GameCamp is an unconference. That means there aren’t any spectators, only participants! The schedule of talks isn’t decided beforehand. Instead, the participants – that’s you – get to write down what they want to talk about on The Board on the morning of the conference. Listen to talks, get inspired, talk about the world’s most important medium with other gamers and game designers – maybe learn something.
GameCamp is a communal exercise: EVERYBODY is encouraged to join in. That means you should be prepared to give a talk, take part in a discussion, or host a game. This is a chance to try things out or test ideas, inspire people with something new.
The Rules of the GameCamp
Any game has to have rules. Here’s how to play GameCamp:
Conversations, not presentations.
Especially no Keynote or PowerPoint. Converse amonst yourselves! Don’t just blink at the slides.
Prepared, not rehearsed.
This is an improvised conversation. We want you to be prepared. That means you know what you’d like to talk about with people, but not neccessarily what you’re going to say to them. We don’t want a boardroom presentation – especially not a warmed-over presentation you’ve already given somewhere else.
Keep it simple.
Show people your laptop screen if you want to demo something. We might have a projector or two working, but don’t rely on it.
This is a community event, not a business networking event, and definitely not a speed-pitching session. There will be plenty of interesting people there from across the gaming community. This is is not your chance to score funding for that concept you’ve got. Though – who knows? – you might end up meeting someone you’d like to work with in the future. Bring business cards, but don’t force them on people. If you want to actually sell stuff at GameCamp, contact the committee before the event.
Discuss, interrupt, ask questions.
This is a conversation, and you’re participating!
Vote with your feet.
Go on and leave a session if you’re bored. No one will feel insulted. There will be several others going on at the same time. No point missing out! Equally, if you’re running a session and somebody leaves, don’t take it personally. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity. And it’s just as fine to join a session half-way through.
Everything is public.
Blog it, Tweet it, shoot it, record it, upload it, torrent it, whatever: GameCamp is open and on the record. The hashtag is #gamecamp
Code of Conduct
The GameCamp committee is dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming event for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We’re proud that each year people who initiate sessions and co-participants (there are no “audiences” at GameCamp) devise content that emphasises, among many other qualities, insight, optimism, equality, and empathy; GameCampers are trustworthy folk. We, committee and attendees, want to create a safe space — somewhere where people can feel that they’re not likely to face violence, harassment, intimidation or bullying.
The following guidelines govern content related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar: (a) it should be presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIA people, (b) session initiators should warn attendees in advance in the session’s description(s) and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.
Harassment in any form is not tolerated, and attendees should feel supported to confront and/or report any discriminatory words, images, or behaviour. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.
If an attendee is found to be breaching this Code of Conduct, GameCamp’s organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the GameCamp team immediately. GameCamp staff can be identified by special badges.
GameCamp staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist anyone experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.
GameCamp’s Code of Conduct support officer is Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson.
Unconferences are modelled on the BarCamp series of developer events. Unconferences mean one thing above all: there are no spectators – only participants.
This is because in any gathering, the expertise distributed through the audience usually outweighs that of the person who happens to be speaking at any one time. We aim to bring that distributed expertise out, so everyone can benefit.
There’s no schedule of speakers at GameCamp, and no keynote address. Instead, the schedule is determined on the morning of the event, by the participants themselves. There’s a big schedule board, and in the morning everyone will decide when they want to speak, and what they want to talk about. You are encouraged to ask questions and interrupt: this day is about discussions, not presentations. If you’re bored in a session, vote with your feet and leave. There will be multiple simultaneous sessions at any one time. Over the course of the day, most people attending should get a chance to talk.
It’s an unparalleled way to get large groups of people mixing and talking in a creative and productive way. That means that if you attend, be prepared to speak. You don’t need a prepared presentation, but this isn’t a sit-quietly-at-the-back sort of thing. We want to hear from you.