trying times we’ve all come to rely, more than ever, on the essential services
that keep us fed and healthy.
Supermarkets. Pharmacies. Laundromats.
If you’re hearing a chorus of “One of these things is not like the others…” right now, you’re not alone. Employees and customers alike have been confounded by GameStop’s stubborn refusal to close even amidst the escalating COVID-19 crisis and the shuttering of virtually all retail stores outside of groceries and pharmacies and stores that offer similar product. Video game site Kotaku has done excellent reporting on this subject, from fears that corporate wasn’t doing enough to safeguard in the early days of the outbreak, to the doublespeak insistence that by providing equipment for remote work and learning, GameStop can be considered “essential” and not mandated to close– never mind that their high-end keyboards and accessories are hardly what someone would pick up for basic needs, or that midnight launch parties for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal were ill-advised in light of restrictions on large gatherings. Employees were even provided with a letter to show law authorities in case they tried to enforce closure; in Athens, Georgia, police officers countered that letter with one of their own, which did not include the store on its list of essential businesses. A popular reddit thread started by an employee shed further light on the company’s misguided and potentially dangerous approach to the pandemic.
This past weekend, GameStop finally switched to a door delivery model and closed stores to customers—those that remain open or have not been forced to close by local ordinances—and officially discontinued video game trade-ins and in-store events. Calls to a number of NYC area GameStop locations on Tuesday were either not answered, busy, or resulted in a perky message explaining that some stores have been closed in response to COVID-19 concerns. This is clearly the right move, but as the reddit poster observed, it should not have taken this long for the company to do so. When we come out of this pandemic, and begin to shop at retail stores, we should think carefully about where our dollars go. GameStop failed both its employees and the buying public by disregarding their safety in a serious situation, and I, for one, will not be supporting them in the future.
September’s Geeks OUT’s Pokemon Go Queermunity Day is going to be another zoo, at the National Zoo! Come get some fresh air, play your fave mobile game with other queer nerds and allies, and participate in a scavenger hunt at the Zoo!
Chikorita is the featured Pokemon this month. Keep an eye out for Chikorita in the tall grass, walkways, and animal pens!
The scavenger hunt sheet will have a list of clues for animal statues in the park. You’re tasked with using the AR camera to photograph Chikorita with each of the statues! We will draw the completed clue sheets at the entrance at 5pm for prizes! Including “Serving Pride: The Queer History Dinner Party Handbook” https://www.geeksout.org/serving-pride/
AND a two tickets to Ropeburn 2: Guardians of Equality, presented by Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC and Geeks OUT!
You can find more information on Rope Burn 2 here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2051965538149735/
Find Ben and/or Molly just inside the Smithsonian National Zoo Main entrance on Connecticut Ave, and collect your Scavenger Hunt sheet. You can group up to complete the hunt together, small groups, or solo! It’s up to you!
We will stay at the entrance until 2:15pm before going hunting ourselves, so Message us if you arrive late or get separated. We will also post the clue sheet on the Facebook event page at 2:15pm so you can still play, and find us at 5pm when the drawing begins!
The Zoo has lots of places to cool and refuel over 3 hours. Be sure to save your Raid Pass, as we’ll likely do a group raid.
**Update: For the safety of our attendees and the members of our community in Washington, DC, we have changed the date of this event to Saturday the 11th in order to prevent any encounter with a hate-group affiliated march on Sunday. Thank you for understanding.**
August is hot out here, so to highlight The Renwick’s Burning Man exhibit, we’re hosting a photo-scavenger hunt, we’re calling Burning’Mon GO!
Meet in front of the Renwick to gather your teams and get your maps (or download them here https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/burning-man/beyond ). Once you check in, you can start your adventure! Your mission is to use your AR Camera to capture Eevee at the 7 stops on the NO SPECTATORS: BEYOND THE RENWICK WALKING TOUR. You must capture a photo of Eevee next to each of the exhibit’s public artworks.
At 5, we reconvene at the meeting place to review photos and collect prizes (Who wants to win Flame Con tickets?).
Bring bottled water, sunscreen and parasols, and whatever else you need to enjoy Burning’Mon GO!
Everyone was excited to see what new information we’d get about the Last of Us Part II at E3, and I was certainly not disappointed. Yes, we didn’t get a release date, but what we got will hopefully sustain us until the game actually comes out.
In the game play shown at the conference we got to see that indeed we’ll get to play as Ellie, who’s looking as queer as ever. And that’s not all! We don’t have to worry about the game shirking away from her sexuality, because we got a kissing scene in the first few minutes of the trailer! The way they transitioned from the kiss to game play and then back was absolutely fabulous and stunning, but there was a queer kiss! In a trailer for one of the most anticipated games! In front of a large in-person and online audience. During Pride Month! It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.
Seriously, I could stare at that GIF forever and it would never be enough. The kiss was so tender and adorable and sexy and it’s beautiful. The motion capture work that Naughty Dog uses for this game is truly astonishing and most definitely pays off in super queer ways.
The Last of Us Part II changes the game. If you want to play one of the probably hottest games (of hopefully 2019—please, Naughty Dog?) you have to play as a queer woman. Dude bros who are mad at the very idea of female inclusion in the video game are made to play as a Ellie. And more importantly, queer female gamers get to play as a character who reflects a part of their identity. Getting to smash zombies or weird cultists or Fireflies as a queer woman is going to be so much more satisfying.
It’s going to be very interesting to see where Ellie and her story leads. Will we get to see more of her and her dance partner throughout the game? And where does Joel fit into all of this? We definitely have time to speculate, but for now I think it’s important to reveal in the fact that a major video game developer showcased their game with a big gay kiss at one of the biggest conferences in the industry.
In a world where we’re often silenced, it’s nice to have a little reprieve in which we’re the main character in an epic story. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re in your video games. Get used to it.