At Gen Con we have a policy of not disclosing the names of individuals who have been sanctioned or banned from our events. However, our statements regarding a recent ban have caused confusion and more importantly, made people feel that Gen Con doesn’t care about attendee safety. To clarify, I want to state that Zak S has been banned from Gen Con and that we flat-out don’t tolerate harassers or abusers in our community or at our convention.
As a gamer and con-goer myself, I believe that everyone deserves space in their lives for the fun, excitement, and community that tabletop gaming brings, and that action needs to be taken to make spaces safer and more inclusive, especially for marginalized communities and survivors of abuse.
We have and will continue to ban from attending those individuals who threaten the safety of our attendees or members of our community. Before, during, and after the show, we review incident reports and accusations, we investigate claims, we coordinate with local authorities, and we ban people who violate our policies regardless of their stature in the industry or their relationship to Gen Con. We ban people for actions that range from theft and counterfeiting all the way up to harassment and assault. We also ban people for actions that occur outside of Gen Con’s immediate control in accordance with our policies. When we decide to ban someone, we inform the individual they are no longer welcome to attend our show, we block them from buying a badge through our site, and if they show up anyway, we remove them from the convention center and event spaces. It’s a very important part of our regular process for managing the show and the community that surrounds it, and we are always looking for ways to improve.
We admire the bravery of victims who report their abuse or harassment, and we’re here to support you. If you witness or experience abusive behavior or harassment at or around our event (or in online spaces), we want to know about it so we can take action. That said, reactive bans alone are insufficient and as an industry we need to do more. Earlier in the year we revised our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policies and published them on our website under a Creative Commons license for anyone to use and improve upon. We’ve improved our on-site reporting procedures and developed a Policy Enforcement Team to review incidents and take actions, whenever they arise, anytime of year, and we will continue to focus on this going forward. You can email us confidentially at [email protected] if you have any questions or need to report an incident or concern. We will continue to work to make Gen Con safer, more inclusive, and of course more fun. Please do reach out if you have further thoughts or questions.
Peter D. Adkison
Co-owner of Gen Con and Chairperson of the Board