HandyCon 6 is nearly upon us and we would like to draw your attention to a few new things we are introducing this August. The first is that all HandyCon lanyards now have space for preferred pronouns – hurrah! If you are wondering what and why, please see below for more details. You can also message us for more info or if you have questions.
The second new thing is a Code of Conduct, and the third is an update to the linked anti-harassment policy. It is important to note that no, we are not trying to make HandyCon more serious and formal, and no, we don’t want to lose the wonderful, friendly, relaxed atmosphere you all contribute to- but yes, we care about safety and inclusivity, and that is an important priority for us (and very occasionally, those two things collide, and we want to be clear about what will happen in such an instance). Please read and consider both, and again, please feel free to message us if you have any questions.
For HandyCon 6 and at all future events, we will be including a space on every attendee’s badge for preferred pronouns (they/theirs; she/hers; he/his and various other options). If you are cis-gender (born with the gender you identify with) please do write your pronouns in anyway; this is to support inclusivity and awareness that you can’t always know someone’s pronouns (or their gender) by looking at them. People may also identify as non-binary (sometimes shortened to NB), meaning they may prefer gender-neutral pronouns such as they/theirs or ze/hir.
Please also look at each person’s preferred pronouns on their lanyard – or ask them if the information is unclear or not visible – and use them! If you are gaming with someone, pronouns can come up quite often and using the pronouns that the person has asked for is an important part of gaming etiquette. Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. If you mess up, it’s okay – just apologise and correct your mistake. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric.
If this is new to you – that’s okay, it can be an odd thing to consider if you haven’t thought about it before. However, if we want to make gaming spaces inclusive for everyone it is important to care about issues like pronouns, which may seem like small details but can make the difference between someone feeling welcome and safe and them feeling the opposite.
We really appreciate your support.
If you would like to talk to a member of HandyCon staff about this, please come and find one of us on the front desk who would be happy to chat further.
Code of Conduct & Anti-harassment Policy
We have also updated our anti-harassment policy and introduced a code of conduct, to help promote a friendly, inclusive environment and make it clear what is expected of all attendees, staff, volunteers and exhibitors.
Code of Conduct
We care about inclusive, safe and happy gaming spaces and as such we have a Code of Conduct which we expect all attendees, volunteers, exhibitors and staff to abide by. This is applicable to both the conventions and the online space surrounding them (Facebook page, group and events, Game Finder and any other online or social media spaces).
1. Good manners: please be courteous and respectful to one another. Every person has an equal right to game and to enjoy the convention. Please take particular note of preferred pronouns, respect for accessibility needs, the right of individuals to use whichever toilet they wish, and the quiet gaming area.
2. Good hygiene: it is your responsibility to be clean and fragrant for the benefit of the whole community. Please ensure you shower regularly, wear deodorant or anti-perspirant if needed, wear clean clothing and freshen up when needed. One careless person can make an entire room uncomfortable in this regard.
3. Sensitivity: please be aware that some people are new to gaming, or like to play different games than you. Consider if your behaviour could be interpreted as dismissive, intimidating or off-putting to other members of our community. Everyone is welcome at HandyCon, whatever their level of experience or commitment to gaming. Only offer advice if it is wanted or asked for.
4. Alcohol: please feel free to drink responsibly, but remember that it is the choice of others whether to drink or not, and that persuading others to drink or pressuring them into doing so is not appropriate. Drinking is not synonymous with fun and people may choose not to drink for a variety of valid reasons personal to them. Alcohol is not an excuse for loud, aggressive or inappropriate behaviour.
5. Harassment: please remember that everyone has a right to enjoy their hobby in a safe and non-sexual environment, and no-one should be sexualised without their consent. Remarks about gender, sexuality and any kind of touching without consent are not acceptable or respectful. Take your lead from the person themselves and listen if someone tells you – with words or body language – that they are uncomfortable. Apologise if you have crossed a line. Please refer to our anti-harrassment policy for more information.
Breaching this Code of Conduct may result in:
- a quiet conversation or private message with a member of HandyCon staff
- removal from the HandyCon Facebook page, group or events
- reporting of comments to social media provider which may result in a ban
- removal from the current HandyCon event and hotel site
- being barred from a future HandyCon or all future HandyCon events
- informing the police if deemed necessary
We recognise that everyone makes mistakes and that sometimes pointing them out can feel uncomfortable and challenging, which is why in the first instance we will attempt where appropriate to respond with a quiet conversation or private message. We are all trying, and we all care about making HandyCon an excellent community to be part of.
Thank you for your support.
HandyCon is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable gaming environment for everyone who attends. Please behave respectfully to all other attendees, ensuring all can feel safe and enjoy themselves regardless of age, race, religion / belief, biological sex, gender identity, sexuality, disability, pregnancy / parenthood, or appearance.
The Organisers reserve the right to identify any attire, act or item as prejudiced and/or discriminatory and exclude the object and/or the owner or actor from the Event. The Organisers similarly reserve the right to refuse entry to a prospective Attendee who presents or has presented a risk of attire, acts and/or items which would negatively impact upon the Event’s status as a discrimination-free zone.
Physical and verbal harassment will not be tolerated and the organisers reserve the right to take appropriate action including warning the offender or expulsion from the convention with no refund, and in some cases informing the police.
Some examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Offensive verbal comments
- Explicit sexual images or references
- Deliberate intimidation
- Unwanted attention or following of persons
- Unwanted recording or photography
- Sustained disruption of games or activities
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome attention, including sexual remarks, jokes or taunting, leering, staring or suggestive gestures
- Inappropriate or insensitive remarks about gender or gender identity
- Repeated misgendering or failure to respect someone’s preferred pronouns
- Needlessly or repeatedly drawing attention to someone’s physical characteristics
To report harassment: Please report any issues of harassment to a member of the HandyCon team.
If you have any questions or require any more info please get in touch. We appreciate your support in making HandyCon a safe, inclusive and friendly event.