Can Penny Arcade just go away now, please?

http://indiestatik.com/2013/12/17/pax-diversity-lounge/

The “Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge” will be launched as part of a push to provide a resource hub for PAX attendees in relation to marginalized communities within the gaming audience, including women, people of color, the disabled, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness. It will be a hub for communication, networking and, hopefully, an increased understanding of issues facing these communities every day and the promotion of a tolerant, safe space within PAX.

Jesus Christ.

Supporting diversity through segregation!? This can’t end well…

Maybe they need a place to test out new dickwolves merchandise…

It isn’t exactly segregation as America in the early twentieth century, just a section where people, if they want to go, can focus on talk about specific issues. If, you know, they want.

This doesn’t seem so terrible to me. They probably could have written their press release better/clearer, especially since this a sensitive topic, but I feel like people are trying to spin this negatively into something it isn’t. PAX has always felt to me like a place where people can be themselves, whatever race/gender/sexuality. It’s always been a very warm and welcoming environment in my experience. This seems like an attempt to empower minority communities by providing a space to educate people about diversity issues and provide space for people to connect with others like them if they want to. I would be shocked if any, say, racial tension came out of this, aside from that which is being externally manufactured.

Unfortunately, the way it’s written, it implies that the rest of PAX will not be a “tolerant, safe space” at all.

Yeah, that’s the negative point, I suppose they didn’t even notice the implications of the sentence.

But being brutally honest, the normal thing for PAX is to be as tolerant and safe as the rest of human society, given that PAX is part of it. And we know that human society is not 100% tolerant, safe space.

And hell, in the end it doesn’t depends on them, but in the people that goes to PAX.

I don’t see the problem in setting aside an area for focussed exploration of a specific issue. I also think that what is a “tolerant, safe space” varies with the topic under discussion. I’ve seen plenty of folks with whom its perfectly pleasant to discuss game mechanics turn into very different people when the topic of women in the gaming industry and/or games comes up–and it’s hard (at least for me) to try and think through any complex subject amid noisy indignation, mockery, etc. For instance, it’s hard to know what the OP’s specific concerns are, but his/her phrasing doesn’t exactly invite open exchange of ideas. Anyway, inviting folks wanting to discuss particular issues to congregate in particular areas doesn’t strike me as problematic.

I like how they are grouping in the mentally disturbed with lesbians and women. You’re all class, Penny Arcade!

Isn’t this just “Affirmative action”? By action trying to help those that might otherwise have a not as pleasant an experience?

It’s also worth pointing out, as RPS does ( Penny Arcade Leak Describes Diversity Hub For PAX | Rock Paper Shotgun ) that this is a leaked internal document. Not something that was intended for public release. And it could get reworded before then.

What’s less than superb is then calling that area a “safe space”, and in doing so, directly implying that the rest of your convention be designated an “unsafe space”. Let’s be fair – right now this is an internal document, and not a declared policy. But it’s a semantic matter that’s pretty damned important. Penny Arcade needs to be thinking of PAX in its entirety as a “safe space”, rather than one cordoned off area. If that’s their thinking, then things are still pretty bad. It needs to be considering this hub as literally that – the hub of the convention, from which its principles radiate.

But I don’t think the base idea of having that discussion hub and allowing people to meet devs and chat about diversity is a bad idea in itself as long as, like RPS puts it, the idea of diversity is one which radiates from there throughout the whole convention.

Wendelius

I actually don’t see what the problem is here, I guess?

There really isn’t one. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to set aside a refuge within PAX. I guess it sucks that over the years PAX has gotten the rep of being a less than great place to spend time if you’re a female, LGBT, or just sensitive to social issues. Let’s face it: gaming in general is a pretty shit environment for any of that.

Since it’s an internal document, I can’t get too upset at that “safe space” wording. As I pointed out, that sentence implies that the rest of PAX isn’t safe, which I guess is true, but still sucky.

Hey, even RPS, self-designated crusaders for the rights of the gaming public, is patting Penny Arcade on the back for this. I really don’t understand why you would find it so offensive, except for maybe the choice of phrasing which doesn’t matter because this wasn’t supposed to be distributed to the public anyways.

God damn PA is hated now. They can’t fart without a legion of idiots calling them bigoted.

It’s completely ridiculous to complain about the safe space wording. What’s the complaint, exactly? That they are acknowledging the less-than-safe space that the rest of the convention provides? Should there be a team of space safety officers wandering around the convention jumping in to keep all discourse on sensitive issues non-judgmental? Oh, no - I see that what they should be doing is pretending that there isn’t a problem anywhere else.

This is all particularly absurd (the outrage at least) when you consider that PAX was the first major gaming conference that I’m aware of to ban booth babes and the like to encourage a more open, less offensive environment.

Their humor might be crude, but the PA guys–when they think before speaking–have a pretty long track record of doing Good Things.

The problem is that once the pile-on starts, nothing will ever be good enough to satify the offence-taking community, even if you use their terminology you won’t be doing it “right.”. i.e., there will be no safe space for them PA guys because they are guilty of insensitivity forever and no longer deserve to make a living.

I’m not outraged that PAX is less than cool for sensitive issues. I think it’s good step to set aside a space that safer than the rest of the convention.

What I do find telling is that PA and everyone else (including me) acknowledges that it’s not a safe place, and the only solution seems to be to set aside an area just for these issues. That’s sort of bullshit, don’t you think? Why shouldn’t the rest of the convention be safe? I’m not placing blame solely on PA. This is an industry-wide problem.

The problem is rabble rabble rabble rabble, you see.

At least they’re making an effort. They really need to separate PAX from Penny Arcade, though.