Participation and Conduct

“Every time we agree to play a game together, we are practicing one of the talents that makes us fundamentally human.”

-Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken

Our community benefits from a diversity of voices and perspectives. Games to Gather is dedicated to providing a maximally safe, comfortable, and welcoming space for all participants regardless of background, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical or mental health, physical appearance, body type, race, age, religion, political affiliation, lifestyle, occupation, economic stature, or experience level with the understanding that no space can be completely safe for everybody at all times. Therefore, every participant assumes a role of responsibility in upholding these values. We all make an effort to ensure the quality, inclusiveness, and security of our space for all participants without bias or preference.

We ask that all participants observe our Conduct Agreement, below. If you follow the Conduct Agreement, you will uphold our values and avoid any unwelcome behavior. Games to Gather staff are expected to be a positive example of this conduct and are required to intervene in the case of conduct violations.

With that in mind please note that not every event is for everybody. Some events or activities may address sensitive or challenging topics, such as sexuality, sexism, racism, etc. Some events may prioritize providing a separate space away from public social dynamics for certain groups of people that would benefit from such consideration. Please carefully consider if an event is “for you” instead of assuming that it is, and use your best judgement or ask. For example, though Games to Gather does not observe age limitations, some events may not be appropriate for young children.

We urge you to contact the Games to Gather coordinators if you feel that we’ve missed an opportunity to be more inclusive, more welcoming, or safer for any reason; we’re listening.

The Conduct Agreement

This agreement applies to all participants and personnel of Games to Gather events as well as any events or activities associated with Games to Gather, as well as toward non-participants, hosts, and venues. You enter into this agreement by participating in any Games to Gather event or activity in any capacity.

So everybody can have these, always:

Voice. Everybody has the right to be listened to in and out of the game.

Autonomy. Everybody has the right to choose and adjust the level of their involvement in any activity or engagement.

Safety. Everybody has the right to an aggression-, harassment-, and judgement-free environment.

Comfort. Everybody has the right to relax and not have to worry about the well being of their person, belongings, or experience.

Assurance. Everybody has the right to trust that their person, belongings, creativity, and experience will be handled with care by all participants and personnel.

Play. Everybody has the right to a respectful, fruitful, and honest game.

If any of the above aren’t true for someone, then they aren’t playing.

You agree to these, always:

  • To be present, aware, and sober.
  • To be generous, vulnerable, and strong.
  • To listen non-judgmentally.
  • To welcome and encourage the creativity and seriousness of others.
  • To offer solidarity when you can.
  • To speak and stand against oppressive behaviors and structures when you see them.
  • To act from a position of mutual respect and good will by assuming ignorance and not malice.
  • To apologize for any harm caused.
  • To forgive and forget mistakes and social missteps.
  • To speak only out of and about your personal experience and understanding.
  • To be curious instead of defensive.
  • To treat others as they would like to be treated.
  • To respect chosen names, pronouns, and genders.
  • To respect each others’ personal space and possessions.
  • To ask if you are unsure about how we respect each other.
  • To practice enthusiastic consent. Only “yes” means “yes”. Anything other than a clear and voluntary “yes” is “no”.
  • To watch out for each other to maintain a respectful and safe community.
  • To be conscious of what you bring into this space.
  • To refrain from engaging in self-deprecating behavior.
  • To lend a hand should the opportunity arise.
  • To speak up and intervene if somebody is being mistreated.
  • To bring constructive criticism and concerns to the attention of event personnel.
  • To comply without resistance to the requests of event personnel.

Unwelcome Behavior

Some behaviors are not welcome at Games to Gather events. Any person who cannot separate themselves from hurtful or abusive behavior, or behavior that compromises the safety, comfort, or inclusion of others at Games to Gather events may be subjected to a course of action determined by the event personnel, including being asked to leave without refund. Should this behavior continue, the individual may be barred from future participation.

