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VirtuaCon 2014 Etiquette and Guidelines
RPGGeek’s VirtuaCon is dubbed “the best three days in virtual gaming.” It is a great event, but to help us stay true to that premise we need the help and support of everyone involved, including GMs and players.
Please familiarize yourself with the following guidelines to help ensure a smooth, hassle-free, and fun VirtuaCon experience.
The Golden Rule
Of the utmost importance, the thing everyone should remember and adopt as personal policy, is the Golden Rule: Don’t be a jerk.
If we can all follow the Golden Rule, life will be good. Here are a few additional guidelines to help you keep in check.
RPGGeek Guiding Principles
The RPG Geek was created with and continues to be guided with these three core principles in mind. These are our guiding ideals:
Common Courtesy Guidelines
Show up on time. Other players are counting on you. This means arrive at least 5 minutes before your scheduled slot if you are a player or 15 minutes if you are a GM. If your Hangout is On Air and you are the GM, better make it 30 minutes.
Don't hog the spotlight. Other players committed the same time as you.
Time is precious; don’t waste it with arguments. If a game rule comes into question, GMs should make a call and move on.
With that in mind, respect the GM’s decisions. They may not always make a call you agree with, but this isn’t going to impact your daily gaming life so try to adjust for now.
Stay focused on the game. You’re at a computer and that makes it easy to wander the Internet, but please refrain from doing so while the game is in session.
Come prepared. Have your drinks and snacks handy ahead of time so you don’t have to get up to get them, and especially have your dice and other gaming implements on hand at all times.
You’ll notice that these all have something to do with time. We have only 2 hours per time slot at VirtuaCon, and we have to balance that between introductions, rules explanation, scenario play, and the inevitable technical difficulties. Let’s try to run like a well-oiled machine and not one that’s been hit by a rust monster.
Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct by any participants of VirtuaCon.
Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including virtual tabletops); deliberate intimidation (unless its being used on monsters); sustained disruption of games, presentations or other events; inappropriate or unwelcome sexual attention.
VirtuaCon has only one rule regarding dress code: wear clothes! You may be at home, but this is still a public event.
Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior
Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated whether by other attendees, media, speakers, volunteers, organizers, or RPGGeek staff.
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 termination of your RPGGeek account.
What to Do If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior
If you feel someone is behaving inappropriately, please send a private message to your GM. GMs will be able to take immediate actions, such as issuing warnings to offenders, muting their microphone, or ejecting them from the event.
GMs should be willing to take such actions and report inappropriate behaviors to one of the con coordinators.
Hangouts On Air
VirtuaCon uses Google Hangouts to connect GMs and players from across the globe. One of the great features of Google Hangouts is that they can be broadcast live to spectators and recorded for later playback on YouTube.
This broadcasting and recording feature is called Hangouts On Air, and it is the GM’s choice to either enable or disable the feature. If you’re not comfortable with the idea that you’re being recorded or watched by an audience, please do not join a game that is flagged as being a Hangout On Air.
Additionally, Google’s policy is to not allow any minors--persons under the age of 18--to be recorded via Hangouts On Air. No one under the age of 18 may join a Hangout On Air. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Finally, if you need to get up from your computer we suggest muting your video and audio. There are mute buttons at the top of the Hangout window. Not only will this prevent others from staring into your house while you’re AFK, it will help other participants to know at-a-glance when you’ve left and when you’ve returned. (It is, of course, appropriate to announce when you need to leave the table for a moment.)
As a Game Master, it’s your job to make sure your table gets off the ground and runs smoothly. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you do that.
Come prepared. Make sure you have any pre-gen characters ready to go. If you have other player hand-outs, load them into your Google Drive and set your permission to Share (Anyone with the Link). That way, when the Hangout begins, you can easily link your players to your Google Drive folder where the hand-outs are stored.
Understand how to use Google Hangouts. If you aren’t already familiar, join one of the Hangout games and tutorials hosted by RPGGeek (when?). If you have time, try to run and/or play in a few games before the big day.
Be punctual. Show up at least 15 minutes before your slot and get your Hangout started. Begin inviting people early if they are available so you can start the game on time.
If a player doesn’t show and you must fill another slot to ensure smooth game-play, you may recruit new players in the Tavern. Try not to spend too much time doing this; the longer you wait to get started, the less time you’ll have to run your game.
Be prepared to handle problem players. We don’t anticipate many issues, and we don’t want you to rule with an iron hand, but if someone is truly causing issues at your table it is up to you to ask them to cease their inappropriate behavior.
Practice how to create a Hangout On Air prior to Virtuacon13. The Howtos on the Virtuacon13_setup|Technical Setup Page can help you in this. If something is unclear, ask the technical support staff, preferably prior to the con.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, see you at the Con!
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