The Game Theatre's POLICIES
CODE OF CONDUCT
Dragon Thrones is a weekend event, scheduled for July 7th - 9th, 2017 at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA (“the Event”). The event is produced and operated by The Game Theatre, LLC, a New Jersey limited liability company (“the Game Directors”). The Game Game Directors are committed to the following:
Creating an Event that offers ticket purchasers (“Players”) a safe, comfortable, and inclusive environment that can bring together people from different locations, age demographics, and backgrounds into one collective, interactive experience called “Game Theatre”.
Informing the Players of what they can and cannot do while enjoying the Event’s social adventurers in a historical landmark location.
This information includes both a “Player Code of Conduct” (how players treat one another) and “Castle Code of Conduct” (how Players treat the college location) and will be . These will be both collectively referred to as “Policies”. We want our Policies to be easy to understand so our Players can focus on having a great time and not have any worries or questions as to what is to be expected from them in how to behave with each and within the historic location.
Please keep in mind that the Game Directors reserve the right to determine which Player conduct is problematic and violates these Policies and/or common sense and decency. The Game Directors have the right to discipline or remove any Player from the Event whom the Game Directors deem have violated these Policies, including but limited to Players who pose a threat safety and college property. Of course, the Game Directors will be highly communicative and accessible with all Players and will use clear communication and reason when dealing with issues between Players or with property.
These Policies are not fixed and the Game Directors can change, edit, or alter them anytime as the Event is a customized weekend that is growing, as such the Game Directors may need to modify policies to meet these demands. Should anything in these policies change all Players will be immediately notified by email.
As a Player who is investing much creative time into this special Event it’s the responsibility of the Player to read and understand these Policies. Keep in mind these Policies are for the benefit of Players and that the Event is about having a great time and creating a new and amazing adventure. “Game Theatre” is about making decisions, team-building, secrets, social strategy, and storytelling where the Players are the stars! Yes, emotions may be felt but Game Theatre is about gaming and interactive theater and not about bringing about uncomfortable or challenging emotions. Just like a game night with friends, “fun” and thrilling “play” is the focus.
PLAYER CODE OF CONDUCT
The Event is a private weekend experience produced by The Game Theatre, LLC, therefore the Game Directors have the right and discretion to give verbal warnings, sanction, or remove/eject any Player for any reason. As a sophisticated event production company operating the Game Directors have extensive experience in Player safety and addressing Players concerns, either it be the Player who has concerns or Players who are accused of doing something that is the source of a concern or complaint. The Game Directors always put Players first and will speak to everyone involved before decisions are made. Of course, the Event’s environment will be in the spirit of shared fun so the design for the Event is a very positive one.
Additionally, these Policies are in effect from the date a Player purchased their ticket. Should any Player violate these Policies they can be removed from any online communities, and even prevented from attending the Event itself without a refund.
All of the following constitute grounds for removal and ejection from the Event without refund:
- Violating any law, including federal, state, or local, college rules or these Event policies
- Failure to comply with the safety instructions of the Game Directors, Game Masters or campus staff
- Using anything in a threatening or destructive manner against person or property, many people will have prop weapons and they are strictly costume items and NOT “in game” items, we will explain more in the Castle Policies to follow
- Endangering the safety of oneself or others or endangering college property
- Threatening, stealing, cheating or harassing other Players or any other person
- Drinking alcohol under the age of 21, or providing alcohol to those under age 21
- Failure to respect touch boundaries, the is NO touching unless “on mutual consent” between the Players, this is a STRICT policy, for example if you want to hug your family member establish that boundary by asking “can I hug you my Lady” and the Lady responds “of course my Lord!” Super simple but also super safe and considerate -- be mindful as if you are all High Born characters!
