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GDC 2013 Bosslady Blog: Our GDC Code of Conduct
GDC 2013 Bosslady Blog: Our GDC Code of Conduct
October 29, 2012 | By Meggan Scavio

[In her Bosslady Blog update for the 2013 cycle, Game Developers Conference events GM Meggan Scavio details the official code of conduct for GDC and all of its related events.]

As the General Manager of all GDC events, I've been looking closely at how we explain to attendees what is -- and is not -- allowed at our shows. So I would like to take a moment to remind you that offensive behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.

As GDC enters its 27th iteration, I want nothing more than for it to remain a place where everyone is welcome, treated equally, and leaves feeling as if it was a week well spent.

I also want people to enjoy themselves -- whether waiting in line for a session, visiting the expo floor, or partaking in drinks at a hotel bar or after-event party. I don't know about you, but I enjoy myself most when I am not being threatened, discriminated against, or fending off unwelcome advances. So don't do that.

And more importantly, if someone tells you that they are bothered by your behavior, stop doing it. As has been the case in the past -- but as we are making absolutely explicit now -- any Game Developers Conference attendee, speaker, press member, or exhibitor behaving offensively or found to be harassing others will have their GDC badge confiscated and be asked to leave. Depending on the severity of the offense, we may consider a multi-year ban from our shows.

All of this only works, of course if you report harassment immediately. Every GDC has a Show Office where you will always find a staff member willing to help. And I can always be reached by email at, if you don't feel comfortable initiating a report face to face. But it's important that you tell us at the time of the incident while we are onsite and can do something about it.

Our GDC official code of conduct, which is modeled on Open Source Bridge's original, is below. Let's work together to keep GDC an open and safe place for all.

Here is the official Game Developers Conference Code of Conduct:

1. Purpose

GDC believes our community should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or religion.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participant behavior as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We invite all sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, media, exhibitors and other participants to help us realize a safe and positive conference experience for everyone.

2. Expected behavior

- Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.

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

- Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert conference organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

3. Unacceptable behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, or demeaning conduct by any attendees of GDC and related events. Many GDC venues are shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

4. Consequences of unacceptable behavior

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated whether by other attendees, media, speakers, volunteers, organizers, venue staff, sponsors, or exhibitors.

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

If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from the conference without warning or refund.

5. What to do if you witness or are subjected to unacceptable behavior

If you are subjected to unacceptable behavior, notice that someone else is being subjected to unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify a conference organizer as soon as possible. All reports will remain completely confidential.

The GDC team will be available to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, to provide escorts, or to otherwise assist those experiencing unacceptable behavior to feel safe for the duration of the conference. You can report unacceptable behavior to any member of staff. Staff can be found in the Show Office onsite or you may email one of the contacts below.

6. Scope

We expect all conference participants (sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, and other guests) to abide by this code of conduct at all conference venues and conference-related social events.

7. Contact Information

Meggan Scavio,

Nicole Garbolino,

8. License and Attribution

The original is available at and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

[Please note that Gamasutra and the Game Developers Conference are both owned and operated by UBM Tech.]

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