PAX addresses inclusivity with addition of "Diversity Lounges"

Penny Arcade Expo to introduce special area for attendees to find information about issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, and more.

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Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) events around the world will introduce a special area for upcoming shows that aims to offer a safe and welcoming environment for diversity, it has been revealed.

Photo by: Aram Comjean
Photo by: Aram Comjean

Documents obtained by IndieStatik and confirmed by PAX director Robert Khoo, show that future shows in Seattle, Boston, and Melbourne will include a "Roll for Diversity Hub & Lounge.

"This space will exist as a resource for PAX attendees to find information related to issues surrounding women, LGBTQ, people of color, disabled people, and mental health issues in gaming," the document says.

This space will also be a resource for industry professionals and fans to "interface in a setting focused on diversity, receive diversity training, learn more about diversity, and meet people from diverse communities."

Of course, creating these "Diversity Lounges" could be seen as trivializing or marginalizing these groups, but Khoo does not see it that way.

"Our goal was to highlight diverse groups (and organizations that represent diverse groups) in the industry that might not necessarily get exposure otherwise," Khoo told Kotaku. "We have a limited number of slots, and the booths are free. In addition, since all of our content is spread out at the show rather than 'tracked', the hub will also be a resource for people to find the diverse sessions, events, and exhibitors."

The establishment of the "Diversity Lounges" comes after event organizers made controversial statements regarding transgender people earlier this year. These comments fueled Gone Home studio The Fulbright Company's decision to distance itself from PAX.

PAX East takes place April 11-13 in Boston, Massachusetts. GameSpot will be on-hand at the event.

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