Respect, inclusion, and encouraged behaviour

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Respect

The Smoke operates on an essential basis of mutual respect. We require that all participants agree to comply with the code of conduct described here. We are absolutely focused on being welcoming, safe and comfortable for all participants. We will act against any breach of this code, with measures ranging from a  verbal warning to removal from the festival.

Any kind of harassment, intimidation, bullying, disruptivity, stalking, or non-consensual interactions in general will be considered in breach of our code of conduct.

Inclusion

The Smoke is dedicated to inclusion of all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, religion or belief, body shape, neurotype, or any other characteristic.

Each participant at The Smoke will have their chosen pronouns written on their name badge. We ask that you check and use these pronouns to refer to that person at all times. If you don’t know someone’s chosen pronouns, then the default is ‘they/them/their’.

All participants also have badges available that they can wear to indicate how they currently feel about being approached in conversation. (This system is borrowed from the Nine Worlds convention.) They operate as follows:

  • Blue: “I would like to talk to new people but find it difficult to initiate conversation. Please say hello!”
  • Yellow: “I only want to talk to people I know right now. If we’ve met before, it’s okay to talk to me.”
  • Red: “I’d prefer not to talk with anyone right now. If I start a conversation with you, it’s okay to talk to me.”

Please respect the badges, and engage with those wearing them on their preferred terms.

If you have a disability or a medical or other condition that makes access to the festival spaces difficult, or that may cause any other kind of hindrance to your participation in the festival, talk to us and we will take whatever measures we can to make sure that you are fully included.

Encouraged behaviour

To help make The Smoke more welcoming and open, there are a number of things that we encourage you to do:

  • The empty chair – keep an empty chair in any group discussion, so people can join  without feeling awkward. If you take up the empty chair, bring another.
  • Friendly spirit – approach the festival, and any interaction within it, with the intention of becoming better friends with those involved.
  • Englishall our larps will be run in English. We also encourage you to speak English at the convention generally. This is, along with the empty chair principle, to facilitate others joining your conversation.
  • Include new people – when someone joins a discussion, bring them up to speed on the topic.
  • Be understanding – there will be participants from different countries and from different larp traditions, who may use terms differently to you. Assume the best intention, rather than assuming disagreement or judgement.
  • Allow space in conversations – for all who might wish to speak. Don’t dominate, or interrupt.
  • Respect people’s pronouns – Participants will be wearing badges that indicate what pronouns they use. Please be mindful of this and check rather than making assumptions
  • And generally, be kind.

The organizers, volunteers, and safety and wellbeing team

The Smoke began as a community endeavour to build connections between different areas of larp in the UK and internationally. It’s important that the festival keeps this community feeling. One of the key needs is that participants are aware that The Smoke is not a product of which they are a consumer, and that the organizers are not providers of a service. The organizers respect that you are placing your trust in them, and want to honour that: but ultimately we are all members of the community that contributes to the endeavour.

The Smoke needs you to:

  • Be aware that the organizers, volunteers, and safety and wellbeing team have given a great deal of their time and energy, without receiving any payment, to help make The Smoke happen.
  • Understand that they will sometimes make mistakes, in good faith. They will try their best to fix these mistakes; but we need you to be understanding.
  • Understand that the safety and wellbeing team is here to help you with emotional reactions that you may have. We understand that people may raise their voices when scared or in distress – but shouting or abusive behaviour towards anyone will not be tolerated. The Smoke will only work if all of us treat others with respect and understanding, in the way that we would like to be treated ourselves.
  • Please do talk to us, during the event if possible, if you have a concern – and let us know if there is anything you think might help. It might not be something that we are able to do, but we won’t know about it unless you tell us.

This code of conduct applies to all of The Smoke community. Organizers, volunteers, and the safety and wellbeing team will treat participants and GMs with like respect, and will follow this code. The creation and fostering of The Smoke’s community is the responsibility of all of us.