Unwelcome behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Generally, any overt or covert assault, abuse, or mistreatment of another individual, be it verbal, emotional, psychological, social, sexual, or physical.
  • Personal attacks or verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical or mental health, physical appearance, body type, race, age, religion, political affiliation, lifestyle, occupation, or economic status.
  • Aggressive, argumentative, or confrontational interactions.
  • Unsanctioned sexual or derogatory language or images in public spaces.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, or monitoring.
  • Bullying or mobbing.
  • Rumor-spreading, gossip, or defamation.
  • Harassing photography or recording.
  • Sustained disruption of activities.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Any illegal activity.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

Enforcement

Where possible, Games to Gather is committed to a principle of compassionate re-direction, by which we accept a participant’s pledge to discontinue their behavior seriously and attempt to understand and address any misunderstandings that may have resulted in the unwelcome behavior. Please understand that nobody within the Games to Gather organization wishes to see anyone excluded from our events. Attempts at redirection represent our best efforts to include a given participant in our activities and mission.

Participants asked to stop any unwelcome behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in unwelcome behaviors, event organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund.

Event staff may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities. We think people should follow these rules outside event activities too!

Event staff are encouraged to begin with the most lenient redirection possible and escalate from there for repeat occurrences, however serious offenses may warrant strict or immediate redirection at the event staff member’s discretion. Possible enforcement measures include:

  • Verbal redirection from event staff.
  • Written redirection from Games to Gather coordinators.
  • Temporary or permanent probation during which a participant’s behavior is closely monitored by event staff.
  • Temporary or permanent reduction in role within the Games to Gather organization.
  • Temporary suspension from participating in some or all Games to Gather events.
  • Permanent expulsion from participation in some or all Games to Gather events.

An Event Coordinator may ask a participant to leave their event without refund. However, board approval is required enforcement measures that extend beyond the scope of a single event.

Reporting

Should you be subject to or witness any inappropriate or hurtful behavior please bring it to the attention of event personnel immediately, and/or through our feedback form which gives the option to report anonymously. Conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

When taking a personal report, our staff will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we’ll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You won’t be asked to confront anyone and we won’t tell anyone who you are.

Though we cannot follow up with you directly on an anonymous report, we will give the matter a full investigation.

Our team will be happy to help you contact venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

A list of Portland area resources and phone numbers can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/61872

Staff Procedure

Redirection

Any member of event staff or a Games to Gather Coordinator can issue a verbal warning to a participant that their behavior violates the Conduct Agreement. Warnings should be reported to board@gamestogather.org as soon as practical. The report should include:

  • Identifying information of the participant
  • The time you issued the warning
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time of warning)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Your identity
  • Other people involved in the incident
  • Their response to the redirection

Taking Reports

When taking a report from someone experiencing an unwelcome behavior you should record what they say and reassure them they are being taken seriously, but avoid making specific promises about what actions the organizers will take. Ask for any other information if the reporter has not volunteered it (such as time, place) but do not pressure them to provide it if they are reluctant. Even if the report lacks important details such as the identity of the person taking the harassing actions or unwelcome behavior, it should still be recorded and passed along to the appropriate staff member(s). If the reporter desires it, arrange for an escort by conference staff or a trusted person, contact a friend, and contact local law enforcement. Do not pressure the reporter to take any action if they do not want to do it. Respect the reporter’s privacy by not sharing unnecessary details with others, especially individuals who were not involved with the situation or non-staff members.

Expulsion

A participant may be expelled by the decision of any member of event staff or a Games to Gather Coordinator for whatever reasons they deem sufficient. However, here are some general guidelines for when a participant should be expelled:

  • A third offense resulting in a warning from staff.
  • Persisting unwelcome or harassing behavior after attempted redirection.
  • A pattern of unwelcome behavior, with or without warnings.
  • A single serious offense (e.g., punching or groping someone).
  • A single obviously intentional offense (e.g., taking up-skirt photos).

Venue security and local authorities should be contacted when appropriate.

Public Statements

As a general rule, staff should not make any public statements about the behavior of individual people during or after events.

In general, consult with other staff members when possible but act when necessary.