Safe Place Statement and Related Policies

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
At Alliance San Francisco, we are committed to making our game a safe space for all players. Our game may deal with some intense situations, and your character may at times be challenged, upset, or otherwise uncomfortable IG. However, we want to make sure that the players behind those characters are always safe and in control OOG.

To that end, we have a number of tools and policies which are designed to make sure that all players can interact with the game safely.

First, our player reps. These are your first point of contact for any issues you may have. John Azzaria (Kjeld) and Vanessa Grey (Ashlynn) are our current player reps, and they are great listeners who are willing and able to help you resolve whatever is going on for you. Of course, you may also speak to any member of staff about an issue you are having -- please feel free to speak to whomever is most comfortable for you. However, please do speak up! We want to help you resolve whatever issues you might be having, and this is very difficult if we do not know about problems that are happening.

Second, we have a robust anti-harassment policy which we take very seriously. This policy is in the second post below.

Third, we are adopting the roleplay consent policies that many of our sister chapters have recently started using. These will be familiar to you, as they are very similar to what we’ve been doing here in SF for some time, but they’ve added some good refinements and a very clear explanation of how the policy is meant to work. This policy is in the third post below. It may look intimidatingly long, but the basic idea is to make sure that everyone is always comfortable on an OOG level with what is going on in RP. The policy is intended to provide tools to check in with your fellow players, and to negotiate and steer so that everyone is in a good place.

Fourth, we encourage everyone to use roleplay check-in hand signals. This is a tool that can help you make sure your fellow players are comfortable without needing to break a scene unnecessarily. To check in, make the check mark symbol with your hand. Your RP partner should respond with a thumbs up to indicate that they are OK OOG regardless of what is going on IG. A “so-so” symbol (waggling a flat hand) means that they are approaching their comfort limits, and the scene should be ratcheted down in intensity. And a thumbs down means that they are not OK with the current RP and you should redirect or end the scene ASAP. We also encourage players to use the “response” signals proactively to let others know how they are feeling about an intense scene.

Finally, you always have the option of going out of game if you need to. Take a moment to calm down, find a friend to talk to and decompress, or find a staff member if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Your safety as a player should always take precedence over your character.


Again, we want our game to be safe, inclusive, and fun for everybody. We hope that these tools will help make that happen. If you have any suggestions for further improvements in this regard, or have any other comments or concerns, please do reach out to myself, your player reps, or another staff member.
 
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MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Alliance LARP San Francisco Harassment Policy

Introduction
Alliance LARP San Francisco is dedicated to providing welcoming and safe gaming space for all members of our community, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all Alliance LARP San Francisco spaces, including, but not limited to, events, both officially sanctioned and non, website, forums, and Facebook. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from the chapter at the discretion of the General Manager and Owner.

Some Alliance LARP San Francisco spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants at the time of participation. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Definition of Harassment
Harassment includes:
  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.

  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including, but not limited to, those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, employment, and personal appearance.

  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.

  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour, or discussions of a sexual nature, in spaces where they’re not appropriate or not welcome.

  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.

  • Threats of violence.

  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.

  • Deliberate intimidation.

  • Stalking or following.

  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.

  • Sustained disruption of discussion.

  • Unwelcome sexual attention.

  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.

  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.

  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent.

  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

The Alliance LARP San Francisco Response Team (see below) reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’

  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”

  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial

  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
Reporting
If you are being harassed by a member of Alliance LARP San Francisco, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the Alliance LARP San Francisco Response Team. This consists of your two player representatives at maleplayerrep@alliancesf.net and/or femaleplayerrep@alliancesf.net, as well as your General Manager at gm@alliancesf.net. These team members are introduced at the beginning of all Alliance LARP San Francisco sanctioned events, and you may approach any of them at any time. If you are uncomfortable with speaking to this team directly, either because a team member is the person who is doing the harassing, or for any other reason, you may also speak to any other member of the Alliance LARP San Francisco Staff, who will pass your report on to the appropriate team member(s). However you choose to make your report to our team, we will respond as promptly as we can.

