We larp together
Larping is a dream we all believe in. We want a positive and healthy environment for players, designers, and organizers. We want spaces free of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, body shaming, bullying, and any other form of bigotry and hate. We want to create larps for people of all kinds and backgrounds to play and connect with one another. We see larping as a community where everyone is respected. Being human sometimes means making mistakes, and we believe in learning from those mistakes and working together to do better.
Larping came out of childish passion, grew into a teenage hobby, and is in theprocess of becoming an adult business and art form. It is still a young form ofexpression, and we’re all exploring uncharted territory. That means organizers areunder constant scrutiny, and players – often close personal friends of ours – are notafraid to speak up when we get it wrong. That’s a good thing, and we should always be prepared to acknowledge bad behavior when we see it. We take all incidentsseriously, even though situations are often muddied and facts not easily available.
We also want to be clear that behind larp companies are groups of individuals. Passionate people who work long hours on shoestring budgets for minimal pay, because they love what they do. We are designers and writers and prop makers. We can’t afford things like formal HR and PR departments, and we’re mostlymaking things up as we go. Some of us do this for a living, while others arededicated amateurs, but no larp organization is a faceless corporate machine.
No matter how much we try to create safe spaces, there will be unwantedbehaviour at larps, which the organizers need to act on. We strive to be clear aboutour decisions when we can, while also respecting the privacy of all involved. We will not engage in flame wars or speculation, or feed the rumor mill. We cannot act onthings we do not know about, but will always respond to reports made.
Larp is collaborative, joining with other people to live stories that none of us could create alone. We need to get better at cooperating, even when we disagree, even when we get hurt. We need to acknowledge harmful and dangerous actions. We need to remember the fundamental humanity of our participants, organizers, friends – and even the people we disagree with strongly.
We believe in larping together.
The people of Dziobak Larp Studios
Dziobak Larp Studios Code of Conduct
Every Dziobak experience is made by people, for people, and with people. People are at the very core of what we do, and we firmly believe that those people matter more than anything else about the experience itself.
We care about the wellbeing of our participants, our helpers, and our team members. Harmful or dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated, no matter who it is directed at or perpetrated by.
We do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, body shaming, bullying, or any other form of bigotry and hate. This includes hate speech, racist language, slurs, and intentional misgendering. We create larps for people of all kinds and backgrounds to play and connect with one another. We see larping as a community where everyone is respected, and we will intervene when we learn of people acting against that goal.
We do not tolerate theft or physical violence at our events. Many of our events involve pretend play, which may include in-character theft or physical conflict, but this must always be negotiated out of character and all stolen items must be returned to their original owners after the pretend play is over.
At our events, we have a “yes means yes” standard of consent for all interactions. This means that unless someone has given you their explicit verbal consent, you should never assume you have received it. A lack of response is never equivalent to consent. Consent that is given under social pressure or threat also is not considered valid consent–true consent must be freely given. This applies to social interactions as well as all romantic or sexual interactions.
We try our best to make our events accessible to everybody. Sometimes that is impossible, whether due to the physical reality of the location, the design of the event, or something else, and we reserve the right to exclude people who will not be able to participate.
Everyone is responsible for being aware of their own needs and limits, and setting their own boundaries. When boundaries are set, they must be respected. This includes boundaries in our real lives as well as in our pretend events. Overstepping someone’s boundaries in character is not an excuse, and everyone is responsible for the actions they take.
We have two guidelines that we apply to every situation. As best we can, and acknowledging that we are not trained investigators, we double check facts and we double check intent. Experience shows that this solves many problems. If that doesn’t lead to a solution acceptable to the involved parties, we will take action.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. This means that even with the best of intentions we can unwittingly cause harm to others. We always default to assuming good intent and good faith, but it is not a shield that can be used to avoid accountability.
If you experience something that makes you uncomfortable and come to us with it, we will do our best to help you. Sometimes all that is needed is a kind word and a quiet place to relax in. Other issues may require stronger measures (see our Incident Response Policy). We cannot fix what we are not aware of, so please report any incidents that make you uncomfortable.
Our goal is try to solve matters amicably, but we have banned participants from our experiences due to unacceptable behaviour and we stand ready to do so again if needed.
We have a dedicated team to deal with the hard cases that sometimes crop up. If you wish to get in contact with the Safety Council, send an email to [email protected]. We will treat all messages sent here with the utmost respect and seriousness, and do our best to provide assistance. All messages to that email are assumed to be confidential and will be kept private unless explicit consent to share is given.
This Code of Conduct is a living document that may be updated when we come across new knowledge or situations. It is not a rulebook to be hacked or an exhaustive list that covers anything and everything. It is a guideline for ourselves and our participants that helps us all in our shared goal: being able to safely larp together.
DZIOBAK LARP STUDIOS INCIDENT RESPONSE POLICY
While we always do our best to be proactive and institute safety tools to keep everyone at our events safe and comfortable, we acknowledge that this cannot always be perfect, and there is the possibility of someone being harmed at one of our events. As such, we have the following procedures in place to respond to such an incident. The goals of this policy are to support anyone who has been harmed during one of our events and to ensure that such events are not repeated in the future.
Reporting an Incident or Harassment
Anyone involved with one of our events in any capacity may report harassment or harm that they have experienced or been witness to. This includes staff, participants, and volunteers. Everyone is encouraged to report things they feel may be harmful, even if they are not completely sure that the Code of Conduct has been directly violated.
Our dedicated point of contact is [email protected], an email address which is monitored by our Safety Council. Anyone may reach out to this email before, during, or after an event. We may respond with clarifying questions or a detailed incident report form. Please be patient, especially if you contact the safety email while we are running events, as the team is small and needs time to respond.
At each event, we have an offgame room labeled the Dziobak Room where we have staff available at all times to receive reports or discuss potential issues. These staff are not counselors or therapists, but they can help you find the support you need and help connect you directly to members of the Safety Council if they think it’s a good idea. And in the meantime, they can generally provide tea, chocolate, and a quiet place to decompress.
All contact with the Safety Council, whether via email or in person, is by default kept confidential and private, and will not be shared with other members of the company or the public without explicit permission.
Followup and Consequences
Dziobak Larp Studios takes an approach that focuses first and foremost on supporting those who have been harmed as best we are able. This will likely take many forms, as each person’s needs are different. We always default to believing the victim in any given situation.
Once a report has been made, the Safety Council will convene and assess the situation. We may request additional information or attempt to gather additional witness statements, in order to help us fully understand what has happened. That said, we are not a law enforcement body, nor are we trained investigators.
The Safety Council will determine if the Code of Conduct has been violated and if player safety is compromised, and if so, what an appropriate consequence for the person in question is. Repeated violations on the part of a specific person will result in escalating consequences. Consequences may include (but are not limited to):
A clear verbal or written warning
Monitoring of the person for further issues
Restricting the person’s actions at a given event (instructing them to stay away from other involved parties/events, confining them to their room)
Removal of the person from an event
Banning of the person from future Dziobak Larp Studios events