If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community and play games, whether tabletop, console or mobile, there’s a robust community and resources available to you. Local groups like Queer Geek! Seattle connect players via social media and through in-person events. Diversity-oriented conventions such as GaymerX and GeekGirlCon connect participants on a larger scale and help foster conversations on better inclusion. Larger conventions such as PAX have increased their diversity programming, and game companies slowly are including more queer characters and reaching out to more diverse populations.
This hasn’t always been the case. If you were a queer gamer eons ago (say the Stone Age of the early 2000s), you likely communicated via two websites: Gaymer.org and Gaygamer.net. Gaymer.org closed down following an intense copyright war with queer gamers on Reddit. Gaygamer.net is now defunct as well. Since these conversations have largely decentralized into various social media groups and sites, is there still a need for a centralized hub for LGBTQ gamers?
Luke Miller believes the need still exists. He’s created a site called Hello, Gaymer!, intended to be a centralized spot for LGBTQ gamers. The site is free and recently out of beta.
Luke’s been a gamer for as long as he can remember.
“A barely functioning NES (so much blowing cartridges) and a SEGA Genesis were my first consoles,” he noted. “One of my first big game loves was Ultima Online on the PC. Even in those days, right after I came out, you faced some of the same kinds of homophobia in the Ultima Online world as you did in many other online spaces. So, it’s always been apparent that there needed to be spaces for LGBT gamers to meet and play together. From Ultima Online, I continued gaming primarily on PC and later my Mac, as well as becoming a staunch Playstation and Nintendo console gamer.”
His background as a web developer and entrepreneur mixed with his passion for gaming inspired him to start the Hello, Gaymer! network. I wondered what Hello, Gaymer! offered that couldn’t be found elsewhere.
“We don’t aim to replace the myriad regional Facebook groups,” he explained, “and we don’t aim to serve all communications needs for LGBT gamers. We simply want to be a global hub of LGBT gamers where people can meet, make friends, and stay connected completely free.”
Hello, Gaymer! offers a robust set of features, with a custom build that goes beyond what you can find in a community on Facebook or Reddit, including a powerful blogging tool.
“Users can create their profile, post updates to their activity feed, see what other users are posting in real-time via the Stream, comment, like posts, make friends and form groups,” Luke indicated. “In addition, every member gets the ability to write and post blogs to the Hello, Gaymer! blog for all members to see. Many gaymers are interested in blogging, but didn’t know where to start or how to go about it, and Hello, Gaymer! gives the tools and platform for free to start blogging about games in any way they’d like.”
Luke stated the goal of the site is to meet other gamers, make friends, and find people to play games with or talk about games with.
He added, “We don’t aim to be a dating site, though if someone were to find love on Hello, Gaymer! I’d certainly like to hear the story!”
Luke has a lot of ideas for the future of the site. He wants to build a solid and active user base, and expand the features that members are using most. He’s also open to others getting involved in the project, but since there’s no advertising or revenue, it would be a volunteer effort. That means he’s also working on finding a way to pay the bills for the site while not charging for membership or negatively impacting the community.
Are you interested in checking out Hello, Gaymer!? Sign up here for free!