Code of Conduct & Inclusivity Policy
We would like to welcome you all to GaymerX East 2017! Our staff, volunteers, sponsors, artists, speakers, etc. have worked very hard to make this convention happen. We couldn’t have done it without your help! GaymerX is, above all else, about creating an inclusive gaming community where everyone can feel safe to be themselves. As part of maintaining that community, we would like everyone to agree to the following as guidelines for our behavior.
- We agree that no form of harassment (insults, stalking, bullying, unwanted touching, etc) or discrimination (by gender, race, disability, etc) will be tolerated. We will abide by GaymerX’s anti-harassment policy and report any harassment or discrimination to GX staff.
- We will all refrain from using language that can be considered homophobic, sexist, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. This includes slurs on sexuality (the f-word), trans status (the t-word), neurotype (the r-word, the c-word), physical ability (the l-word, the other c-word) and others. If you’re not sure, ask a staff member for advice!
- We will also avoid using offensive topics as a form of humor, such as making racist or sexual assault jokes.
- We will remember that even if we find it okay to say some of these things in our circles of friends, we are in a public place where these things are not acceptable.
- We will remain open and respectful when called out for saying something offensive or hurtful. This means we will:
- Listen to the person speaking and let them speak without interruption. If we do not understand, we will ask clarifying questions when they are done speaking without demanding a lesson in return.
- Believe that our behavior has negatively impacted another and not attempt to invalidate this.
- Remember that we are not being judged as individuals, but instead asked to reflect on ways our behavior may unintentionally impact others.
- Ask for tips/help to avoid committing the same offense in the future.
- Own our behavior and apologize and disconnect when requested to.
- If all else fails, ask a volunteer or staff member to help mediate the situation.
- If somebody offends us, we will do our best to do the following:
- Find an appropriate time to pull them aside to discuss their behavior, ideally privately. If we are not comfortable doing this, we will notify a staff member so they can address the situation.
- Inform the person that what they have said or done is offensive and explain as best we can why.
- Try to help them understand how to avoid it in the future.
- Be open to forgiving the person for their mistake and helping them remain a part of our community.
- If all else fails, ask a staff member to help mediate the situation.
- We will, above all else, remember that our goal is to create a community for everyone. This should inform our actions when calling out the behavior of others or being called out for own own. We are all human beings who will make mistakes as part of our learning process. Our goal at GX East is to foster this growth.
- We understand that there is no “right” to discriminate or actively make a space unsafe for others through our words and actions. We agree that there is no place for this mindset at GX East, as it is counterproductive to our goals.
- If we have any criticism or concerns regarding any of the staff, panelists, vendors, or anyone kind enough to donate their time to take part in GX East, we will politely and ideally privately bring it up with them and ask if they would like to discuss it. If we are unable to or uncomfortable doing so, we will notify a staff member of our concerns so they can address it.
- We will strive to respect each other’s space and boundaries. We will ask before touching or taking any pictures of anyone. And we will politely respect anybody’s request for privacy or space.
- We acknowledge that we represent GaymerX to the community hosting us and our behavior reflects upon GX as a whole. We agree to hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
GaymerX has a reputation for being one of the friendliest, coziest spaces to be a geek. We need your help to uphold that reputation at GX East. We aren’t asking that you change your entire life, but to try it for these three days. So let’s all work together to have fun and be respectful of one another, because the two go hand in hand!
Hey There You Awesome Geek!!
We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe inside the con.
To that end, we’ve made this list of stuff to avoid if you don’t want to run afoul of our Security Sprites. Most of it is common sense, but we ask that you read it just to be sure you aren’t in violation of a policy. These rules all exist for the protection of our attendees and the legal protection of the convention.
All participants are expected to abide by the following rules. Please notify a Sprite (staff) immediately if you observe anyone in violation of these rules so we can handle it.
- GX East is 18+ unless you have a parent or guardian with you, no exceptions. This allows us to keep to conversations professional and curate a really awesome experience for our attendees. Some youth may be in attendance as part of special programming with some of our nonprofit partners, but are not allowed as regular attendees.
- Alcohol, Tobacco, & Drug Expectations.
- The legal drinking age the US is 21 years of age. Any under age attendee found to be drinking or any attendee found to be providing alcohol to a minor will be ejected from the convention and reported to the local authorities.
- Attendees who are intoxicated or whose use of any substance presents a concern for their safety and/or the safety of others will be removed from the convention floor by security.
