Safety Policy

Introduction

This policy is the Badgers and Jam general Safety Policy. Individual games may refine this according to more specific requirements, and any game-specific policy should be considered to supersede this one, but where no specific policy exists for an individual game, this policy will apply.

This document is constantly evolving and we welcome any constructive feedback to help us improve it.

This document should be seen as setting a tone for the kind of events we wish to facilitate. We will use our own judgement in how it is implemented in any given circumstance - specifically, as with any set of rules, we will attempt ensure that they are implemented to the spirit they imply, not the letter they are written by.

Violations of this policy will be handled according to our general incidents policy.

Scope

All rules apply at live events and in any online medium connected with Badgers and Jam events.

A Responsible Space

Much of LARP is an inherently risky space, as they often involve strong emotions, adult themes, dramatic conflict, and a certain amount of physical activity. Badgers and Jam therefore prefer the term “responsible spaces”, indicating that all participants are asked to act in a responsible and respectful manner, and to prioritise their safety and that of those around them.

We all steps we can to ensure the safety of our game spaces, and provide a number of tools and policies to help with this, but owing to the nature of the events we facilitate, it is impossible for us to issue guarantees of safety or even staff oversight of all aspects of games, and so the onus is on participants to use the tools and policies, and their own judgement in order to be responsible for their own safety.

We will have no hesitation in removing anyone acting in a irresponsible or unsafe manner from our events.

Missing Stairs

The UK LARP scene has historically had issues with Missing stairs. As a result, while we can and do enforce codes of conduct at our games, we will also consider participants actions outside of Badgers and Jam events when deciding if we are comfortable with them at our games.

We also have a general policies that we believe people who raise issues, and that we do not ask for disclosure of any personal information.

The overall result of this is that if participant A has done something in another space that would make participant B feel unsafe at an event with them, and it is flagged to us as an issue, we will exclude participant B from events that participant A has booked onto.

In the event that this is not apparent until the event itself (if tickets were booked for one or both people by a third party), we will issue refunds to participant B but they will be unable to participate. We regret the need for a policy this absolute.

Physical Safety

Similar to the ideas of a Responsible Spaces, participants are asked to take responsibility for their own physical safety and that of others. Participants are asked to use their best judgement, and to avoid placing themselves in any physical danger. Where a game involves any element of simulated combat, players are required to use LARP-safe equipment, and pull their blows.

Participants should not make physical contact of any kind with other participants without obtaining their express consent beforehand, and it is always completely acceptable for participants to withhold that consent.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of other participants is unacceptable in any form at our events. We encourage anyone who experiences sexual harassment at the hands of another participant or organised to report it if they wish to do so, so that we can take appropriate action to safeguard other players who may be at risk. Players are not required to report "at the time" (or ever) if they do not feel able to do so - we will take after-the-event reports every bit as seriously as reports made during the event.

Behaviours that constitute sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeatedly making inappropriately sexual jokes, pranks, teasing, or innuendo.
  • Touching or grabbing of a sexual nature, or verbal abuse.
  • Repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person.
  • Repeatedly asking a person to socialise out-of-character after they have clearly indicated a lack of interest in doing so.

Victims and perpetuators of sexual harassment may be of any gender.

Please note that “in character” harassment is still harassment, and will be treated as such.

Criminal Behaviour

Participants are expected to comply with all UK laws during events. Anyone behaving in a criminal manner at an event will be removed from the event and reported to the police.

In-Game Safety Techniques.

LARP is a hobby that often encourages people to experience simulations of extreme emotions, which can often bleed out into the real human simulating these emotions. Safety at LARP therefore also encompasses emotional safety/giving participants tools and options to manage emotional intensity.

Anyone (player or organiser) may invoke any of these at any time, without being expected to give reasons. All participants are expected to respect these without question, and anyone failing to do so may be removed from the event. Several of these offer different methods for accomplishing similar ends, but we feel that a broad toolkit will suit more players and different styles of play.

Please note that all players are generally expected to use common sense in regard of these rules. Another player saying “OC: This is getting too intense, dial it back please” is just the same as saying “Brake” and should be treated the same way. These tools exist to help people feel safe, and establish norms, not to be strictly prescriptive about the exact wording we expect players to use.

Badgers and Jam events will make use of the Cut and Brake safewords, and the OK check in, the look-down technique, and adhere to a policy of "don't ask why, don't say why".

Cut and Brake

Anyone (player or organiser) may invoke any of these at any time, without being expected to give reasons unless they wish to do so. All participants are expected to respect these without question, and anyone failing to do so may be removed from the event.

“Cut” - This should be used to indicate a need to stop play at once. Anyone hearing a call of cut should immediately cease playing and work together to resolve the situation. This can apply to issues of both emotional and physical safety - that is, it is as valid to make a call of “Cut” because someone is uncomfortable to the point that they need to remove themselves from activity immediately and without discussion, as it is to call “Cut” because someone has a physical injury.

“Brake” - This should be used to indicate that someone is approaching a personal limit, and that they do not wish to go further than this. Participants should continue play, but ensure that the physical or emotional intensity of the situation does not escalate further, and take steps to reduce the intensity of the situation as fast as possible.

The OK Check-In

  1. Player 1 flashes the “OK” symbol — with the thumb and index finger touching in an “o” and the other three fingers extended upward — to another player and establishes eye contact. This gesture means “Are you okay?”
  2. Player 2 responds to the signal with one of three responses:
    • a. Thumbs-up, which means “I’m fine.”
    • b. Thumbs-down, which means “I am not okay.” Player 1 should respond by asking if Player 2 would like to stop, take a break, or otherwise pause.
    • c. Flat hand, which means “I am not sure.” Player 1 should still respond by asking if Player 2 would like to stop, take a break, or otherwise pause.

The Look-Down Technique

Any player who is finding a given element of play too intense or otherwise difficult, and who wishes to unobtrusively remove themsevles from a scene, or wishes not interact with a scene or another player at any time can indicate this by covering/shading their eyes, looking down straight down, and walking away with their eyes shaded. This is a visual cue to other players that the participant (rather than the character) wants to opt out/remove themselves from a situation. Other players are required to respect this, and not pursuse the scene further with person who is removing themselves. The scene should continue with the other participants, if at all practical.

Don’t Ask Why, Don’t Say Why

In the event that any player or ref needs to use any of these safety techniques, it is important both that other participants do not ask why, and that player using the technique does not say why. This has a dual function: It avoids the any perception of a hierarchy of reasons for self-care, and most importantly, by ensuring that reasons are never given, it protects those who need to use these techniques for private reasons that they may not want to share.

Where practical, we will provide a quiet out of character space that participants will be welcome to use at any time, but for single-room events and smaller venues, this many not be practical, in which case, players are encouraged