Be-Con Community Guidelines and Social Contract
The organizers of Be-Con are committed to making Be-Con as safe and inclusive as reasonably possible for all attendees. By signing up or attending Be-Con events or it’s online communities, you and every member of the Be-Con community agrees to abide by this social contract. This is in effect at all Be-Con events, social events associated with Be-Con and hosted spaces including online spaces. This applies equally to all attendees, staff and volunteers.
Participants agree to not harass others. The Be-Con definition of harassment includes:
- Harassment is any unwelcome conduct from someone whose actions, communication, or behavior mocks, demeans, puts down, disparages, or ridicules another.
- Verbal, text or images which are harassing based upon perceived or actual gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, neurotypicality, ethnicity, age, religion, political beliefs, or socioeconomic attributes.
- Physical or verbal intimidation, or actions that could be reasonably seen as abusive.
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual attention, non-consensual sexual acts or contact.
Participants agree to obtain consent before taking a picture or other recording of someone.
Participants at Be-Con agree to wear their their badges to identify them as valid participants to other participants.
Participants agree to be inclusive and welcoming as much as possible. For example, it is encouraged to leave an open chair in any group discussion.
Participants agree to get affirmative consent for all physical contact with another person. For example, get permission before touching or hugging another person.
Participants agree to abide by the below contact rules during a larp unless the GM has specified different guidelines and made that clear in the public game description.
Consequences of violating this social contract include monitoring, warnings, restrictions to participation, removal from a game, or removal from the convention or associated online spaces. Be-Con organizers retain the ability to issue sanctions for any reason, and are not obligated to provide the reasons.
This Social Contract is enforced by the Be-Con Safety Team who are available at Be-Con events, as well as by email. The Safety Team will take any reports or concerns seriously, and evaluate the situation on a case by case basis, using the information presented, other information they may have, and their best judgement. Action may be taken immediately or in the future. Reports may be made by those who feel they were negatively impacted by the actions or another, or by people who witnessed inappropriate or unacceptable behavior.
The Safety Team will keep information about the incident and person reporting it confidential internally unless otherwise requested by the reporter, or when legally required. Be-Con volunteers and staff who are not on the Safety Team will only be told the minimum general information about a violator as needed to enforce removals or restrictions or monitoring for future violations. The Safety Team may share minimum general information with the safety teams of similar events about a violator when it deems appropriate to monitor for patterns of violations. This will only happen when confidentiality can be preserved, and will not include the identities of those who reported it, or were targeted by it.
The safety team can generally be contacted here: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the convention, they can be contacted in the Ops room, or if it is closed, calling the number posted on the door.
Be-Con will maintain a sanctuary space during the main convention hours. This will be located in a room connected to Ops. This space can be used to decompress or to meet with a safety team member who can listen non-judgmentally if you would like. You do not need a reason to use the sanctuary space. If the door is locked, there will be a sign indicating how to contact a safety team member to access it.
Contact rules during larps
In a larp event, participants portray a variety of characters and situations which may include physical contact with other players. The default rules for all larps at Be-Con is that no physical contact is allowed unless the participant has given explicit verbal permission for that contact. This permission can happen before a larp begins, or during a pause in play. A larp GM can override this default for their game as long as their guidelines are listed in the public description of their larp before game signup.
Safety mechanics during larps
Be-Con considers safety mechanics to be important in larps. Below are the default mechanics for this community. A larp GM can override this default for their game as long as their guidelines are listed in the public description of their larp before game signup. Any of the Be-Con safety team or staff can explain or demonstrate these mechanics.
OK check in
The OK check in mechanic is used to actively confirm with another player that they are ok. To do this, a person holds up on “OK” sign with their thumb and index finger to show another person. The other person can respond with a thumbs up indicating they are ok and play can continue in the direction it is going. They can also respond with a thumbs down, indicating that they are not ok, and play should be paused so that they can leave the situation, or indicate what needs to stop. Finally, they can respond with a wavering level hand, which means that play should be paused so they can leave the situation or indicate what needs to be adjusted.
The look down mechanic is used to remove yourself from a scene or specific game content without being pursued. If you as a player need to remove yourself, hold one hand clearly up front of your eyes, leaving enough space between your hand and your eyes so that you can easily see down in order to safely walk. When you do this, turn and walk away from the scene. If someone does this, do not follow them, or bring up that content with them later. Other players can generally continue play without the person who has left.
Larp content warnings
All GMs running a game at Be-Con are expected to list sensitive content on the game description prior to signup. While sensitive content in games is welcome at Be-Con, it is important to the safety of all participants that they can make their own informed decisions about a game. Examples of sensitive content include, but are not limited to violence, racism, sexual content, homophobia, sexual violence, abuse, self harm, suicide, incest, death or dying. If you have a concern about content in a larp, you can speak with a GM, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous, contact our staff member responsible for working with GMs, Susan.
This Social Contract is a living document, which will be updated as needed. Please contact us if you have any concerns or suggestions about it. Last Updated February 2, 2018