- Disruption of the Game Directors, of staff (Game Masters) running of the event (we have a lot of Players and sometimes Players will need to “wait their turn”) and/or disruption of any entertainer and live act for the Event -- our entertainers are there for everyone’s enjoyment so please respect them by not being disruptive while they are performing
Any complaint presented to the Game Directors will be reviewed by the information offered by the complainant and the Game Directors will act as fast as possible to evaluate the issue by speaking to anyone allegedly involved or affected. If there is an important “scene” or feature being conducted at the time the complaint is made the Game Directors reserve the right to place the complainant in a separate “safe space” until the issue can be resolved. If the complaint is tortious or criminal in nature then the Game Directors will be compelled to contact local law enforcement to overtake handling the situation. Players should also keep in mind that a false accusation is just as bad as a truthful one. If a Player is unsure if they are encountering a real issue they should speak to the Game Directors first and all such communications will be held strictly confidential.
This Player Code of Conduct includes the below anti-harassment policy. This policy is about how Players treat one another as people. We will meeting many new faces, and have different backgrounds of what we are comfortable with, and will be in dorms and public spaces for a three day weekend so we need to be clear about what is acceptable. What may seem innocent of fun to one person may be intimidating, stressful or scary to another person, and Players are asked to keep that in mind.
Let’s start with “in game” and “in Character” Player interaction: the rule is clear, mutual consent before any touching or staging any “scene”. However, “in game” there can be some verbal communication that can be viewed as strong, or forward, or aggressive. For example: Rival Teams may challenge or taunt one another, Players or Teams may take joy in scoring a victory in the map (MegaGame battles) or in successfully outwitting adversaries in diplomacy or trade -- again, this should be treated the same way as if you were playing a board game with friends, or if one was acting in a theater production where not all of the actors’ characters are ‘friends’. Also, some drama makes for very good interactive theater! Diverse Players may take winning and losing differently, as some people may become disappointed or upset at losing a game BUT this is where LARP is most powerful, Players can transform an “in game tragedy or loss” into amazing and dramatic that in the story -- just like a movie or cable series!
As for Player interaction outside of being “in Game” “in Character” (which may happen in the dormitories, food hall, and all other times when Players are just being themselves and not their Character) the Game Directors’ definition of harassment is broad. Harassment of a Player may include, but is not limited to:
- Physical or verbal intimidation or abuse
- Sustained disruption of the Event at anytime
- Inappropriate physical contact or proximity or stalking
- Nonconsensual sexual acts
- Inappropriate sexual attention, whether verbal or physical, or unwelcome attention after being asked to stop
- Inappropriate comments, actions, gestures, and/or physical attention related to, and that may denigrate, but not limited to: gender, gender identity/expression, sexual identity, physical ability or restrictions, physical appearance, body size, race or ethnicity, age, religion, geographic origin, socioeconomic status, or pregnancy
- This harassment policy applies to both in-person and online activities. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
- Reporting Harassment
- If any Player is deemed to have conducted harassing behavior by the Game Directors, for any reason, the Game Directors will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including potential expulsion from the Event with no refund. Our policies apply to ALL ATTENDEES, this includes Players, NPCs, Game Masters, staff, entertainers, volunteers, guests, and the media.
All Players, or any other Attendees, can report harassment to any Game Director or Game Master. If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact the Game Directors, or speak to your Team’s Game Master, who will quickly, in turn, contact a Game Director for attention to the issue. If any Player feels as if they are experiencing harassment online prior to the Event they shoulds email The Game Theatre at: firstname.lastname@example.org. All communication will be confidential, so Players should not fear talking to us, our company takes communication seriously and fully understand the legalities of our Policies. All communication between the Game Directors, Game Masters, and Players will be deemed strictly confidential.
After the event: We prefer that communication is made during the Event, so the Game Directors can take the time to handle any issues in a timely fashion and Players can conclude the Event knowing that their safety was of the highest importance, or that all misunderstandings were listened to and resolved between everyone. However, should any Player have concerns after the event is over please email email@example.com and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
Player understanding and growth
This Event features many people from different backgrounds so Players should keep in mind that what sometimes seems to be funny to one person may be insulting to another, or conversely something that seems to be a severe issue to one person can be an innocent misunderstanding to another person. As such, the Game Directors may take any misunderstandings, natural differences in opinion, or moments when one player did not know or understand another player’s personal “triggers”, as an opportunity to mediate and amicably resolve the situation so all involved can learn more about one another, reach mutual understandings, and achieve personal growth. For non-egregious situations the mediation process may include hearing all sides and then then monitoring the involved Players until trust and comfort levels are once again established. Gaming is both about fun and education.