- Drinking on site should occur in designated areas only.
- GaymerX abides by local and state laws regarding the use of drugs or other controlled substances. Any attendee found to be in violation of these laws will be ejected from the convention and reported to local authorities.
- Tobacco use is only permitted within designated locations outside the hotel and convention center (or rooms either has designated for smoking).
- Aggressive behavior and/or theft are never acceptable. Engaging in these will result in immediate ejection from the event. If deemed necessary, law enforcement will be notified of such behavior.
- If something is illegal per local, state, or federal law then it is unacceptable at GX East. Anyone found to be engaged in illegal activity will be ejected from the event and reported to the authorities.
- Respect our space and hosts. Please keep the hallways clear of congestion, maintain respectful noise levels, do not run in hallways, do not litter, do not damage hotel/convention center property, or post unauthorized materials on hotel/convention center property (including stickers!). Please follow any policies set by the San Jose Marriott and San Jose Convention Center. If these policies are in conflict with GX East Policy, please notify a Sprite or Staff member so we can resolve the situation. GX East staff will comply with any requests by the hotel or convention center to remove attendees due to a violation of their policies
- GX East has an attendee Code of Conduct & Inclusivity Policy. It also has a comprehensive Anti-Harassment policy. All attendees are expected to read and follow each of them. Failure to adhere to both can result in ejection from the event without a refund and a ban from attending future GX events.
- No solicitation or selling of goods by unauthorized vendors is allowed.
- Be responsible for your badge. Your badge must be visible at all times. Do not loan out or trade your badge with any other attendee. Please comply with any GX East, hotel, and/or convention center staff requests to see your badge. Please report any lost or stolen badge to registration.
- Appropriate attire is required. If any attendee’s clothing (or lack there of) is deemed inappropriate or unsafe for a public event, GX East staff reserves the right to ask them to change. See our Cosplay & Weapons guidelines for more details.
- No animals are permitted at the convention. The only exception to this are service animals, as defined by the ADA (https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm). If you have a service animal, please notify Registration when picking up your badge.
GaymerX staff reserves the right to remove any attendee from the convention floor or the event as a whole, at any time, whose conduct is determined to be disruptive and/or unsafe. GaymerX staff will take every reasonable step to avoid reaching this level of action prior to removing any attendee from the convention. No refunds will be issued to individuals ejected from the event for violating our rules, code of conduct, and/or policies.
Cosplay & Weapons Policy
Okay, we know weapons look really cool. We know you have an exact replica of the Master Sword. But not everyone sees this. You may have the most awesome cosplay of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, but all everyone else sees is a dude with spiky hair and a REALLY big sword. Imagine what they would focus on for a cosplay from Call of Duty.
In order to make sure everyone has an awesome time at GaymerX while still maintaining safety for attendees, hotel guests, and staff & security, please read and follow the policies below regarding weapons and costumes. These rules are subject to change at any time.
If you have any questions, our awesomesauce Director of Security can be reached via PM, or contact any of us on our contact page.
Regarding weaponry and costumes:
- No real or replica firearms. None. Seriously, no. Not even if they’re deactivated. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Pellet/Air guns
- Stun guns
- Dart guns/Blowguns
- Anything else that be seen as a danger to the public or the convention.
- No realistic fake firearms. If you could convincingly rob someone with it, it’s probably too realistic. GX East staff and security reserves the right to use discretion as to what constitutes “realistic.” All fake or prop guns must have an orange tip, whether glued, plastic, or painted.
- If you have a bladed weapon, it must be peace-bonded at all times. No open blades. Other props may be required to be inspected and peace-bonded by GaymerX Security, at the discretion of GaymerX staff. For a definition of peace-bonding, please refer to the one at the bottom of this document.
- GaymerX cannot and will not approve a prop prior to the convention. Needs to use our peepers to inspect that package.
- Fake guns and other prop weapons should not be carried outside the convention center. Law enforcement may treat anyone carrying realistic looking weapons as a real threat.
- Unless you’re actually military or police, don’t dress like it. Yes, you can dress as Axe Cop. As long as any reasonable person can tell you from actual law enforcement, you’re fine.
- No laser pointers. Real lasers can damage eyes, plus they drive cats crazy. Nobody wants crazy cats in the hotel.
- If it is illegal outside in the City or State of New York, it is illegal inside the convention. Illegal weapons will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
- We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time. And, just because something isn’t specified here doesn’t mean it doesn’t run afoul of policy. GaymerX wants to ensure a great time, and that means a sense of safety for all, so we ask that you use good judgment in your selections and abide by the outlined policies.
