CODE OF CONDUCT

A primary goal of Game Workers Unite (GWU) is to empower people who are marginalized, oppressed, and exploited by the game industry, providing them with the tools and resources to improve their working conditions, push back against systems of oppression, and build a more equitable industry for everyone. We aim to stand in concrete solidarity with oppressed people around the world, and specifically to advance the interests of workers in the struggle against global capitalism. This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We invite all those who participate in GWU activities to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

 

Expected Behaviour

 

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all community members:

  • In general, try to assume good faith and exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions. Note that when talking about specific oppressions, people on the opposite side of a power dynamic might have different interests, and this should also be taken into account when determining good faith. For example, an employer should not automatically be assumed to be acting in good faith when discussing unions with workers, since their interests are opposed to those of the workers on this issue.

  • In general, attempt collaboration before conflict. However keep in mind that conflict is sometimes necessary, particularly when groups have opposing interests. Refer to the safety and mediation committee if necessary.

  • Refrain from tone policing, silencing, or otherwise sanctioning marginalized people who defend themselves against or call out oppressive behaviour.

  • Try to treat criticism and call outs as gifts, rather than personal attacks. They may hurt, but they’re also a necessary part of learning to work together. If you’re feeling defensive or are unsure how to react, try this helpful guide created by Dietrich Squinkifer.

  • Respect people's gender pronouns and ask if you don't know which pronouns a person uses.

    • if you are unfamiliar with the various pronouns in use in the english language, checkout this example guide. 

  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert committee members if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

  • Remember that community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

  • Practice good consent culture. Ask if you can engage with people and NEVER touch someone without their given consent.

    • When asking for consent, aside form verbal consent also take into account peoples body language (leaning away, crossed arms).

    • Be aware of power dynamics and take them into account when dealing with consent. Examples include: social status, hiring capacity and priviledge (race, gender, middle class, english speaking)

    • If someone gives you a "No", treat is as a gift that this person can share their authentic boundries with you.

Unacceptable Behaviour

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

  • Punching down. This refers to actions or speech that targets people who are marginalized and/or have less structural power than the person speaking or acting. This may include:

    • Violence or threats of violence directed against a marginalized person or any member of the community.

    • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.

    • Personal insults related to gender, sexual orientation, race, class, religion, body shape, or disability.

  • Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.

  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information ("doxing") or expose their participation in GWU.

    • This includes posting material that is not anonymized properly without consent.

  • Inappropriate or non-consensual photography, filming or recording of online conversations or at events, especially pertaining to the previous point (anonymity).

  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.

  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes: sexualized comments or jokes, inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcome sexual advances.

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).

  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

  • Sustained disruption of community events including rallies, meetups, talks and presentations.

Consequences For Unacceptable Behaviour

Unacceptable behavior from any community member, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, we may take any action deemed appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community without warning (and without refund in the case of a paid event).

Reporting

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify us as soon as possible by emailing gameworkersunite@gmail.com.

Additionally, community organizers are available to help community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.

Scope

We expect all community participants (members, contributors, paid or otherwise; sponsors; and other guests) to abide by this Code of Conduct in all community venues–online and in-person–as well as in all one-on-one communications pertaining to community business.

This code of conduct and its related procedures also applies to unacceptable behavior occurring outside the scope of community activities when such behavior has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of community members.

Contact Information

You can reach us at: gameworkersunite@gmail.com.

If you are on a GWU digital meeting space (Discord, Slack, etc.) please message your moderator team.

Licence

This Code of Conduct is based on the Code of Conduct for the Stumptown Syndicate. The original is available here and is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlikeLicense.

You are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Definitions

 

This section is intended to help explain some of the terms used above. If you have suggestions for words you would like to see added to this list, please get in touch by emailing: gameworkersunite@gmail.com.

Marginalization

When groups are pushed to the “margins” of a particular society and thus do not have the same access to opportunities and resources as dominant groups who occupy the “centre.” Marginalized groups are often viewed as “other” or as outsiders. Effects of marginalization may include:

  • Exclusion from positions of power or influence

  • A lack of voice or representation in media

  • Stereotyping and homogenization (“you people are all the same”)

  • Precarious living and working conditions, and reduced access to essential services and support networks

  • Increased pressure to conform to social norms and expectations

  • Increased levels of stress and anxiety, and increased likelihood of exposure to trauma

Classism

“Classism is differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class. Classism is held in place by a system of beliefs and cultural attitudes that ranks people according to economic status, family lineage, job status, level of education, and other divisions. Middle-class and owning- or ruling-class people (dominant group members) are seen as smarter and more articulate than working-class and poor people (subordinated groups). In this way, dominant group members (middle-class and wealthy people) define for everyone else what is “normal” or “acceptable” in the class hierarchy.”

Source found here.

Ableism

“Ableism is discrimination against people with disabilities, including the expression of hate for people with disabilities, denial of accessibility, rejection of disabled applicants for housing and jobs, institutionalised discrimination in the form of benefits systems designed to keep people with disabilities in poverty, etc.”

Source found here.

Genderqueer / Gender non-conforming / Non-binary / Genderfluid / Agender

“Genderqueer" is a term that may be used to describe those with non-normative gender, either as an umbrella term or a stand-alone identity, typically encompassing those who are in one, or more, of these six categories:

  • both man and woman (example: androgyne)

  • neither man nor woman (agender, neutrois, non-gendered)

  • moving between two or more genders (gender fluid)

  • third gendered or other-gendered (includes those who prefer “genderqueer” or “non-binary” to describe their gender without labeling it otherwise)

  • having an overlap or blur of gender and orientation and/or sex (girlfags and guydykes)

  • those who “queer” gender, in presentation or otherwise, who may or may not see themselves as non-binary or having a gender that is queer; this category may also include those who are consciously political or radical in their understanding of being genderqueer” (source: http://genderqueerid.com/what-is-gq)

Our society has historically been structured around a rigid gender binary that divides human beings into the categories of male and female, men and women. Many people, however, do not identify as either one or the other. Gender is a social construct, meaning it is defined by culture, and is distinct from biological sex (think of all the stereotypes and learned behaviours associated with women, many of which have nothing to do with biology). Other societies have more than two genders, and as our society develops and changes, it is possible we may eventually move beyond a binary system, which can be quite limiting and even harmful for those who don’t conform to the unrealistic standards and norms that it generates (for e.g., when boys are bullied and teased for being too “girly”).

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