PAX East's "Diversity Lounge"
In June of 2013, Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik went on a much-maligned Twitter rant that displayed some transphobic views. A summary of that controversy can be found in this article by Tami Baribeau on The Border House: A Rundown of What's Going On with Penny Arcade Now. Also worth looking at are the comments on that thread,which show other reactions to the tirade and explain some of the ensuing fallout, including Gone Home developers The Fullbright Company pulling out of the PAX convention.
In response to the controversy, PAX Show Director Robert Khoo issued a statement announcing the "Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge" at PAX East 2014 held in Boston, MA from April 11-13, 2014. The lounge was an attempt to highlight organizations that support diversity, as well as function as a safe space for all attendees of the convention. The reception to the announcement was mixed - some commended the efforts of Penny Arcade in light of the recent controversy, while others criticized it for being too little too late, and for putting an uncomfortable and unwanted spotlight on underrepresented individuals. This post archives this critical discussion surrounding the announcement of the Diversity Lounge, and the reactions of those who actually attended it at PAX East.
- Leigh Alexander on Gamasutra: Dec. 19, 2013: 'Diversity Lounge'? PAX has a lot of work to do
- Mitch Alexander on GayGamer: Dec. 20, 2014: PAX "Diversity Lounges"
- Forum discussion on GiantBomb: Jan. 2014: Oh Lord: PAX to introduce "Diversity Lounge"
- Peter Chapman on The Sixth Axis: Jan. 2014: Segregated Equality - How PAX gets it so wrong
- Aja Romano on The Daily Dot: Dec. 18, 2013: How PAX's attempt at diversity majorly backfired
Feedback from Attendees
- Royal Edwards on Polygon: Apr. 16, 2014: Tales from the Diversity Lounge: PAX's half-baked experiment
- Lexi Leigh on Destructoid: Apr. 18, 2014: Adventures at the PAX East 2014 Diversity Lounge
- Nathan Grayson on TMI: April 21, 2014: Was PAX East's Diversity Lounge a Success? I Asked People Who Went
- Jagger Gravning on Motherboard: Aug. 30, 2014: The Penny Arcade eXpo tries to grow up, with awkward results