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Future PAX events to include Diversity Lounges

Penny Arcade hopes area will be "a safe and welcoming environment" for gamers

Penny Arcade is adding Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounges to its PAX events in Seattle, Boston and Melbourne, offering information on diversity issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of colour, disabled people and mental health.

"Our goal was to highlight diverse groups (and organisations that represent diverse groups) in the industry that might not necessarily get exposure otherwise", Penny Aracade's Robert Khoo told Kotaku.

"We have a limited number of slots, and the booths are free. In addition, since all of our content is spread out at the show rather than 'tracked', the hub will also be a resource for people to find the diverse sessions, events, and exhibitors."

Documents relating to the Diversity Lounges were leaked last night to Indie Statik, which published them in full. They revealed the company will also add extra staff specially trained to deal with any diversity issues during the events.

"Enforcers that have undergone Safe Zone training will be on hand to assist in reporting any harassment that might occur at the con."

Penny Arcade has struggled with public perceptions of its ethics since its ill-advised reactions to the dickwolves controversy, a timeline of which can be found online.

Latest comments (8)

Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios2 years ago
While I applaud the intent, the IndieStatik summary did make it sound like they're setting up a little ghetto so that "diverse" attendees don't have to mingle with the "normal" crowd...and vice versa. But if the content is spread throughout the show as the comments above suggest, that would be more inclusive...

The term "Enforcers" makes me a bit uncomfortable though - as if tolerance of diversity is something that must be forced on people. It sounds like they're trying to crowbar diversity into what they see as a white-male-privilege show, rather than starting from the principle that the attendees ARE already diverse. I presume the anonymous leaker saw issues with the proposals, and hoped that some public feedback would encourage PA to revise them?
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
So we're still weedling minorities out and treating them differently huh. Not much has changed really, has it.
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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop2 years ago
"Also we're making sure each coach to PAX from the airport has a special 'diversity seating area' at the front."
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Show all comments (8)
Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 2 years ago
"Lets discourage racism/sexism by spotlighting people that aren't white males! That'll fix it!"

I can't wait for this political correctness fad to die off so we can go back to caring about what the person has to say or can do instead of judging them solely based on what they look like.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Watson on 18th December 2013 5:46pm

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd2 years ago
@ Andrew It's not really as much about being politically correct as just being inclusive, which I don't feel this is. Penny Arcade has a history of creating situations in which women and LGBT individuals in particular feel uncomfortable. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/06/indie-developer-pulls-out-of-pax-citing-penny-arcade-controversies/
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Judith Haemmerle Executive Director, Digital Game Museum2 years ago
Andrew, while I agree that it's tiresome to continually make an issue of this, we can't "go back to caring what the person has to say or can do instead of judging them solely based on what they look like, " because we've never been there. You can't go back to something that never existed.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
When I read the headline, I was actually hoping the organisers had booked some excellent entertainment.
http://www.diversityofficial.com/
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.2 years ago
I'll never understand the inclusion by separation concept.
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