The Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narrative (ARDIN) is committed to supporting diversity and inclusivity within the annual International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), and more broadly in the field of interactive digital narrative studies and beyond. In consequence, ICIDS 2023 has adopted the following safer space policy in the ongoing effort to improve the diversity and inclusivity of the conference.
Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives at ICIDS 2023
ICIDS 2023 aims to be a gender-inclusive space. As such, we encourage all attendees not to presume people’s chosen pronouns, or that they use pronouns. We encourage all attendees – even those who do not worry about being misgendered – to add their preferred pronouns to their name badge and to their name on the various online platforms being used.
As in previous years, ICIDS 2023 is also adopting DiGRA Australia’s successful policy on social media usage. Session chairs will identify each individual speaker’s preference regarding how they want the audience to share information about their talk, if at all (this includes the use of photos, directly tagging presenters in tweets, etc.). These preferences will be shared with the audience at the start of each panel session. Any violations of a presenter’s wishes must immediately be deleted when brought to the offender’s attention. Attendees are also required not to use potentially harmful hashtags and terms on official event hashtags.
Participants asked to stop any harassing or harmful behavior are expected to comply immediately or they will be required to leave the space.
In the case of repeated offending behavior, ICIDS 2023 organizers will take any action deemed appropriate to resolve the situation and make the space welcoming. Examples of such action include verbal warnings, written warnings, temporary or permanent barring from ARDIN events, and online spaces.
If you feel that someone is making you or the space feel uncomfortable, if you see that someone else is being made to feel unsafe, or if you have any other concerns, please contact the organizers. You may do this in person (staff will be identified at the opening sessions) or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our representatives will be happy to assist you with action, the provision of security, or appropriate next steps.
This safer space policy is not intended to limit open discussion of the merits of particular work or issues presented at ARDIN events. It applies only to behavior at ARDIN events and activities. ARDIN and the ICIDS 2023 organizers assume no liability or responsibility for the actions of any member or other activity participant. ARDIN and the ICIDS 2023 organizers are not responsible for protecting the safety of members or participants at ICIDS 2023 Any individual who feels their safety is at risk due to harassment or for any other reason is encouraged to take appropriate steps to ensure personal safety.
Note that much of this text, and the overall spirit and intent of the policy were originally adapted for ICIDS 2018 from the DiGRA 2018 inclusivity policy: http://digra2018.com/inclusivity/.
Inspiration was also taken from the ACM policy against harassment: https://www.acm.org/special-interest-groups/volunteer-resources/officers-manual/policy-against-discrimination-and-harassment.
Safer Space Policy
A safer space policy aims to foster an environment of respect that makes ALL participants, particularly those who are typically marginalized or excluded, feel welcome. Differing opinions and perspectives are crucial to an effective discussion, but all attendees ultimately take responsibility for their own speech and behavior – in person, and on social media – throughout the entire conference and associated social gatherings.
Attendees are encouraged to:
- Ask respectful questions and avoid dominating a presenter’s question time to further any particular agenda. Question time after a talk is intended to give presenters the opportunity to expand on their talk in response to audience questions and is not a platform for the audience to individually reply.
- Be mindful of and understand that intersectionality shapes our lived experiences. Actively include all attendees in social gatherings (such as post-conference dinners and social events), particularly those for whom English is not a first language and junior students.
Examples of unacceptable behavior in person and online include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal communication (public or private) that demeans, devalues, or is derogatory towards one’s gender, sexuality, physical appearance, body size, class, appearance, race, religion, language, age, ability, and/or socioeconomic status.
- Not using content warnings when discussing content that may be harmful or offensive, such as graphic discussions or depictions of hate speech or sexual violence.
- Display of sexually demeaning imagery in public spaces. (Sexual imagery can be acceptable provided it is clearly contextualized as critical work and explicit forewarning is provided, but such imagery should not be offensive or demeaning to any of the identificatory attributes listed above).
- Bullying, stalking, following, and other such intimidating behavior.
- Photography or recording without consent.
- Explicit mention of individuals on open social media using the official event hashtag without their consent.
- Disrupting or hijacking conversations (during talks, in question times, or in general discussion).
- Inappropriate non-consensual physical contact.
- Unwelcome attention of any kind.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviors.
We recognize that the above list is not all-encompassing, and it is thus crucial that all ICIDS participants should be considerate, mindful, and respectful of other participants’ safety, and refer any concerns to the conference committee.