This code of conduct applies to any Alliance LARP San Francisco spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of Alliance LARP San Francisco outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by Alliance LARP San Francisco members, especially our staff members, seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The Alliance LARP San Francisco Response Team reserves the right to exclude people from Alliance LARP San Francisco based on their past behavior, including behavior outside Alliance LARP San Francisco spaces and behavior towards people who are not members of Alliance LARP San Francisco.

In order to protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Alliance LARP San Francisco members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent. All reports and complaints will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, and will be presented to other members of our management team with anonymity if requested. All requests to remain anonymous will be respected without question. If a harassment report involves a member of our Response Team, that member will recuse themselves from the resolution of that complaint.

Consequences
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, Alliance LARP San Francisco Response Team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Alliance LARP San Francisco spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Alliance LARP San Francisco members, other LARP and gaming communities, and/or the general public.
 
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MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Alliance SF Physical and Romantic Roleplay Negotiation Policy
This policy was borrowed from Alliance Denver and has been adopted by a number of other Alliance Chapters including Seattle and Oregon. It is very similar to what we have been doing for years here in SF, but has some refinements that we wish to adopt.

The players are more important than the game. At NO time should any player ever be asked to subsume their OOG boundaries to serve their character’s IG motivation or verisimilitude. Telling a player that declining physical contact or romantic content is “bad roleplay” or “not what their character would really do” is harassment,and may be grounds for suspension or banning.

Physical Roleplay
Old policy:

If player 1 wants to engage in physical contact with player 2 outside of combat (physical contact except with a weapon or packet is expressly forbidden in combat), they briefly go out of game by placing a hand on their head and ask “Do you consent to physical roleplay?” Player 2 will then also place a hand on their head and answer “Yes” or “No”. In some situations, this player may ask for clarification, or state boundaries, but the format does not invite them to do so, nor indicate to an unexperienced player what their options are.

Problems that can arise:
Without clarity, Player 2 may consent to physical contact anticipating a level with which they are comfortable (a hug), only to then receive a level of physical contact with which they are not comfortable (a kiss). This puts the player in the uncomfortable position of having been subjected to uncomfortable physical contact while feeling like they “agreed to it”. The current physical RP consent functions most often as a sort of blank check, and is therefore vulnerable to intentional or unintentional abuse.

New policy:
If Player 1 wants to engage in physical roleplay with Player 2 outside of combat (physical contact except with a weapon remains expressly forbidden in combat), they briefly go out of game by placing a hand on their head and expressly requesting the specific physical interaction they are seeking, ie: “Physical roleplay negotiation: May I kiss you?” Player two now has numerous options, because this is stated to be a negotiation. Options may include:

“No, thank you”
“No, but you may hug me, if you would like.”
“I am not comfortable with a kiss, but my character would be, so I am comfortable simulating a kiss, or simply saying that they did without completing the action out of game.”
“Yes, I am comfortable with a brief, closed-mouth kiss”
“Yes, I am comfortable with a lingering, open-mouth kiss”

There is absolutely no room for debate in a physical roleplay negotiation. If a player declines a physical interaction, they do not owe an explanation for why, nor should you ever make an effort to talk them into it. OOG boundaries are not subject to either IG or OOG pressure.

Some players may set up long-standing consent agreements with people they know well, that follow boundaries that are familiar to them due to OOG boundary agreements. This is fine, but those agreements are always subject to cancellation on either person’s end, and no player should ever attempt physical roleplay with a new player or someone they do not have established boundaries with without expressly requesting consent. Additionally, no individual physical roleplay negotiation should be interpreted as the setting of an ongoing consent agreement. The consent is on a case-by-case basis, meaning that if the player consents to being hugged once, you must still obtain fresh consent the next time you want to hug them. If you want an ongoing physical roleplay agreement with another player, you must specifically request that, and negotiate it clearly. If at any point they wish to terminate thatagreement, they may do so, and are not required to provide an IG or OOG explanation.

