Think of it this way, the Code of Conduct says "Remember to eat, sleep and shower" but the staff at Gen Con don't go around making sniff tests of people.
Considering that the last two years has entailed the policy of, at minimal, mask wearing and that Gen Con has not made any allowances for that policy to be usurped by EO's or GM's, it feels more like a double-standard.
The average GM doesn't possess that track record across all (or likely even most) attendees.
I would say the average gamer has suffered from a vindictive GM at some point, so it isn't really unreasonable to be concerned about it.
An imperfect solution would to allow companies that get a defined space, one of the rooms upstairs or the rooms off the downstairs concourses to set their own mask rules. There's no pass through traffic in the rooms and if you don't want to mask, you're not forced to go in.
It's not ideal for the smaller companies in the dealer or that use Halls A-D for events, but it's a help and a start.
Regardless, it is impossible for Gen Con to make everyone happy with their policy. If you cannot deal with the policy, then do not attend.
One would think that those EOs that want masks and won't do events would be offset by no-mask/no vax people coming back in 2023 and a subset of people that were at GC, in 2021 and 2022, but didn't want to run events wearing a mask all day.
Eh, it'll come down to the detail the anti-mask folks harped on and on about so often last year as a way 'around' the show policy: ICC hallways and large parts of the hotels and restaurants ls being technically on the fringe outside of Gen Con control. I suspect any person who starts a game in a corner of the hallway, not an official event, might well insist anyone invited to play the game must or must not mask.
But the griping will go on, and on, and on, and on with everyone pointing out how every convention and group of people agree with them without evidence. And every choice is a disaster or heavenly salvation for the con.
Then we'll all go to Gen Con and have fun as rational adults.
Just came on to review, so I'm late to the discussion. :0
Sincere question - what other large event(s) has anyone attended recently (last 30 days or so) or plan to attend in the coming few months still have any masking requirements? I know of none, and I travel all over the US for work.
Why would Gen Con be any different than any other large gathering?
I think the same statement that was used last year to those who didn't want to mask, is valid for this year: If you do not like the policy, if you feel it is unsafe/unhealthy/uncomfortable in any way, the decision to come or not is always a personal one.
They had mask requirements at the 'Hi Touch event' for a Kpop concert my daughter did after a recent concert 2 weeks ago. Concert didn't require them, just the after concert VIP event. (If you know nothing about K-pop, steer clear going down that rabbit hole).
Other than that, nothing that I know of.
Gamehole last Oct was proof of vax or a neg. covid test. Mask were optional, but a few there grumbled about people not wearing mask or out right lied about the requirement. I expect this fall that they will drop all requirements. This year they exceeded their 2019 attendance numbers largely due to the relaxed covid requirements.
I got a small one near me Gamicon. It is illegal in the state of Iowa to require proof of Vax, and this year they are dropping their mask.
Grandcon last year no vax and mask were optional. Nice laid back convention with surprisingly really good con food.
Big bad con in Burlingame, CA is about the only convention that I know of that is hard set on keeping their vax and mask mandates. In fact they seem proud of it.
So....not 'all' conventions. There went that talking point.
The ones strongly against the option, who "suffered" through mask years look down on and reject people who are still pro-mask, so that's the only option they can conceive of from the other side. Mask requests are a way to exclude people and circumvent rules they think, nothing even about health is really considered. At least people here are more respectful than the Fans of GenCon fb posts that derail easily.
2. Whether people like it or not, one of those rules "usurping" exceptions here is objectively safer than the other. It's like if auto manufacturers gave the option for a 4 point or harness seat belt vs the normal 3 point belt. No law enforcement would car if soemone went extra safe with a harness, but they do care if someone just says Yolo and drops the belt entirely.
3. This idea, at worst will not affect like 98% of attendees at if allowed. You're sitting here basically going "that event I probably wouldn't attend anyway is requesting masks, and the vast majority of people interested in that event are okay with it, but I'm not so it's not okay and they shouldn't be able to ask"
Here is what is going out to EO's/GM's:
As stated in the recent update to our Health and Safety information on January 10, 2023, convention participants will NOT be required to wear a mask or show proof of vaccination to attend or participate in any events or activities at Gen Con Indy. However, Gen Con strongly encourages all participants to wear masks and stay up to date on their vaccinations. We understand this may impact event plans for some organizers. Your decision to have an event presence at Gen Con in 2023 will not automatically negatively impact future consideration for space.
Event organizers and GMs who want to request that players wear masks while participating may add “We kindly request all players wear appropriate face masks during this event” to your optional Long Description (and to the Message to Registered Players as well, if desired). However, masks CANNOT be required for participation, nor may any other similar actions (such as showing proof of vaccination status) be either requested or required.
Please note that players do not need to comply to participate. If any participant (player or GM) becomes disruptive, please alert your nearest Event HQ or contact GM HQ for assistance immediately. This optional messaging effort is to help ensure that both GMs and players can find games that suit their comfort level at the convention, as well as establish clear expectations before arriving at the gaming table.
If you have questions, concerns, or need further guidance, please contact us directly.
2023 Convention Health and Safety
Event Host Policy
Code of Conduct
What happens if I go to an event, and they ask me to wear a mask and I refuse to do so?
Wearing a mask at the convention is optional, so the EO cannot require that you wear a mask at their event. With this in mind, we request that you and the EO are polite to one another while you resolve the matter. However, if the EO persists, you should contact the nearest Event HQ to have them resolve the situation. Alternatively, in order to ensure that GM and players are comfortable, it is probably best to find another event without this request.
If it is not in the Event description can the EO request that we wear masks at the time of the Event?
Yes, the EO can politely request that you wear a mask during their event. This is meant to ensure both GMs and players can find events that fit their comfort level. Please be respectful of the other attendees and the EO if you choose to decline the request to wear a mask.
What if an EO asks that no one wears masks at the table?
While an EO has the right to not wear a mask during their events, you have the right to wear a mask at any event you attend. If an EO persists in asking you to remove your mask, you should contact the nearest Event HQ to have them resolve the situation.
What if I don’t have a mask to wear?
In order to ensure both GMs and players are comfortable at the convention, masks will be made available at Event HQs and most Gen Con registration and information booths. You can also ask the EO if they have a mask for you to wear.
What if Gen Con changes their policy and masking is required?
We understand that outside factors can change and policy sometimes needs to be shifted to accommodate such changes. If Gen Con changes policy to require masks at the convention, then that mandate will need to be followed.
Can an EO make any other requests regarding vaccination?
While Gen Con encourages attendees keep up to date with their vaccinations, an EO cannot make any request regarding vaccination. If they do, please let an Event HQ or a member of Gen Con staff know.
We have kept this topic open so everyone can see the promised decision about EO's asking people to mask.
There will be zero tolerance for inappropriate/snarky (with malicious intent)/ bickering back and forth posting.
If you have questions that are not answered in the FAQ above please feel free to ask them.
If you are an EO or GM and have questions specific to the event you can email [email protected]
People can also email [email protected] if they have additional questions.
Given that the EO can request at the time of the event, can other attendees sway the EO's opinion at that time if they are not comfortable?
There is no need to sway the EO's opinion as they are not required to wear the mask.