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Rock Band On The Road: GaymerX

Last week a bunch of us flew across the country to attend GamerX, the nation's largest annual queer gaming convention. Our goal in attending the show was to talk to players one on one about our games, offer insights into working at Harmonix, and above all, have fun rocking out with our fans. As a studio, Harmonix makes games for a diverse community of players. We value differences in background and perspective among our developers as well as the people who play our games so partnering with GaymerX was a natural fit.

Matt Conn, the founder and CEO of GaymerX said "Harmonix has some of the best titles out there for bringing people together. We're proud and excited to have them join us because it sends a message that these games really are for everyone and that we are all welcome to join in on the fun."

Our lounge

The Harmonix team arrived on Thursday to set up our lounge area. We ordered white couches, pink ottomans, some fancy red tables and a mini-fridge to stock with snacks and drinks. Our goal was to make the space feel like a living room rather than a stage. The lounge vibe was perfect for the event - instead of formal lines and signup sheets, attendees took turns creating bands together. In between sets players would chat with each other about the con, with us about our games and life at Harmonix, and enjoy snacks and each other's company.

Morgan, Melissa, Anne, and Jamie rock out

The flow of the Expo Hall made it easy for attendees to move around and check out a ton of games, recruiters, and organizations between celebrity signings and panels. Our booth was always packed, which was awesome. And, for possibly the first time ever in the history of Harmonix going to conventions - our neighbors, on all sides, routinely asked us to turn our music up! (We always snuck the folks from the other booths in to play before the show floor opened).

Swanky Scruff Swag

We passed out tons of Rock Band-anas, some fabulous swag from our friends at Scruff, and many many high fives. We chatted with folks about everything from our favorite 90s pop culture missteps to new features in Rock Band and ways that we can continue to make all of our games inclusive and accessible.

Dough the puppy models our swag

On the second day of the show we set added a second microphone to our setup and setoff a wave of singalongs. Matt Conn stopped by and showed off his pipes. Then two of our folks, Jamie and Morgan, kicked off an epic 20 person singalong to "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes. The madness continued throughout the day and we ended up closing our booth well after the show floor had properly closed.

Matt Conn takes the mic

Events like GaymerX are important because they create a safe space where attendees can be themselves, one hundred percent, without fear of reprisal. Most of the content at GaymerX is queer-centric, focused on issues affecting the diverse sets of this community as presented by fellow LGBTQ developers and academics. The overwhelming message of the show though, "Everyone Games" is one of inclusivity and fellowship.

Kicking off Saturday Singalongs

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our lounge/booth on the show floor to sing, snack, and offer feedback about our games. We had a blast and we'll see you next year!