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Gaming

Gamer idol Jennifer Hale to prove Everyone Games at GX3

The con that's been saying #EveryoneGames since 2012 is back for round 3. LGBTQ gamers and friends -- and Jennifer Hale fans -- mark your calendars for GX3 now.

Given the current messy and divisive discussions about gaming journalism, misogyny and who gets to call themselves gamers, a lot of people are probably wanting to do something fun and positive as a community. Here's one chance.

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What started as GaymerCon, the first gaming convention with "a focus on LGBT geek culture," has evolved and made it through some rocky financial moments to a third incarnation thanks to Kickstarter funding (successful as of Monday -- some stretch goals are still on the way). For the 2015 con, the name has been changed from GaymerX to GX3 to emphasize that the community is larger than any one group and all are welcome. Advance tickets for the full weekend right now are $60.

I checked out GaymerX 2 this year here in San Francisco (there were BioWare panels! With David Gaider! I went to one about how they plan out their romances!) and can confirm it was a varied crowd, with different ages, genders and degrees of cosplaying. I wouldn't expect anyone to feel like they weren't the right type to attend -- there's no sexual-identification check at the door.

Maybe more to the point, it was a great, lively, small gaming con, with lots of interesting indie games presented by their developers -- and a whole room of older games as well, such as the new-to-me and hilarious Typing of the Dead. I will take you on at that, guys. I will take you all on. Before losing with a shrill scream after a zombie jumps out at me.

The individual character of the con means an additional helping of independent attitude, and some seriously fun cosplay: the blue-skinned drow goddess complete with a life-size spider body, for example -- everyone was backing away instinctively -- fully deserved her pageant win. Other standouts roaming the halls were an amazing drag Catwoman, an amazing drag Captain Kirk, a perfect Princess Aurora from Child of Light and a haughty Maleficent serving up Angelina Jolie realness.

The biggest reason to go next year, though, from my point of view, is the 2015 con's Boss of Honor announced on Saturday: gaming-icon voice actress Jennifer Hale! The authoritative, humorous voice of Commander Shepard from Mass Effect, Satele Shan and the female Trooper from Star Wars: The Old Republic, and so many more will be right there in the room, probably speaking on panels and so on. Because it's a small con, she won't just be a speck -- your chances of actually seeing and hearing her go way up. The same goes for Ellen McLain ( voice of GLaDOS from Portal) and the other guests attending, announced and not yet announced. I'd say that right there is worth a ticket for any gamer.