The third Queerness And Games Conference takes place at UC Berkley on the 17-18th October, and sounds like it could be properly interesting.
Obviously when it comes to queer gaming conferences, the big name is GaymerX (which is also happening 11-13th December for it's third year, and a growing success). QGCon - which I confess I've not seen before - looks to me to be the more academic alternative, describing itself as something that will "bring academic work on LGBTQ+ experiences and game design into conversation with activism and fandom."
Oh, and it's free!
"Queer game developers, players and academics are preparing to come together next month for two days of parties, workshops, talks and an indie games arcade," say the organisers, mentioning guest developers Richard Lemarchand and Hanna Brady, and researchers Sandy Stone and Lindsay Grace. Talks will include, "gender in cosplay, the representation of affection and sex in games, and how the politics of play affect the politics of the world around us."
Some of the talk titles remind me of why I love a good academic conference, where people have given smart thought to subjects I've never considered even pondering.
“Sex Appeal, Shirtless Men, and Social Justice: Diversity in Desire and Fanservice in Games” is the title of Michelle Clough's session. "Affection Games in a World That Needs Them" is the endearing topic picked by American University's Grace. And Swarthmore College's Claudia Lo offers the unimprovable "Everything Is Wiped Away: Queer Temporality and the Death Drive in
Queers in Love at the End of the World".
There will also be a QGCon Arcade, featuring Robert Yang's Succulent, Anna Anthropy's Be Witching, and Pierre Corbinais' amazingly titled Til Cows Tear Us Apart.
If people can afford to, there's a voluntary $20 ticket price, but otherwise it's free to attend for both days, and I'm envious it's 5,000 miles away.