Code of Conduct
(v 0.6, last updated: 11/15/2016)
We love this community, and want to provide a safe and welcoming space for us to get together, learn, and have fun. We ask that everyone who participates in the VR/AR Collective to adhere to our community code of conduct, including our organizers, volunteers, and speakers.
It's not about you and me, it's about us — and the type of community we want to be.
The short version
The VR/AR Collective is dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Offensive or unwelcome comments
- Patterns of disruption or inappropriate social contact
- Non-consensual physical contact, threats of violence, or unwelcome sexual attention
- Deliberate misgendering or “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without consent
- Touching or otherwise interfering with individuals in an immersive experience
- For more examples, please see “The long version” below, which has more information
The VR/AR Collective is also dedicated to providing a recruiting & sales free space. This means no organized recruiting activities or sales pitches without an invitation.
These policies apply to everyone participating in VR/AR Collective events and online spaces. "Everyone" includes attendees, organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and event hosts. Participants violating the code of conduct may be sanctioned or asked to leave VR/AR Collective events & online spaces.
For more detailed information about any of the above policies, please continue reading below.
The long version
Our primary goal as a community is to normalize the presence of historically underrepresented groups in the VR industry. We plan to do this by running events that connect those groups to the industry, ranging from educational workshops and create-athons, to informal community mixers and VR demo nights.
To make sure we are reaching our intended audience, we will be running events with a variety of registration policies. Some events will be open to everyone, and we may run events that are restricted to specific groups of people. Regardless of the registration policy, we want to make sure this code of conduct keeps all our participants safe at our events.
We want to provide a community space that is:
- Welcoming: We want to introduce you to the VR/AR industry. No prior experience with VR/AR is required; we welcome people of all skill levels, fields, and backgrounds.
- Normalizing: We want to normalize the presence and contribution of historically underrepresented groups in the VR/AR industry.
- Safe: Our events and online spaces are dedicated to providing safe, harassment free spaces for historically underrepresented groups and their allies regardless of gender and gender identity, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof).
- Intersectional: We want to explicitly recognize that individuals have multiple identities and support them as best we can. We define our success as everyone’s success in the VR/AR industry.
Code of Conduct
In order to achieve our community goals, we're asking everyone to adhere to the following code of conduct. "Everyone" includes attendees, organizers, volunteers, sponsors, event hosts… aka everyone involved in the event or participating in our online spaces.
Harassment free space
The VR/AR Collective is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, beliefs, or religion (or lack thereof). Sexist, racist, discriminatory, or harassing language and imagery is not appropriate in our community, in person or online.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, politics, and employment.
- Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
- Physical contact and simulated physical contact without consent or after a request to stop.
- Threats of violence, deliberate intimidation, stalking or following.
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
- Sustained disruption of discussion.
- Unwelcome sexual attention.
- Patterns of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
- Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
- "Negging" or gratuitous questioning of someone's experience or credentials.
- Publication of non-harassing private communication.
- Touching or otherwise interfering with individuals in an immersive experience.
Providing a safe, welcoming space for our community members is something we take VERY seriously.
Recruiting & sales free space
To help facilitate a welcoming community, we ask that companies refrain from organized recruiting activities at our events without permission from the event organizers. One-on-one sales and recruiting pitches without invitation are frowned upon.
It's okay to love your job, to be excited about your VR/AR projects, and share your excitement - we love that! (It's why we're here too!) If you think someone would be great for you team or project, it’s cool to exchange contact info and follow up with them. We draw the line at attendees showing up just for the sake of making sales or recruiting folks because they're being paid to do it.
Weapons free space
No weapons will be allowed at VR/AR Collective events.
Creating a safe space for VR/AR demos
Many of our events will include VR/AR demos. Many of these experiences are completely immersive, and those experiencing demos will lose track of what’s going on around them. In order to ensure that everyone stays safe, we ask that you follow these rules when you’re around others that are in the headset.
If you are watching someone else experience a demo:
- Stay at least 3 feet away from someone wearing a headset. Do not get inside of their personal space.
- Do not touch, scare, or yell at someone that is wearing a headset. This behavior will not be treated as a joke.
If you are giving demos at one of our events:
- Our goal is to expose more people to VR/AR, so many of our attendees will be having their first experience with your demo.. Be sure to ask your guest about their level of experience before you put the headset on them.
- Explain what your guest is about to see before you put the headset on. If you are demoing content that is triggering, violent, sexual, or could cause any sort of discomfort, warn your guest.
- Do not leave your guest alone at the demo station.
- Ask for permission before helping your guest put on or take off the headset. Be clear about your movements and intentions during the demo. No surprises.
- Keep those headsets clean! Bring alcohol wipes with you (or headset covers) and clean headsets in between each guest session.
If you are experiencing a demo:
- Look around before you put on the headset. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings to know where objects are.
- Practice taking the headset on and off.
- If you start to feel sick, close your eyes and take off the headset. (We recommend pushing it upward.) The person giving the demo will assist you.
- Respect others’ equipment. VR/AR hardware is expensive, so please treat it nicely.
General advice for everyone:
- Get permission before taking or publishing any photos or videos of attendees in a VR/AR experience. (Keep in mind they cannot see you taking photos while they are inside of a demo.)
Event attendance policy
As part of providing a safe space, it's important to us to know who is attending our events. All attendees of VR/AR Collective events must register in advance via the event's page as specified. Different events will have different policies — please read them! We reserve the right to invalidate your RSVP if you don't meet the criteria for a particular event.
At our events, ALL participants must check in at the door. Anyone at our events that has not checked in with our staff will be asked to leave. If a person has not previously signed up, but would like to join, it is at the discretion of event staff to decide if the person should be allowed in. (If you’re an event host and have additional questions about this, please ask about our event host policies!)
Reporting and Enforcement
Providing a consistently safe, welcoming space for our attendees is something we take VERY seriously. Anyone can report harassment or a violation of this code of conduct. If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, please let us know immediately!
To report an incident, do one of the following:
- Tell any VR/AR Collective staff member (including the door staff)
- Let us know in the VR/AR Collective Slack via DM (Direct Message)
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org — messages sent to this address will reach all of us (during events and otherwise.)
We will have several easy-to-identify staff members at every event — you can approach any of us if you have an issue. At every event, we will have organizers on point to make sure issues are documented and dealt with immediately.
Violating the code of conduct will result in an enforcement action from the event organizers which may include:
- A one-time intervention to immediately stop the behavior (isolated from the main event space)
- Expulsion from the event in progress
- Expulsion from all future VR/AR Collective events
- Escalation to local law enforcement
In general, we will move through those steps in order to address an issue, but we reserve the right to choose whatever enforcement action we believe is appropriate for the violation.
In cases of physical violence or extreme harassment we will provide information to organizers of partner community groups. If we share information about an incident, we will notify those involved. Our goal in doing this is to keep the entire community informed and safe. Our partner community groups include Seattle VR, the VR Industry Mixer, and Eastside VR.
We love this community, and want to set it up for infinite safe, inclusive, inspiring, amazing events for the years to come. We are hoping this code of conduct will guide all of us — attendees, organizers, volunteers, sponsors, hosts, unicorns — toward meeting our goals as a community.
Putting together a code of conduct takes inspiration, work, and research. It also takes a village — we’d like to thank our community for their contributions and feedback. We took inspiration from events that we've attended and people we love that have created clear and effective codes of conduct. We'd like to give a shout out to Big Bad Con, Geek Girl Con, XOXO, Geek Feminism, and Ashe Dryden, all of whom influenced us and this document.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.