‘Gayming’ in the Bay AreaBottom Highlights, Scene Out Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Social Chaos: Scene Out
Kayce Brown and Matt Conn started the idea of having the first LGBT gaming convention in 2012 through a Kickstarter project. Aug. 3-4, the highly anticipated GaymerX was held in San Francisco’s Japantown. We took a trip up north to join our fellow gamers. We attended a few panels in Hotel Kabuki including “So you want to be an indie developer”, “Cosplay on the cheap”, “How Gayme Addiction Affects Queers”, and “Voice Acting 101”. There were also several vendor tables, a video game room and people in cosplays including a group dressed like Pokemon creatures.
From the amount of people that showed up during the 2-day event, it looks like it was a huge success. It felt safe and welcoming being able to mingle with fellow video game and tech lovers, and geek out without fear of dealing with homophobia. We hope that it’ll move to a bigger venue and include panels involving/featuring women. For more info, visit gaymerconnect.com
To our delight the event was at the same time as the Nihonmachi Street Fair. This fair is one of the longest running fairs in San Francisco celebrating the Asian Pacific communities. They had great food vendors, musicians, art and a section for those looking to adopt a new pet. They were so cute we were tempted to adopt another dog as a companion for our dog, Cookie. We knew we couldn’t due to lack of space but we did buy four flavors of the nearly 2 foot cable/rope sour candies that were being sold. The two ladies offering samples were very generous and courteous. We caught the band Rendezvous and watched people dance and sing along to songs from Motown, rock, disco, Top 40. They have more than 20 years of experience performing at street fairs, festivals, musical showcases, weddings, restaurants and clubs. We also stuck around to eat BBQ burgers and hot Udon noodles.
We couldn’t leave the Bay Area without visiting the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. We arrived late afternoon and we immediately noticed a long line in the lobby for the tour. The line moved fairly quickly. We were all given a paper hat that we were required to wear during the tour. While watching the workers, we were also shown videos explaining the history of Jelly Belly, how the flavors are created, the process of eliminating the “Belly Flops” (irregularly shaped beans) and how they get their shiny appearance.
At the end of the tour we visited the Candy Store where we’re allowed to sample four flavors of our choosing. We tried Dirt, Grass, Earthworm, Dog Canned Food, Tabasco and Piña Colada to eliminate the taste of the previous flavors. This free tour was such a sweet experience; we recommend it as a must for anyone visiting Northern California. For more info, visit jellybelly.com
We went camping with a few friends at Lake Jennings this past weekend. Even though it’s only a few minutes away, it was nice to experience a change of environment. Although we have to confess that we couldn’t tear ourselves away from accessing the Internet during weekend. There’s a short trail with a tiny bench overlooking the lake next to the site we stayed on. It was lovely watching the sunrise on Saturday and Sunday with our dog.
Although the heat was a little unbearable, time passed by somewhat quickly while we were playing Scrabble, Boggle and Lotería (Mexican game of chance, similar to bingo, but using images on a deck of cards instead of plain numbers on ping pong balls) while enjoying delicious snacks and drinks. At night we made s’mores and chatted in front of the campfire. It was a quiet couple of nights that helped us re-charge.
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