Having a published policy that people can come unvaxxed, and then allow a GM to boot them because someone at the table feels "uncomfortable" if they are not vaxxed, would be utterly ridiculous. If you don't feel safe around unvaxxed people you shouldn't come as their will clearly be some there.
The current policy is very clear. Unvaccinated persons providing proof of vaccination will be allowed to go without face coverings during Gencon events and gatherings. With 60% capacity still being upward of 38,000 people over the weekend and with no access to LoS, our theoretical GM will no doubt be in close proximity to unmasked persons multiple times. And that is not even getting into how non-badge-required zones (ICC halls, hotels, restaurants, etc.) will not be requiring strict masking. If this person is not comfortable sitting down at a table with 4+ people to run a game where there may be a vaccinated person without a mask, I am not sure how they will even be able to make it from their room to the game to set up.
A vaccinated person with a wristband and no mask is following convention rules, as is a person who does not have a wristband and is wearing a mask. I will be wearing a mask during Gencon if the current policy stays the same by September. Do I particularly like or agree with the policy? Not really, but it doesn't matter because it is a private event and I understand that following the policies are part of the price of admission.
The "it makes me uncomfortable" clause is there for good reason, but there are limits and people know it. Are you going to say "A person with facial piercings/psoriasis/dyed hair/a gaymer badge/an RNC 2020 shirt/ANYTHING makes me uncomfortable"? Sure, you can say it, but if the person is otherwise following Gencon policies and is being respectful and otherwise unremarkable, there's only so far you can go until it becomes a You issue.
[**If I did meet a fellow con-goer with facial piercings, dyed hair, and psoriasis who was wearing a Gaymer badge and an RNC 2020 shirt, I would love to talk to them- they seem like they would be a very interesting person!]
That reminds me of a YouTuber I watch posting about how sad she was to read comments like "her channel is great, too bad she is left-wing." My response was "ah yes, heavily tattooed goth artists like you, that famously right-wing group"
Also unrelated I had to laugh at the "if someone is having cancer treatments why would they be at a gaming convention" line, thinking back to my trip to Burger Study during Gen-Con 2019 with my friend wearing a mask because her cancer treatment made her immunocompromised (before masks were cool)
All right, everyone take a breather, this is getting heated and close to the edge of my "Lock this thread" response.
Things are fluid; as we get closer to the con, regulations and suggestions on how to deal with the questions surrounding COVID will be refined. We still have over two months to go - everything in this thread is speculation regarding what will happen on the day.
Gen Con, LLC.
The rules have been announced. If you like them, come to the convention. If you don't, stay home.
I manage a public building that has had tens of thousands of all members of the public through the doors during the pandemic. So, I think I can say with some confidence that all the friction, arguing and fighting that you are imagining will not likely come to pass. There are no guarantees in life, though. Again, if it ain't for you, it ain't for you. That's fine. The rest of us are moving on.
Be prepared to wear a mask the entire time your at the con and be prepared to be around people who aren't masked without recourse of making them mask up. This will surly be a interesting con :)
There's really nothing new here that wasn't possible in previous years (eg. are you 'uncomfortable' with the political statement on shirt of one of your players? are you 'uncomfortable' with the fact that two of your players are gay?). These things very rarely happen -- and if they do, staff will solve it. In the meantime, it's probably not helpful to keep manufacturing problems.
Absolutely players and GMs participating in an event or game can request that others around them wear a mask if they are not already wearing one. The nice thing to do would be for the unmasked player to either comply or politely decline and leave. If neither of those two options are initially chosen, then the participants must cross that bridge when they come to it, with Gencon staff if needed. As mollymolly stated, "There's really nothing new here that wasn't possible in previous years."
The OP's concern, as I understood it, was will GMs be given the official approval by Gencon to require masks without prior notice to the players. In the event that they are required for participation, failure to comply naturally results in being excluded from the game.
Two different situations. One compromise -also suggested by the OP- would be to have "mask-required" games that are marked as such in advance on the event description.
FWIW I posed the "What would you do if the GM requested that you wear a mask at their table even if you already had a wristband?" to some of my "Gencon Party" and the two answers were "comply" or "decline and leave". Nobody was interested in arguing about it or sitting at a table where they're getting dirty looks.
I went through what I had to in order to get vaccinated for many many reasons. If everyone following GC guidelines says that there will be masked and unmasked people at your table and you are not willing to be in that mix, then you need to reconsider if you can be comfortable at the convention or in that role. I'm even good if you want to see my wristband to double check. If someone who should be masked is not, then by all means, please have them mask up. Anyone else following guidelines should be left alone to participate freely without judgement or negativity.
This sounds ridiculous. I would tell the GM to get vaccinated so he didn’t have to be afraid anymore.
Everyone planning on attending should be aware that your going to be mixing with people that wont be wearing masks. People that chose not to wear a mask should not be the ones with onus of compromising on wearing a mask or wasting time and money dropping out of a gaming and trying to find some other event.
It sure does not sound like a great time for anyone involved if people are being forced to drop out of games due to mask choice. I know for me having to wear a mask for the majority of the con simply would diminish the enjoyment to the point I just would not go. I find masks hot and itchy, they steam up my glasses, make it hard to interact with people and constantly get hooked on my glasses. Apparently the powers that be at gencon have consulted with medical professionals that a con can be run safely without requiring masks for vaccinated.
I was hoping to get a official response to help me decide if optional mask usage really meant masks are optional and we wont be kicking people out for mask choice if people are upset. And no I am not a monster that would refuse to wear a mask if the DM asks everyone to wear a mask because they are a cancer patient, I just don't want to be the one who constantly has to compromise and have my enjoyment of the con diminished.
All I was saying is that someone can ask you anything they want, and in turn you can agree or decline. It's when people start throwing around the word "required" at will that it's a problem IMO. Especially if it's a surprise "requirement" without advanced notice. Apparently it's not worth it to anyone in my gaming group to hold their ground on one particular game (non-confrontational gamers and all that, as leaving would be the least-confrontational way to decline a request to wear a mask), but if it's worth it to you, you have every right to still be at that table after declining that request if masks are not required.
I've been asked for everything from money to directions to a beeline to a hotel room at Gencon over the years and I've had no problem declining any of those things. Just as I will have no problem declining to put my mask on outside or in public areas where masks are not required. The only sucky thing is you can't control how the other person reacts after that.
I'm planning to show my vaccine info, get a wristband, and show up to games without a mask. I am not expecting a problem. I'm not sure why you are.
The May health and safety update said that while masks were still required for now at ICC, "It is possible that mask guidance could change in the coming months, especially as it relates to large, indoor events like Gen Con."
So, it isn't really accurate to say prospective GMs were told one thing and then had the rules changed on them.