Violation of any of the above policies may result in warning and/or ejection. If you do mistakenly bring something against the rules but do not wish to leave the con, Security can secure it for you until the end of the day.
** Peace-bonding means that you allow GaymerX Security to put a bright plastic tie on your “weapon” indicating that it has been judged relatively harmless and/or is being bound into a holder of some sort that renders it so. These ties can only be removed by cutting them, making it obvious if tampering should occur. Anyone who has a weapon or prop that could possibly viewed as dangerous (even a little bit) needs to visit Security to have it approved and, if necessary, peacebound. Any weapons that are not approved and/or cannot be peacebound are welcome to stay in the Security office where they will be secured until they are brought home or locked away in the safety of your room. If you are found walking about the convention with a questionable object, you will be asked to bring it to Security to have it checked over. All questionable items will be judged on an individual basis to ensure security for all participants.
GaymerX Anti-Harassment Policy
We reserve the right to remove anyone if they are found to be harassing someone. This includes everything from physical assault to unwelcome attention. At this convention, if someone says “no” it truly and seriously means “no.” This includes cosplay! Remember: Attire is never consent.
Below are examples of some things that run afoul of our policy:
- Verbal abuse.
- Deliberate intimidation.
- Taking clearly unwanted or inappropriate photos (i.e. upskirt photos).
- The use of social media to engage in any of the above behaviors while at the convention.
- Unwanted physical attention of any kind.
- Unwanted physical contact or abuse of any kind.
The above list is not exhaustive and GX East staff are the final arbiter of what else may constitute harassment for the purposes of this policy. Any form of physical aggression will result in the immediate ejection of the offending party without refund and a ban on attending future GX events. As appropriate and at the offended party’s discretion, a report may also be filed with the local authorities. For other forms of harassment, within reason, you will receive only one warning from staff. Further offenses will result in your ejection from GX East without refund and potential bans from future GX events.
We recognize that lots of people take pictures at conventions, but please respect the privacy of those who ask you not to take their pictures. You should always ask permission before taking pictures of specific people. If you see someone taking a picture of you and you don’t want them to, please ask them (politely) not to.
If you have been harassed in any way or witness someone engaging in harassment, please notify one of our Sprites (staff) immediately. We’ll do our best to make sure the problem gets resolved and we’ll provide the targeted party with a safe space to chill. You may be asked to complete a report to document the incident. This is optional, but is very helpful in tracking patterns of behavior and ensuring the offender is dealt with appropriately. Any reports of harassment are kept confidential and the identity of the reporting party is never shared without their express consent.
In summary: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be a creep. If someone asks you to stop and leave them alone, stop and leave them alone. Have fun, play games, and don’t mess up anyone else’s good time.
Vendors And Press
This event is meant as a safer space. Please understand that means that vendors and press are also to be held under the same standards as attendees. Become familiar with all of the above rules and policies because while we understand mistakes may be made, anyone behaving as if they are exempt from the rules will need to be dealt with. Our event comes with the added bonus of a much nicer atmosphere and sense of kinship than most conventions but that comes with a larger responsibility.
Keep in mind that upholding our values not only helps keep the event safe and comfortable, it also looks good for you and the organization you represent. Here are some quick tips and guidelines that will help you get the most out of this event:
- Make sure your entire staff knows not to assume anyone’s gender, sexuality, marital status, etc.
- Avoid displaying merch/signage with what could be considered a slur on it. Even if there is a context by which it is reclaiming or positive etc, people don’t have that context by default.
- If you are given criticism regarding your merch/work/game etc, try to simply consider it and listen to it. Do not break into arguments over it.
- Keep in mind that MidBoss/GaymerX staff reserves the right remove any dangerous harmful, or offensive material at their discretion in extreme cases. (This is unlikely to ever happen)
- Ask before taking a photo of someone and if someone’s face is in a shot you took, ask if it’s alright that you took the photo. Delete a photo if necessary.
- Make sure your entire staff knows not to assume anyone’s gender, sexuality, marital status, etc and not to persistently bother anyone for information they aren’t interested in giving. Any sort of harassment from press at this event will not be tolerated and will be taken extremely seriously.
- If somebody has an issue with your process, please take criticism in a civil manner.
In all cases, everyone should make themselves familiar with all of the regulations on this page and what is presented at the event to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe time!