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Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge

NijhazerNijhazer Sunnyvale, CARegistered User regular
New to PAX East this year was the Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge, a place where minority groups within the gaming community could promote awareness of their culture and values. When this concept was announced a few months ago, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea; however, it was heavily criticized, primarily because I think a lot of folks misunderstood the concept. Now, though, PAX East is behind us, and since I was unable to attend the event, I'm curious as to how well the concept was implemented.

Did any folks make it out to the Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge this year? If so, what did you think?

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    renducyrenducy Registered User regular
    loved it, everyone was so nice. great atmosphere

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    jforjamtasticjforjamtastic Registered User regular
    I went by twice. I am glad that there is a space like this. I swapped out my lanyard for the purple roll for diversity one to rep it as quickly as I saw they had it. It was actually one of the first places I visited. Put a QR code in there next time to encourage people to visit.

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    KildrekKildrek Registered User regular
    While I thought it was a great idea to represent an underrepresented group in our lovely gaming community, I saw quite a few people going in there and treating it almost like a "Oh wow, look at these folks" and then walking out and joking with their friends about it.

    Which just really brought back memories of highschool and that was not cool at all. I think they would have been way cooler being on the actual expo floor vs shuffled off into a separate area.

    Just my thoughts.

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    TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    I thought it was great! I talked with one of the enforcers manning it at the main booth at length because I remember the little shitstorm that stirred up when it was first announced about it more or less being a minority farm. I've always loved the panels from Press XY and this was another step in the same direction they are taking the conversation and awareness of anyone willing to listen.
    I loved getting to talk with everyone in there and finding out what they were all about, for a lot of great information there. While we didn't spend a ton of time there, it was one of the places my group and I kept bringing up as a favorite of the whole show.

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    MidnyghtChildeMidnyghtChilde NYRegistered User regular
    I missed it, because I didn't realize it closed so early. Since it was called a "lounge" I went to hang out there on Saturday night and found it closed. It was a bit off the beaten path which was disappointing. I knew it was there from the pre-PAX internet drama around it, yet I didn't see any signage or notes. Mike did tweet late Sat afternoon that he was there running Thornwatch if people want to come see, which I thought was a nice way to drive traffic there.

    Next year I'll have to try and get there during the day, or maybe it could stay open later.

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    We stopped by the lounge just before leaving yesterday and really enjoyed it. Of particular note was the AbleGamers table. The controller designs they had on display? Just holy shit awesome.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    It seemed cool, but I saw a lot of people who did what I did: walk by, stop, look but not enter, and then sort of walk away. I couldn't tell you how to make people want to go in or feel like they were welcome to go in, but it's just a thing I noticed. It's probably one of my bigger regrets of the weekend, not having gone in and looked around.

    With that said, I'm glad that some people were able to get something out of it, and I hope it sticks around for the rest of PAX as a thing.

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    3DS Friend Code: 2165-6448-8348 www.Twitch.TV/cooljammer00
    Battle.Net: JohnDarc#1203 Origin/UPlay: CoolJammer00
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    agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    I had a conversation with the ethicist (Dr. Catherine Flick) and we discovered the ethical choice in The Walking Dead(Doug V Carly) was Doug, so I am an unethical monster.
    Seems like traffic improved later on saturday when they opened all the doors instead of just the two end ones.

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    InkRavenInkRaven Registered User regular
    I only stopped by Sunday, so I didn't get to hang out too much. Everyone seemed to be okay, but the environment seemed a bit tense. I assumed it was them being defensive, but they may have felt uncomfortable with my boyfriend there (he was the one cosplaying the very good Hitman). I'll definitely stop by next year earlier, maybe everyone was tired. I feel silly for not talking to the ethicist though, I would have loved to hear their opinions of the ME3 ending!

