IDEAG first started in 2005 in Piossasco, a few kilometers from Turin. In a few years the event grew to the point of needing a larger space to accommodate an ever-increasing number of game designers and play-testers. In 2011 the event moved to the Open 11 in Turin and at the same time introduced the Decalogue: a set of 10 “rules” to allow anyone to get the best out of the event. The Decalogue still represents the manifesto of IDEAG today. Its aim was and remains to create a welcoming space open to anyone.
Over the years the event has grown more and more expanding up to a national level involving over 300 people and a network of local events involving the same number throughout Italy.
It is precisely thanks to the Decalogue and the principles contained therein that the event was able to grow to this size and it is from the same principles that we started to structure the IDEAG Code of Conduct.
This manifesto is the catalyst of a process that over the years brings together all the organizers and those who contribute to the organization of the events held during the year, allowing them to create unique events of their kind.
The time has therefore come to take a further step forward. This manifesto has been integrated and expanded to become a code of conduct that outlines the guidelines for the behaviour of participants during IDEAG events to guarantee an event that is open to everyone.
1. Test and let them test (possibly in this order). IDEAG is founded on the spirit of collaboration of its participants. For this reason, don’t stay stuck at your table waiting for play-testers to come, but take your time to try other people’s games that intrigue you the most. It will prove to be an equally formative experience.
2. Get acquainted. IDEAG is an opportunity to meet many people who share your same passion, with many ideas that may be useful to you. Creating new relationships is fruitful in every field, and game inventors are no exception!
3. Be sincere and polite. Game designers are normally very fond of their creations, so always try to be polite and delicate when talking about problems encountered in games. Anyway, always do your best to be honest clearly stating what you liked and what you did not like about a game.
4. Don’t become defensive. Playtests are used to improve your games, and criticism for this purpose is more important than compliments. So don’t defend your creations to the hilt, but rather encourage play-testers to be sincere and express themselves on the aspects that you know are the most delicate of your game.
5. Don’t necessarily finish every game. Often you don’t need to get to the end of the game to discover a game’s issues and get interesting feedback. This is especially true if you notice play-testers showing signs of fatigue. In this case, you can propose to interrupt the game and move on to the commentary phase. If you have a particularly long game with you (over an hour and a half), consider offering a shortened version. If you are testing a game and understand that you will struggle to finish the game, perhaps due to problems that you find evident in the game, very politely ask the author if you can stop playing (or check with the other players at the table), if it may be better to move directly to the comments phase.
6. Listen to the most experienced authors. Not all people who participate have the same experience. Some are just starting out, while others have several, or many, published games under their belt. The advice of these people can be particularly valuable, so listen up.
7. Talk to editors. Even if the event is mainly a meeting between game designers, among the participants there will also be several publishers, large and small. Introduce yourself without being intrusive: it’s not always possible to get them to try your games, but they are usually available for a chat. These can be very valuable to understand a little more how the market is moving, and what types of games they are looking for.
8. Participate in training sessions. Every year at IDEAG some training sessions are organized on the days of the event. Participation in these is highly recommended for everyone, and especially for those who are less familiar with the world of game design.
9. Ask permission to occupy other people’s spaces. Don’t occupy other people’s spaces without asking. Each game designer has been assigned their own space, which they can use as they wish. If you have more than one prototype, you will probably have to decide which one to keep ready on the table.
10. Collaborate with the organization. IDEAG is a non-profit event, organized by gaming enthusiasts for other enthusiasts. If there is something that you think isn’t working, try contacting the organizers, and work together to make things right. After the event, feel free to send us your feedback on the things that worked well and those that need fixing.
IDEAG Code of Conduct
As the number of events and people attending IDEAGs grows and grows, the need for a Code of Conduct became a necessity to ensure that every person feels safe, welcomed, and respected during events, both live and online.
The Code does not replace the Decalogue but completes it with rules, good practices, attribution of responsibilities and guidelines that apply to every person present at the events.
The Code of Conduct applies at all times of an IDEAG event. From registration, to training sessions, to playtest sessions, to informal chats during breaks, lunches, and dinners, both inside and outside the premises where IDEAG takes place, even to side activities connected to IDEAG, organized by SAZ Italy.
If you participate in any IDEAG event, you automatically give formal consent and adherence to this Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct contains a series of rules and guidelines that may appear cold if not read in the context of an event whose main purpose is to allow people to share their personal growth path within the world of Game Design.
How do I behave to be in line with the Code of Conduct?
Every event is made up of people and for the organization of IDEAG, people and respect for everyone are the focus around which events are built.
Pay respect and attention to other participants.
- Respect other people, their views, and opinions.
- Be welcoming. Behavior or speech that is discriminatory, harassing or that could be interpreted as humiliation will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, offensive comments relating to:
- gender or gender identity
- sexual orientation
- skin color, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- mother tongue
- religion, faith, belief, or lack thereof
- abilities, disabilities, or impairments
- physical aspect
- training course and in particular, experience in the world of board games and experience in game design
- socio-economic context and organizational context
- membership of certain groups and/or associations, political beliefs, or membership of a political party
- Refrain from inciting violence and/or harassment towards other people; from promoting or facilitating illegal activities; with illicit, hateful, or deliberately false or misleading content.
- If you need to propose strong or violent content, make sure you take every precaution so that people are warned before undertaking the activity, so as not to offend people’s sensitivity, and always take into consideration the possible presence of minors at the event as they must not be exposed to such content.
These rules apply during events, whether in person or online, as well as on IDEAG’s social channels, and include verbal messages as well as texts on t-shirts, bags, etc.
If you are in doubt about a behaviour, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it disrespectful to another person participating or organizing?
