellite Reign, Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker and Coming Out On Top!

We’ll have a full list of what’s available throughout the course of the campaign, so keep your eyes glued to this page for more details!

It wouldn’t be a convention without awesome Bosses of Honour, and we’ve got plenty of our own to announce! Some of the incredibly talented people who’ve already committed their support to GX Australia are:

Chris Avellone is best known for his work as a writer for iconic games like Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2 & Fallout: New Vegas, and Wasteland 2.
Chris Avellone is best known for his work as a writer for iconic games like Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2 & Fallout: New Vegas, and Wasteland 2.
Rae Johnston is a technology, video game, and social media expert as well as an avid cosplayer. In 2015 she was the presenter & judge of the Oz Comic-Con Australian Championships of Cosplay.
Rae Johnston is a technology, video game, and social media expert as well as an avid cosplayer. In 2015 she was the presenter & judge of the Oz Comic-Con Australian Championships of Cosplay.
Tim Cain is best known as the producer, lead programmer, and designer of the award-winning Fallout. He was also senior programmer for Pillars of Eternity and in IGN's list of top 100 game creators of all time.
Tim Cain is best known as the producer, lead programmer, and designer of the award-winning Fallout. He was also senior programmer for Pillars of Eternity and in IGN’s list of top 100 game creators of all time.
AussieGamerChick (Alex Shillington) is a well known Australian YouTuber, vlogger, and streamer from Canberra with over 15k+ subscribers on YouTube.
AussieGamerChick (Alex Shillington) is a well known Australian YouTuber, vlogger, and streamer from Canberra with over 15k+ subscribers on YouTube.

Added in Update #7:

Snow is a writer and game designer, and the creator of the award-winning Little Witch Story, a free game about finding your place in a world out to get you.
Snow is a writer and game designer, and the creator of the award-winning Little Witch Story, a free game about finding your place in a world out to get you.
Manveer Heir is a diversity advocate and Senior Designer at BioWare Montreal, currently working on the much-anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Manveer Heir is a diversity advocate and Senior Designer at BioWare Montreal, currently working on the much-anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Kitty Powers (Richard Franke) is a game developer, UK drag personality and self-proclaimed Drag Queen of Videogames, as well as the star of Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker!
Kitty Powers (Richard Franke) is a game developer, UK drag personality and self-proclaimed Drag Queen of Videogames, as well as the star of Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker!
Alex Greenwich is the Independent Member for Sydney since 2012. A fierce advocate for marriage equality, representation, and diversity, he was the first member of any Australian Parliament to be in a same-sex marriage.
Alex Greenwich is the Independent Member for Sydney since 2012. A fierce advocate for marriage equality, representation, and diversity, he was the first member of any Australian Parliament to be in a same-sex marriage.

Added in Update #9:

Eve is one of Australia’s top professional cosplayers, as well as a brand and marketing specialist. Eve founded the Medic! Charity, a global collective of geeks working towards making the planet a better place.
Eve is one of Australia’s top professional cosplayers, as well as a brand and marketing specialist. Eve founded the Medic! Charity, a global collective of geeks working towards making the planet a better place.
Matt is the founder of GaymerX, the US’ first convention for queer geeks and gamers. He’s also the founder of Midboss, creators of Read Only Memories and Gaming In Color.
Matt is the founder of GaymerX, the US’ first convention for queer geeks and gamers. He’s also the founder of Midboss, creators of Read Only Memories and Gaming In Color.
Gemma teaches video game studios at Macquarie University. As a researcher, her interests focus on identity and what role it plays in the process of decision making in video game spaces.
Gemma teaches video game studios at Macquarie University. As a researcher, her interests focus on identity and what role it plays in the process of decision making in video game spaces.
Luke is a writer and developer who created the gay-themed adventure game My Ex-Boyfriend The Space Tyrant.
Luke is a writer and developer who created the gay-themed adventure game My Ex-Boyfriend The Space Tyrant.

We couldn’t have done this without the initial support of these awesome companies — whether donating incredible games to our backers or picking up booths at the event itself, these companies have thrown their support behind the queer community from the start. We’ll have a lot more names to announce as the convention progresses, so keep an eye out — you might be able to meet the teams behind your favourite games in person!

Our awesome Mega Indie Sponsors are Many Monkeys, Defiant Development, League of Geeks, Well Placed Cactus, and Screwtape Studios.
Our awesome Mega Indie Sponsors are Many Monkeys, Defiant Development, League of Geeks, Well Placed Cactus, and Screwtape Studios.
Our excellent Indie Sponsors are NNOOO, Foolhardy Games, Early Worm, Gritfish Games, and Secret Identity Comics.
Our excellent Indie Sponsors are NNOOO, Foolhardy Games, Early Worm, Gritfish Games, and Secret Identity Comics.
Thanks so much to MCV Pacific, IGEA, and Player Attack for being our media partners!
Thanks so much to MCV Pacific, IGEA, and Player Attack for being our media partners!
Image courtesy of GaymerX.
Image courtesy of GaymerX.