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    craigumscraigums Registered User regular
    I saw this thread and decided to stop in and post, I was actually one of the exhibitors from The AbleGamers Charity in the Diversity Lounge and I had to say it was a blast. AbleGamers had 2 booths, our Pachinko Fundraising booth at the main entrance, and the table at the Diversity Lounge and both went amazing. The Diversity Lounge, in my opinion was fantastic, having a nice quiet place to have conversations with people felt good, I could actually hear what people were saying and had some very deep conversations that would have been very hard to have on the show floor. Being able to have a nice quiet place to explain who we are, what we do, was one of my highlights of PAX honestly. The atmosphere was amazing inside the lounge, tables to sit at, a HUGE bean bag pit for people to lounge in. I think it was a success and I hope to see it return in the future.


    Also, I forwarded this on up the chain:
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    We stopped by the lounge just before leaving yesterday and really enjoyed it. Of particular note was the AbleGamers table. The controller designs they had on display? Just holy shit awesome.

    Now to try to convince the team to use "just holy shit awesome" ~Shadowfire29559276 in some sort of press release.



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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    I don't know that you were there when I stopped by, @craigums, but I can't remember who I talked to. If so, I was the guy who mentioned I had a customer who only had use of one hand and who years ago had to stop gaming. His last system was the Dreamcast, and even then he had a hard time finding games he could play. I meant it when I said that I wished those controllers had been available back then. He'd probably still be gaming today.

    Also, dude was awesome at NFL2K.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    I ate dinner with a group of exhibitors from the Diversity Lounge on Sunday (friends of friends), promoting their new game, and I have to say, they were in the wrong place, when it came to game promotion.

    The exposure they received paled compared to the exposure they would have received on the main floor.

    Instead of hidden in a room, they needed to be out in the open, maybe in bannered booths along the halls, to attract a larger audience for their games.

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    NijhazerNijhazer Sunnyvale, CARegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    The exposure they received paled compared to the exposure they would have received on the main floor.

    Instead of hidden in a room, they needed to be out in the open, maybe in bannered booths along the halls, to attract a larger audience for their games.

    Well, to be fair, exhibitors in the Diversity Lounge don't have to pay for the space, which isn't true for exhibitors in the main hall.

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    RappakRappak Registered User regular
    I was a bit disappointed with the lounge. It felt unfocused as to its purpose. I walked in a few times and no one was engaging until I walked it on Sunday with someone else and it was winding down. Was it to give a place for people to sit down/talk? Was it a place to advertise gaming stuff/Gay geek culture? Or was it a place for resource information? It seemed jumbled in all of that and felt overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. It needs more attention as it is a good thing to have but went unnoticed when I talked to people around the convention about it. Have people walk around and greet people. Don't just have people at the table. Explain what is going on. I did like the fact that they were showing off the panels related to diversity.

    It's a good stepping stone but much work needs to be done.

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    TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    I didn't visit, but loved the idea even though I didn't agree with how it was initially advertised as a "safe" place. It seems like it should be more like the family lounge where it is a place for people to go to meet with other people that have similar interests. I wish now that I had gone to visit. I would have loved to swap out my lanyard!

    ~Taboo
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    QumadenQumaden World's Mightiest Mortal Registered User regular
    Maybe I'm weird, but what has made PAX great for me is that there are no minorities. Sex, age, skin tone, religion, ethics, sexual preferences, tentacles, no tentacles, eater of worlds, lover of trees, whatever you may be as a person..at PAX, we are equal. We are diverse, yet we are the same. I'm glad that people have a place if for some reason they weren't comfortable with something have a place to go to feel comfortable, but maybe in my naive mind, the entire event is meant to be that place.

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    QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    edited April 2014
    This may or may not be useful, but perhaps change the name of it in years future. My girlfriend and I came across the signpost outside the room for this thing, and all we did was a collective rolling of our eyes and kept walking on without even inquiring further as to what it was about when it sounds as though it was not entirely as it sounded. Granted, we have the unfortunate circumstance of living in a yellow-sky reality believing ultra thin-skinned absurd social-justice warrior bastion on the West coast (taking nothing away from our city, just commenting on the most shrill portion of our population that taints the whole experience), so we're naturally averse to anything that even gives off a whiff of ultra-PC stench as a result of our day-to-day encounters with people who take it too far. From what I'm reading here, that room may not have been pushing that particular agenda - but it was completely lost on us because it *sounded* like yet another thought-police outpost, and by god we get enough of that already.