- Is this the idea that I want to give of myself to those around me?
- Does it contribute to, or at least not hinder, the maintenance of an open environment accessible to anyone?
- Is it consistent with the rules of this Code of Conduct and with the IDEAG Decalogue?
- Is it consistent with the values of IDEAG and with the principle of sharing and friendship promoted by the event?
Don’t remain indifferent!
If you notice that a person needs help, intervene, and ask if you can help them. If you can’t help, contact the event staff.
- Notify the Trusted Person (see below) as soon as possible if you see a person acting in violation of this Code of Conduct.
Over the years we have realized that it is necessary to identify some figures who can accommodate the requests of each participant and who are there to mediate irreconcilable positions during the events.
The IDEAG organization has therefore chosen to identify one or more people to carry out this task who are called Trusted Persons. The number of Trusted Persons depends on the size of the event. These people are chosen by the IDEAG organization and communicated in time so that anyone can have a clear reference before, during and after the event.
In addition to the physical presence during the events, the IDEAG organization is always ready to welcome, respond and intervene promptly in the management of any problem that arises in compliance with the code of conduct, also allowing everyone to contact the organizers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you witness any type of seemingly inappropriate behavior, immediately contact the Trusted Person available at the event to help find a peaceful and respectful resolution to any tension or incident that may occur, in one of the following ways:
• reporting any suspicious situation to the secretariat of the IDEAG event you are attending, where you can interact with the Trusted Person
• contacts and further information on the Trusted Person can be found in the emails sent to the event registration address and on the event website.
The role of the Trusted Person is to provide assistance in case of disagreement or misunderstanding and, where possible, guide the parties involved towards an independent resolution of the problem. The Trusted Person does not decide the outcome but will help the parties understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution.
The Trusted Person will be available for the entire duration of the event and will be easily reachable if participants wish to contact them, anonymously or not, for any complaint or alleged problem relating to online or offline activities. The Trusted Person will act trying to maintain confidentiality as much as possible.
Conflict resolution procedures
To protect the execution of IDEAG events it is necessary to introduce a set of procedures aimed at explaining the line of intervention if the Trusted Person is unable to help people reach a conciliation.
In the case of inappropriate behavior such as bullying, harassment, degrading or discriminatory behavior, whether verbal or non-verbal, the IDEAG organization and/or the Trusted Person must act based on the severity of the action and their unquestionable judgment, proceeding in order to:
• Remind those who participate of their obligation to act in accordance with this Code of Conduct.
• Suspend the activity and/or ask the transgressor to leave for the rest of the activity.
• If a repeated transgression occurs during different events, the IDEAG organization reserves the right to notify the person who committed the repeated violations at the time of a new registration as that reoccurring behavior will not be tolerated and more stringent measures are very likely to be adopted.
If serious incidents involving violent or potentially illegal behavior occur during the event, the organization will contact the police. The people involved – alleged perpetrators, alleged victims, and witnesses – undertake to collaborate fully with the organization of the event, helping to clarify the circumstances of the incident as follows:
- following the instructions provided by the police.
- responding duly and honestly to questions.
- presenting an identity document at the request of the organization.
- accepting that a copy of their identity document is included in any written report on the accident.
In these cases, the IDEAG organization will proceed to:
- record each incident in writing, including all relevant and available information.
- collect as much information as possible: noting down the statements of the party requesting the intervention and of any other person directly involved in the alleged victim(s) (if the victim is willing to do so), the alleged attacker, any witnesses and the Trusted Person who will have managed the situation, as a neutral party to the incident, in written form, to serve as a memorandum of what happened
Confidentiality first of all
The Trusted Person will not reveal the identity of the interested parties without their prior consent. The Trusted Person will respect the choices of the alleged victim regarding the continuation of the procedure.
If a legal procedure is initiated following a serious incident, the IDEAG organization will share the personal data of the people involved in the incidents with the police.
Based on reports made by Trusted Persons, the IDEAG organization can take immediate action to mitigate the risk and protect other participants and can decide whether failure to comply with this Code of Conduct should be sanctioned.
In proportion to the severity of the accident, the following sanctions may be applied:
- removal from the event premises for the rest of the day
- revocation of accreditation to the event, if any
- blocking of users/usernames associated with those who transgress on the communication channels controlled by IDEAG and SAZ, on social networks, and on the Discord channel.
The IDEAG organization believes that reaching a peaceful conclusion to the matter is the best way to guarantee the creation of a welcoming space. These sanctions will be used only in cases in which there is, in the unquestionable opinion of the IDEAG organization, room for maneuver for reconciliation in the short term.
The above provisions do not interfere with the legal rights of the aggrieved person or group to bring legal action against the offender under local legislation.
In addition to the possibility of applying a sanction in the event of a potential or actual violation of the Code of Conduct, IDEAG reserves the right to communicate externally on the matter, in compliance with data protection regulations.
IDEAG, through the Decalogue and this Code of Conduct, wants to renew its commitment, or rather its vocation, to hospitality. Each of the people who organize IDEAG, responsible for the National event or the Local events, put at the center of their activity the construction of a welcoming space in which game designers, publishers and play-testers can meet and grow within a constructive environment.
This Code of Conduct is a growing document, a Work in Progress. As such it can be perfected, because only through experience and an openness to criticism, we can grow and improve. Therefore, we invite anyone to contact us through our communication channels to propose changes and improvements to the Code and make our events increasingly open and welcoming to everyone.
We expect all people who participate in an IDEAG event to respect this code of conduct, as well as the laws of the Italian state, and to behave following common sense, seeking the best way for civil coexistence.