In serious situations, the Game Directors reserve the right to take more stringent remedial and disciplinary action. Here are the Grades of conflict resolution:
Grade 1: Warning -- example: a Player makes a joke about an ethnicity that is offensive, the offending Player would be pulled aside, warned about such comments, and would be told that any future joke of this nature would be unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Any offended Players would be reassured that the joking Player was warned and that any future jokes would result in disciplinary action. Likewise, if the joking player was unaware of the impact of their joke they would be engaged with by the Game Masters to ensure that it would never happen again.
How to be careful: avoid comments that mention race, ethnicity, gender, identity, this is a fantasy Event keep it in the realm of fantasy! When not “in game” be respectful and act like “Ladies and Gentlemen”, just like your ticket levels!
Grade 2: Separation -- example: a Player makes aggressive romantic gestures “in game” to another Player who rejects such gestures yet the gesturing Player persists to the point of it being annoying or uncomfortable to the Player receiving the gestures without consent. The Player receiving the gestures does not want the other Player removed from the Event, but nonetheless would like to not have to “play” with them anymore. The Player issuing the gestures would be spoken to, warned, and separated from the complainant for the remainder of the Event.
How to be careful: if a Player appears genuinely uncomfortable with your role-play ask them to step out of Character to see if they consent to the plot line, if not then be respectful and abandon the plot line. Just like touching, it is always most prudent to ask the other Player first if they would really like to act out a romantic plot line, or even act out other plot lines such as a public challenge, or acted out emotional episode. So, we ask Players to just talk first to see if it’s the role play will “feel right”.
Grade 3: Removal -- simply put, any clear, repeated, and/or gross violation of these Policies can result in Player ejection from the Event and removal.
First and foremost The Game Theatre produces events that are purest “escapes” that take Players away from their everyday Monday to Friday issues and routines and places them in a new and amazing collaborative environment. “Game Theatre” is not about challenging everyday realities or making political statements (there are ample other channels for that), it’s about challenging your imagination and forging new bonds with new people. As such, if all Players think of themselves as a community, then disruptive issues can be resolved. We trust in all of you and look forward to creating an amazing social adventure! Pregame briefing and classes will be conducted to instill confidence in Players, and their will be a post Event debrief on the final day so everyone can share their thoughts and feelings before departing.
If any Player requires special accommodations for a physical or mental disability, or has personal “triggers” that makes them sensitive to various environmental or communicative elements, please email The Game Theatre Team regarding such Special Requests at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CASTLE CODE OF CONDUCT
There are a lot of things we can do at Bryn Mawr College. There are also things we CANNOT do.
Safety and concern for the property of the Gothic College of Bryn Mawr is VERY important! It’s a national historic landmark and we are their guests! This means if a Player wants to do something physical or silly, The Game Theatre can deny a player’s request to do that action to ensure safety for the historic buildings. So, for your own safety and safety of property, do not attempt stunts or physical displays. This Event is a social experience between High Born Players. This is not a physical LARP, so please refrain from climbing things, drawing on or pinning things into walls, or drawing a prop weapon and using it -- it’s a costume item at all times. We’re at a famous college and are all capable of telling our story through social strategy, storytelling and gaming.
Simply put, behave like you are in a museum!
The college modernized it’s features, so stairs, entranceways, hallways, rooms, and more are very accessible. However, there is artwork, stone structures, wood, century old carpeting and more. So, be mindful. There will never be a need for you to run, fall or hurt yourselves. Your safety is our priority!
