Gen Con, one of the premier expos for board game hobbyists, has been targeted by malignant parties who reportedly wish to attend the event to harass minority groups. These individuals have tried to uncouthly impersonate Gen Con’s staff, including members of the security team. Monte Cook Games community manager LaTia Jacquise was among the people to be targeted by hate speech over social media.
Targeted Attendees Taking it in Stride
An impostor claiming to be part of Gen Con’s security team used offensive and racial language to instruct Jacquise the kind of screening she would need to go to attend the event. The unsolicited message surprised Jacquise but she was not alone. Other attendees of color or members of the LGBT+ community were also targeted by similar flippant, yet deeply offensive and even scary messages.
Jacquise took it in stride, though, and shared her message, explaining that her phone number, the one used to contact her, was not public. As other people began receiving the same messages some began to suspect that a Gen Con employee or staffer must have been involved somehow. The information that leaked was for the most part private. Gen Con issued an official update
Kelsey Danger, a diversity consultant for Gen Con, commented on the update and said that there was a group of people who were intentionally targeting others, but that Gen Con did not have the targets’ phone numbers in its database, putting stop to rumors that an insider may have assisted.
Online Trolls Seek out Marginalized Groups to Target
She added that it’s possible that some of the people have been singled out because of their social media interaction with the bigoted individuals in the first place and she told people not to engage with obvious trolls, urging those people to be reported instead.
Gen Con also confirmed that it only ever sought reaching out via email and never over the phone or email. The organizers also noted that should anyone find themselves experiencing this kind of attitude on site to immediately notify the security team. While disturbing the board gaming and RPG community is now easily cowered by threats.
The harassers themselves would probably not turn up at Gen Con this year either, or at least not exhibit this behavior. Doing either would take actual courage – such people are not known to have much of it.