At any point physical contact with the intent to cause real bodily harm is not allowed in any form, with or without consent. Reckless contact is also disallowed, if a reasonable person is likely to conclude taking an action is likely to cause real injury, even by accident, you shouldn't do it.

Romantic Roleplay

Old policy:
Any player may engage in romantic roleplay with any other player without restriction. The pursuit is presumed to be entirely in-game unless there is strong evidence of metagaming, which is not explicitly against the rules. If the recipient of this attention rejects the advance, that rejection is also presumed to be in-game unless expressly stated otherwise. If a player is uncomfortable with an In-Game romantic attachment or pursuit, mutual or otherwise, it is incumbent upon that player to have a conversation with the other player to find a way to resolve this. They might approach plot or administration for help resolving the issue, butthere is no official policy or encouragement in place for this.

Problems that can arise:
The line between in-game and out-of-game attraction is blurry on both sides. New players in particular may feel social pressure to “play along”with romantic roleplay in order to fit in, or because they are assured that the pursuit is solely in-game. This opens the door to serious issues with harassment in-game. Players should have the reasonable expectation that their character, like themself, will not be objectified, harassed, or pursued without their consent.

New policy:
If player 1 wishes to engage in roleplay of physical or romantic attraction to player 2, they briefly go out of game by placing a hand on their head and stating “Roleplay negotiation”, followed by the specific form of attraction that they wish toroleplay going forward. Ie:

“Roleplay negotiation; do you consent to mycharacter having a romantic crush on yours?”
Player two now has a number of options, including:
“No, thank you.”
“Yes, and I may reciprocate the crush, if that is acceptable.”
“Yes, but if you choose to do so the crush will be entirely unreciprocated”

Note that romantic roleplay consent does NOT grant physical roleplay consent unless explicitly stated. A romantic roleplay negotiation that does include physical roleplay negotiation might read as follows:

Player 1: “Roleplay negotiation, do you consent to my character feeling romantic attraction to yours?”
Player 2: “Yes, and my character will likely reciprocate, but only briefly before losing interest”
Player 1: “Are you comfortable with physical roleplay expressed as hand holding, cuddling, and/or kissing?”
Player 2: “Kissing is unacceptable for me, but hand holding and cuddling are fine.”

Player 1: “Okay!”

The requirement for consent does include situations in which your character is under love or love 9 spell effects (or similar effects). The expectation is that you will include a brief negotiation of what form the attraction will take. A Love negotiation might look like this:

Player 1: Roleplay negotiation: I am under a 10 minute love effect. Do you consent to that taking the form of passionate sexual attraction?

Player 2: I am not comfortable with that; could you walk it back to a shy crush?

Player 1: Yes, thanks.

If you have taken a love effect to a character whose player is entirely uncomfortable with romantic roleplay from your character, use steering to redirect the effect to another player, ie “Whoops, guess I was looking 6 inches to your left!” and renegotiate. These are roleplay effects, intended largely for fun, and playing them to the letter is less important than respecting the comfort of your fellow players.

BOTH physical roleplay and romantic roleplay consent can be revoked by any player, at any time, and must be respected. The player is expected to use whatever steering is necessary to cease the connection. Phrases like “I suppose we just grew apart” and “Things just changed!” may be helpful here. Please remember that while the roleplay being negotiated is in game, the negotiation is entirely out of game. This means that if you request consent to express romantic interest in a character, and the player declines during negotiation, your character has not been rejected in game. Rather, your character has never felt an attraction to the other person’s. Thus, playing “the scorned lover” in this situation is inappropriate, and may be viewed as in-game retaliation for an out-of-game rebuff, and harassment.

If any player feels at any time that their right to roleplay consent is not being respected (if a player engages in unwelcome physical roleplay without requesting consent, for instance, or after consent has been revoked), this is an addressable concern, and should be brought to staff attention. You may bring this to any staff member, but we recommend the Owner, GM, or Player Rep - whoever you are most comfortable talking to.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Due to concerns about the current co-opting of the OK gesture by hate groups, we have changed the recommended gesture for our check-in system to a "check mark" formed with the thumb and forefinger.
 
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