    I'm not sure what you could name it so it doesn't give off that odious reek, but were you to name it something that conjures fewer images of San Francisco/Portland/Seattle fringe social nonsense, it might draw in more people.

    Quintious on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Quintious wrote: »
    This may or may not be useful, but perhaps change the name of it in years future. My girlfriend and I came across the signpost outside the room for this thing, and all we did was a collective rolling of our eyes and kept walking on without even inquiring further as to what it was about when it sounds as though it was not entirely as it sounded. Granted, we have the unfortunate circumstance of living in a yellow-sky reality believing ultra thin-skinned absurd social-justice warrior bastion on the West coast (taking nothing away from our city, just commenting on the most shrill portion of our population that taints the whole experience), so we're naturally averse to anything that even gives off a whiff of ultra-PC stench as a result of our day-to-day encounters with people who take it too far. From what I'm reading here, that room may not have been pushing that particular agenda - but it was completely lost on us because it *sounded* like yet another thought-police outpost, and by god we get enough of that already.

    I'm not sure what you could name it so it doesn't give off that odious reek, but were you to name it something that conjures fewer images of San Francisco/Portland/Seattle fringe social nonsense, it might draw in more people.

    I think Diversity Lounge was just fine (Roll For Diversity equally so), and you're just a bit knee-jerk about it...

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    FunnelKing27FunnelKing27 Registered User regular
    I personnally dont like the idea. To me Pax East is one Giant diversity lounge.(well not so much a lounge lol). Having a named Diversity lounge for so called diverse people to hang out with each other just segregates them from everybody else. I thought that was the problem...? Same goes for the panels about diversity and such. It just sinles groups out.

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    MaellinMaellin Registered User new member
    edited May 2014
    Hi, Everyone!

    I worked the lounge. It was just fine where it was.

    Being on the expo floor was not possible for one simple reason...the expo floor is a barely restrained riot of people under the best of circumstances and talking one-on-one with people would have been impossible.

    We were busy the whole weekend. I was suspicious going in, but was asked to come due to my background in LGBT and diversity education. I worked for Sean Z. Maker at the Bent-Con table.

    The gaming companies were the disappointing part of the event. Not a single Dev or company rep came through. Saturday I personally searched out every one of the devs I could find, and they all gave lip service, then sent no one.

    Saturday, Mike came through. I figured if he came with a zoo of media or a large entourage that the diversity lounge was a rep fix. Our Enforcer told us he was going to come visit. We waited a bit. I looked up after telling folks about the Bent-Con and saw him standing there alone quietly talking to each table. He came by our table and I talked to him. I expressed my perspective and he understood. He was sincere as best as I could observe.

    So we weren't isolated. We were not a zoo. We were in a main hallway sharing space with the busy theaters. We had four sets of doors all open wide and huge signs pointing to our presence and containing all the diversity panels and their times. The diversity panels made up about a fifteen percent, or so, of the panels, I think. There were a lot.

    It was successful. I had a nice time. I didn't sit there in a state of tension for three whole days, and I am thankful for that. Mike was sincere. Robert Khoo was sensitive to the needs of the hub and lounge. He checked in often, and from what I could tell, made sure any issues were handled quickly. I felt the effort was sincere and my wariness was completely alleviated.

    Craig
    Maellin

    mod edit: removed blog link

    zerzhul on
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    ClannMorganClannMorgan Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    I stopped in, looked around and was pleasantly surprised. Saw someone that I previously meet at a pre-pax party, chit chatted, looked at what I thought was an awesome comic book but was just a really AWESOME program guide...felt very welcome ...I really hope this diversity lounge is back next year.

    ClannMorgan on
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