The Digital Games Research Association is committed to supporting diversity and inclusivity at DiGRA events, and more broadly in the field of game studies and beyond. In consequence, British DiGRA has adopted the following safer space policy in the ongoing effort to improve the diversity and inclusivity of events and online activities.
Specific Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives at British DiGRA events
- Events organised or endorsed by British DiGRA should be gender inclusive spaces. As such, we encourage attendees at any such events not to presume folk’s pronouns, or that they use pronouns, and name-badges should have a space where attendees can declare their pronouns if they wish. We encourage all attendees – even those who do not worry about being misgendered – to add their pronouns to their name-badge. Venues for British DiGRA events should also have all-gender bathrooms where possible.
- British DiGRA has also adopted DiGRA Australia’s successful policy on Twitter usage. At official events, panel chairs will identify each individual speaker’s preference regarding how they want the audience to tweet about their talk, if at all (this includes the use of photos, directly tagging presenters in tweets, etcetera). Any violations of a presenter’s wishes must immediately be deleted when brought to the offender’s attention. Attendees are also required not to use potentially harmful hashtags and terms on official event hashtags.
- We recognise that conferences and established communities like DiGRA can be intimidating for junior researchers and people joining the field for the first time. Consequently, we recommend that British DiGRA events should, where practicable, provide opportunities for people new to the community to mingle and meet other newcomers, as well as the British DiGRA board and a small number of the event organisers. If appropriate, similar for opportunities should be provided for women, transgender and non-binary identifying attendees in order to facilitate new networks for support and advice within the community.
- Venues for events organised or endorsed by British DiGRA should be fully wheelchair accessible.
Safer Space Policy
A safer space policy aims to foster an environment of respect which makes ALL participants, particularly those who are typically marginalized or excluded, feel welcome. Differing opinions and perspectives are crucial to effective discussion, but all attendees ultimately take responsibility for their own speech and behaviour – in person, and on social media – throughout official events and associated social gatherings.
Attendees at British DiGRA events are encouraged to:
- Ask respectful questions and avoid dominating a presenter’s question time to further any particular agenda. Question time after a talk is intended to give presenters the opportunity to expand on their talk in response to audience questions, and is not a platform for the audience to individually reply.
- Be mindful of and understand that intersectionality shapes our lived experience.
- Actively include all attendees in social gatherings (such as post-conference dinners and social events), particularly those for whom English is not a first-language and junior students or those with access requirements.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour in person and online includes, but are not limited to:
- Verbal communication (public or private) that demeans, devalues or is derogatory towards one’s gender, sexuality, physical appearance, body size, class, appearance, race, religion, language, age, ability, and/or socio-economic status.
- Not using content warnings when discussing content that may be harmful or offensive, such as graphic discussions or depictions of hate speech or sexual violence.
- Display of sexually demeaning imagery in public spaces. (Sexual imagery can be acceptable provided it is clearly contextualized as critical work and explicit forewarning is provided, but such imagery should not be offensive or demeaning to any of the identificatory attributes listed above).
- Bullying, stalking and other such intimidating behaviour.
- Photography or recording without consent.
- Explicit mentioning of individuals on open social media using the official event hashtag without their consent (see also official Twitter policy above).
- Disrupting or hijacking conversations (during talks, in question times or in general discussion).
- Inappropriate non-consensual physical contact.
- Unwelcome attention of any kind.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours.
We recognise that the above list is not all-encompassing, and it is thus crucial that all participants at British DiGRA events should be considerate, mindful and respectful of other participants’ safety, and refer any concerns to the event organizers.
Participants asked to stop any harassing or harmful behaviour are expected to comply immediately or they will be required to leave the space (physical or online).
In the case of repeated offending behaviour, the board will take any action deemed appropriate to resolve the situation and make the space welcoming. Examples of such action include: verbal warnings, written warnings, temporary or permanent barring from British DiGRA events and online spaces.
If you feel that someone is making you feel uncomfortable, if you see that someone else is being made to feel unsafe, or if you have any other concerns, please contact the organizers of the event. Or, concerns may be raised via email by contacting the Chair of British DiGRA (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vice Chair (Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk).
These policies and initiatives are based on those produced for the DiGRA 2017 conference – we thank the organisers of that conference for their work in this area. Further thanks to the DiGRA Diversity Committee and Emily Flynn-Jones for their input.