I knew gays, I knew geeks, I did NOT know gaymers…
by: Matteo Milesi
I have been to many gay clubs and to numerous events, but Gaymer Zone was definitely one of a kind. As its name accurately implies, it is a place for the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender +) community to play video games, drink and have a good time, all in an amicable environment. Even though it was initially targeted for the LGBT+ community, everyone from all walks of life was welcome to attend.
Mike Savoie, founder and expert gamer himself, had the desire to gather everyone with a passion for video games in one place. What was once, two years ago, just a great idea has now grown into a weekly event that is as popular as it is successful.
When I initially walked into the event, a man dressed up as superman was dancing to “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen, while others were playing Super Smash Bros. Mike took a minute to remind everyone of all of their rules and most importantly, to partake in fair play. Creating a safe and welcoming environment was definitely one of his priorities. As a side note, I have to say that I felt totally comfortable from beginning to end.
Gaymer Zone truly does have an impact on the community; Mike explained to me that the comfort and ease of the environment he has created had actually helped at least half a dozen of his attendees come out.
Even though Gaymer Zone started two years ago, Mike is always looking for new and exciting attractions. One of his initiatives was to create a tournament where participants can play video games (switching them up weekly), through which you can win a ton of fun prizes. Additionally, a new video projector was recently installed, which enables more group participation and game diversity. One specific instance that was memorable to me was when a group of about ten were competing to Lady Gaga’s song in the “Just Dance” interactive dancing game. The dancing, the music, and the laughs all made for an exceptional experience.
I personally have never been a huge video game player myself, but I got caught up in the atmosphere and had an amazing time! I even got the opportunity to play Super Smash Bros, a definite blast from the past. What I found pretty awesome was also the fact that nobody will ever judge you…
Overall, it was a great night. It gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and to explore all of the dimensions of a new and exciting one!
If you want to give it a try, which I highly recommend, check out their Facebook page or go to “Le Bar Code” on Tuesdays and see for yourself!