With the awesome support of the Australian indie community, we’ve raised initial funds that allowed us to secure a venue that fit our criteria — we wanted somewhere big enough for the amount of attendees we’re planning for, it needed to have an expo hall large enough for all the awesome developers, publishers, and other creative types we want to showcase, and it must be accessible to everyone. That venue is the amazing Australian Technology Park in Redfern, minutes from the centre of Sydney and both big and cool enough to contain the queer awesomeness we want to produce.

However, securing the venue alone isn’t enough and we need support from geeks like you to raise enough funds to ensure we can produce the sort of event we’ve dreamed of having here ever since the first announcement of GaymerX back in 2012.

Your support will help us pay for the venue in full, ensure we’ve got necessary funds to bring over all of the Bosses of Honour we’ve got planned, take care of the tech costs involved in streaming/recording tons of panels to the internet, and cover any other costs that crop up when you’re running an event of this size.

How can we be sure you won’t spend the money on iPads and Xboxes?!

Your handy organisers, Liam Esler and Joshua Meadows, have tons of experience running reputable events across Australia:

  • Liam is an Australian game developer and event manager currently residing in Melbourne with his partner Sebastian. A producer, writer, and designer by trade, he has worked with companies such as Beamdog, Obsidian Entertainment, Surprise Attack, Player Attack and the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA). He is currently the event manager for Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), Australia’s premier game development conference. He is a strong advocate for the representation of diversity in games, both in-game and in the workforce, and serves as the co-chair of the International Game Developers’ Association LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group.
  • Joshua is the primary organiser of Sydney Gaymers, Australia’s largest queer gaming group and one of the biggest groups worldwide. With over 1600 members, Sydney Gaymers regularly meets for monthly events, has received sponsorship and support from companies like Valve, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts, and featured the first video-game themed float with their 2013 entry in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Joshua is a journalist and writer, with experience both writing about and for video games since he was a teenager. His work on the intersection of gaming and politics has appeared in XY Magazine, GayGamer.net, Kotaku, and Massively, and he’s been an advocate for improved diversity in gaming for over a decade. He’s also the writer of Iyetra, an episodic sci-fi/fantasy digital novella series.

Plus, The team behind GX in the US has run their event in San Francisco for three years now, along with the release of an awesome RPG under their belts. Trust us, your money is going to a great cause!

If this is a part of GX in the US, why do you need a kickstarter campaign?

We’re extremely excited to be working with the kickass team in the United States to bring GX across the ocean, but running these types of events are incredibly expensive and incredibly time consuming. Midboss & GaymerX LLC are providing us oodles of moral support, advice, and expertise, but when it comes to footing the bill we’re achieving that quest ourselves. This gives us the flexibility to make sure that GX stays true to the core values of the original convention, but while addressing the unique expectations and needs of the audience here in Australia.

What’s the cost breakdown?

Based on attendance at previous GX events, as well as attendance at similar conventions in Australia, we’re anticipating ticket sales of 700 – 1500; fortunately, our venue will allow us to provide an awesome, comfortable experience if we end up getting more attendance than this!

With the funds we’ve already received, as well as a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will have enough to achieve the convention itself at the very minimum level — additional funds (both between pledges over our goal as well as further sponsorship from developers, publishers, and companies) will allow us to dramatically improve the convention itself: we’ll be able to fly out further guests, add additional parties around the convention itself, and generally add as much fun and exciting content as possible. Until all costs for the convention itself are paid for, everyone involved are donating their time and energy on a volunteer basis.

Here’s a general idea of where we anticipate our budget going — we’re running the convention as lean as possible to make sure that as much as possible goes to the event itself instead of administrative overhead.

If you’re a fan of video gaming and want to support gamers in all their forms, we hope you’ll join us. If you like comic books, graphic novels, or sci-fi movies and believe in a world where people can enjoy these things too, whatever their identity or lifestyle, we hope to get your help. If you wear geek as a badge of honour and want to join our mission in making sure nobody ever feels unwelcome in these spaces, we hope you’ll join us in February.

With your help, we can spread the awesome success of GX to Australia and create a place for everyone to celebrate, together!

 

Risks and challenges

We’ve locked in our date with the Australian Technology Park for February 27 and 28th, 2016, and with the support of the indie community here in Australia have already raised funds for the deposit. The amount we’re asking for in this campaign will provide the very minimum necessary to pay all of our costs involved in the two day convention. Extra funds will allow us to do more exciting things like provide a general afterparty for attendees, cover the flight and accommodation expenses for our out-of-town Bosses of Honour, and expand the scope of our offerings.

By holding the event at the ATP, we’ve got an extremely flexible space that can comfortably hold as many attendees as we have, whether that’s in the hundreds or in the thousands. We’re aiming for 700 – 1500 attendees, but if we’re lucky enough to sell more tickets than that we’ve ensured our space can handle however many people we can throw at it!

Further, by partnering with other companies for digital rewards, we’re avoiding the physical swag issue that plagues so many other Kickstarter projects — by not focusing on physical rewards, we don’t have to worry about Kickstarter funds being absorbed by manufacturing and shipping.

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