Gaymer Nights: Old Traditions, New Agendas

Gaymer Nights have become a staple event at the Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges, taking place 3-4 times per semester for at least five years.

QRC student associate Milagros Montalvo PO ’18 said that although she does not remember when Gaymer Nights were first introduced, the QRC records show that they have been hosted since around 2013.

While there is a focus on games — including console games, ranging from Xbox and Nintendo Wii to board games — the space is also open for general hanging out. The event welcomes students to come in and out whenever they please.

“Recently, we collaborated with Residence Hall Staff to host a Gaymer Night in order to bring more awareness [to] the event [and] the QRC,” Montalvo said. “Gaymer Nights are meant to be a safe space for LGBTQ+ students from the 7Cs to engage with [each other and] play games.”

In addition to this collaboration with RHS, Montalvo said her aspirations for Gaymer Nights extend beyond the social arena. She said it would be great for the QRC to host discussions about LGBTQ+ representation in the gaming industry.

“Traditionally, the gaming industry itself is very male-dominated, and you don’t see many LGBTQ+ characters depicted in video games,” Montalvo said. “It would be amazing if we could host critical discussions around that and how the gaming industry, or gaming as an activity, can be more inclusive.”

Inclusivity is a crucial part of Montalvo’s hopes for Gaymer Nights. She said she has been thinking a lot about how the space could be more inclusive for students who identify as a QTPoC (Queer Trans Person of Color), international, and/or 7C LGBTQ+ student in general.

In a broader sense, the event is a way for students, especially those that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, to engage in games and activities that are not always accessible to college students.

“Video games and gaming consoles cost so much money, and the cost of board games is not always feasible for everyone, so I am glad the QRC has the resources [and] space to hold events like Gaymer Nights,” Montalvo said.

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