In the wake of an August shooting that killed two professional gamers while they were streaming a Madden tournament on Twitch, the platform has announced increased security measures for the upcoming TwitchCon 2018 in San Jose.
The convention will be working with local law enforcement to establish security checkpoints at all convention entry points, with staff conducting screenings and bag searches. Congoers are no longer allowed to wear bulky clothing or bring backpacks into the convention — and that includes the branded backpacks Twitch previously announced would be handed out to all attending creators. (Twitch will still be giving out the backpacks, but creators will not be able to leave and re-enter the event with them; once they’re out, they’re out.) Attendees are permitted to carry one small bag with them, with a max size of 12 inches by 15 inches by 6 inches.
Twitch also reiterated its weapons policy, which boils down to: No real weapons of any kind are allowed, and cosplay prop weapons can only be carried if they are made from lightweight materials like cardboard or foam. Prop weapons also cannot look realistic enough that they could be mistaken for the real thing.
Several pro gamers and streamers expressed concerns about convention security after the Aug. 26 shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla., game bar that took the lives of Eli Clayton, 21, and Taylor Robertson, 27 — and injured 11 more. Fortnite player CLG Wish tweeted earlier this month, “Security at public gaming events is a joke and I won’t be supporting them anymore unless things change. You shouldn’t either.”
In a video, he added, “A week [after Jacksonville] we had PAX West. There were 60,000 attendees and there wasn’t a single security check. There wasn’t a bag check. There weren’t metal detectors. There weren’t any wands. So it kind of feels like the industry takes this as a joke…Going forward, I personally will not be attending events unless they explicitly state their security guidelines.”
Security at public gaming events is a joke and I won’t be supporting them anymore unless things change.
You shouldn’t either. pic.twitter.com/RSolszncl0
— CLG Wish (@WishYaLuckk) September 12, 2018
“I may not attend TwitchCon,” another streamer, Ellohime, tweeted. “This is a difficult decision (and I am still thinking hard on it), but I just wanted to get this out there. Don’t feel safe in America.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser to support Clayton and Robertson’s families is still running.