The Game Masters/Game Directors and College Staff
When exploring our “Castle Campus” of Bryn Mawr College, as well as playing our experiences for the Event, you will be assisted by the Game Directors, Game Masters, plus associated staff, volunteers and campus staff. All of us will work devotedly to serve all Players and are available to assist and answer questions at all times -- The Game Theatre wants the Event to be as “Epic” as possible! If you’re ever unsure about something you’re doing in the game, you can ALWAYS ask them, “in” character or “out” of character. This is an open and entertaining social adventure!
No Player vs. Player Fighting/Combat -- Strict Policy (and part of the Amazing Story)
Strictly put: there is no physical or Player vs. Player combat at the Event entitled Dragon Thrones. The Game Theatre has MANY reasons for this, and we believe every Player will appreciate the unique (and simple) rules as to why this Event is not a Player vs. Player environment.
Reason 1: The Magical Story: The first reason there’s no Player vs. Player fighting and combat is the Story: all High born Players of the realm known as Cambria have consented to enter a magical realm called Castle Bryn Mawr in an attempt to create peace, or at least negotiate safely, regarding the urgent matters facing the realm, including but not limited to the uncontrollable power of the various Dragon Thrones, trade agreements, environmental disasters, rivalries, plus the (potential) return of the Draconians and how that should be dealt with. Bryn Mawr is a magical place and this magic prevents anyone who enters from being able to strike, fight, or otherwise physically combat any other guest of the Castle. Of course, there can be massive battles, spying, trading, attacking other teams home kingdoms and much, much more! But that our friends happens outside the Castle in the larger realm…
Reason 2: Player Experience: Game Theatre uses many elements of LARP but it is also a form of entertainment the melds gaming with interactive theater. So, being killed is seldom fun. We can do lots of killing in our social games, map MegaGame, and in our role-play missions, to other Team’s armies, population, and of course any monsters, but just like being asked to leave the theater or a movie early, Players will not be killed unless they choose to make that a part of the story at the Event. The Game Theatre strives to create a nice balance between strategy/tension/loss and confidence that Player experiences will not be cut short. So, simply put: players death or injury can only be on consent of that Player. Additionally, since dying means either the Game Directors must assign the Player a new character (probably not as epic as your original character) or missing out on the rest of the Event by becoming a ghost, it’s not something that’s going to be happening right and left. If you choose to have your character die, make sure it’s in an interesting scene that adds unforgetable content to the Event (and that someone takes care of getting the body to the out of room near to an exit, after all dead bodies aren’t supposed to walk around). Clearly, we do not expect character death to be a central part of the Event. It may happen in extreme cases based on Player choice and that it will result in fine drama, but this is not an Event where we expect a high Players death toll. The death toll is left for what happens in the realm outside of the Castle, a truly troubled realm on the brink!
Finally, apart from death, if your Character becomes “in Game injured” remember -- healing magic is very powerful at Bryn Mawr Castle. The druidic and draconian magics are far beyond comprehension. No-one wants to spend the Event in a sick bed, especially since we don’t have a room that can be used as a sick bay. So if you’ve been injured “in Game” you do not have to lie around playing injured for any longer than you want to, just try to make the “injury” interesting and pertinent to the stories being told. Of course, if your suffer a REAL injury of any sort, cut, scrape, illness or other, we and the college have first aid, the ability to immediately contact medical professionals, and places where injured players can take comfort until they are treated on campus or until medical professionals arrive in case of an emergency.
Conclusion: simply put: if something happens come to us and we will assist you, either it be a personal issue, an issue with others, confusion, uncertainty, injury, or being uncomfortable. Role-play can sometimes bring about unforeseen emotions or strong emotions Players did not expect to experience. Some Players look forward to experiencing this, others not so much. We all have unique backgrounds, life experiences, memories, and things we all have had to deal with. We have over 100 players with different personalities and emotional registers, so please just keep communication lines open with us. Also, keep in mind that “Game Theatre” is first and foremost a collaborative entertainment experience that takes your usual game night with friends, or costume party, or interactive theater event and amps that up by 1,000 percent! Remember: in Game Theatre we all challenge our imagination, and that’s first and foremost fun!