• GenCon Bound: Safety and Inclusivity

    by and  • August 13, 2013 • News, People & Events • 1 Comment

    The convention season is well under way now. We’re looking forward to going to GenCon Indianapolis from August 15-19. GenCon is a tabletop game focused event, though it’s got a bit of everything. Attendance has risen to 40,000 or more people and it’s in a city that embraces the geekdom that washes over it one week a year. Nearby restaurants put “Welcome GenCon!” signs in their windows, play fantasy and adventure movies on their big-screen TVs and some even make over their menu with fandom-named items. It’s a great space that we enjoy. Both of us are long-term attendees. We’ve played rpgs, board games, video games, and larps there, walked, talked and boothed the exhibit hall, and attended many official events like book-signings, concerts, movies and auctions.

    So, what about inclusivity? How safe will it be from an anti-harassment point of view?

    To help do our part to highlight these issues, we thought we’d focus some attention on what is going on at GenCon, and take a few steps ourselves to help make it a safe space.


    The following panels are going on during GenCon that support making it a diverse, inclusive & safe space. Clink the links below for times. The location is online and will be listed in the program. If you know of more events, mention them in the comments. We’ll add them to the list here:


    Also, we’re working with Tracey Barnett to have Backup ribbons to hand out. These ribbons come from the Open Source Women Back Eachother Up and Men’s Auxiliary Project. This is an (as it says) Open Source, do it yourself campaign to encourage people to be aware of harassment that goes on around them, and to do something rather than assuming it will just go away. We’ll have ribbons from the Backup Ribbon Project, and our intent for it is to be as they say, “No judgement, no exceptions. We’ve got your back.”

    We’ll have these ribbons on hand at both our panels (Geeky Women Unite and Anti-Harassment Policy) and just walking around the convention center too. They’ll also be available at the Indie Press Revolution, Pelgrane Press and the Indie Game Designer Network booths!

    A Few Games

    Both of us will also be running only games designed and edited by women and queer identified designers! You can find us at Indie Games on Demand, level 2 room 237. Featuring Kagematsu (and KaGaymatsu an Italian hack), Heroine, Psi*Run, Monsterhearts, The Long Orbit (a Monsterhearts hack), The Quiet Year, and a few others we’ve got in our bags.

    We’re looking to see everyone who will be there! It’s great to see these strides being made at conventions to be more inclusive.



    Game player, wanderer, cyborg, and designer of enameled jewelry. Check out my jewelry at Anima Metals and for sale at Anima Metals on Etsy and on facebook at Anima Metals Facebook Page




    Game designer, forester and conservationist in western Massachusetts, USA. Emily got bitten by the role playing bug back in the early nineties and hasn't looked back since. Fan of rpg game theory especially as found on rec.games.advocacy, The Forge, Story Games, and Nodal Point convention series books. Developing larp, freeform, structured freeform and all things pushing the rpg envelope.


    One Response to GenCon Bound: Safety and Inclusivity

    1. avatar
      August 14, 2013 at 14:46

      I can’t wait to be down there this year! Unfortunately I’m only in for Friday this time around so I will be missing a good chunk of the events listed. I will do my best to hit the Games on Demand area for some Fiasco. If I were in for all four days I would be running at least one panel, if not more.

      I really want to attend the panel about the anti-harassment policy, and several of us ladies have been active on the GC forums in discussing it as well as discussing the topic of harassment overall. I hope what we’ve contributed there has at least a small impact on getting others to go, “gee I didn’t realize it was like that.”

      I am co-hosting a ladies-only luncheon at Scottys during the time of the anti-harassment panel (which everyone here is invited to BTW!!) It’s open-house style from around 11:30 to 1:30ish so come and go as your events allow, and ask for the Gamer Wenches party. We should be in the back room of the restaurant.

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