What is a Code of Conduct?
From Cambridge Dictionary: a code of conduct is a set of rules about how to behave and do business with other people. If you’ve attended a major in the Fighting Game Community (FGC), you’ve likely already agreed to a Code of Conduct (CoC) before!
Who made the FGCoC?
The FGC Code of Conduct is drafted and reviewed by the Code of Conduct Team, an international collective of FGC Tournament Organizers who you can read about on our Roster page. In addition to these members, we’ve worked with many community leaders who work with the FGC’s flagship events to get their feedback & insight. For a list of community leaders who have signed on to the CoC, please visit our Signatories page.
Why was the FGCoC created?
After many brave FGC members came out with stories of abuse & harassment in 2020, many TOs & community members came together to discuss how we could make things better for those who have been harmed by offenders & feel unsafe in our community. The FGCoC was created with a goal to prevent and expel predatory behavior and emotional, sexual, verbal, and physical abuse and is but one part in a long overdue process to create a safer and more inclusive FGC.
Why not let organizers handle all of this themselves?
For starters, creating a comprehensive, and enforceable CoC is a concerted effort that can be difficult for a grassroots organization to pursue. Our hope with the FGCoC is to provide a baseline CoC that not only seeks to protect the members of our community, but also makes it less of a burden for organizers to do so.
Another objective of the FGCoC is to create consistent expectations for what is acceptable behavior in FGC spaces. When reviewing previous events surrounding unacceptable behavior, a lack of consistency was bemoaned by both victims and offenders alike. The FGCoC and its recommendations are made to provide consistent expectations in behavior, punishments, as well as restorative paths to redemption.
Why not just let the local laws / law enforcement handle bad actors?
Many of the violations listed in the Code of Conduct are not illegal, but are still disruptive enough to warrant action that can be taken outside of a law enforcement context. In addition, relying on law enforcement can be unreliable, disruptive, and inconsistent in many spaces.
Can the FGCOC be enforced internationally and why are the vast majority of contributors located in the USA?
The Code of Conduct team was formed out of the interests of major FGC event organizers in the United States, but some of our most important contributors are outside of the US. Our roster page details various international representatives around the world. While the main text of the Code is focused on US law, it was drafted with the intent to be flexible enough to be used globally. Please understand that we cannot account for national and regional legal differences.
If you are located outside of the USA and would like to contribute to improving the Code or making the Code fit your local jurisdiction, please visit our official feedback page. We welcome changes that can be drafted in the name of versatility around the world.
These rules are too vague! I need to know exactly what is allowed and what is not.
The FGCoC is meant to apply universally to a wide variety of events and spaces, and serves as a baseline. The drafters of the FGCoC respect the autonomy of community organizers & leaders, who know & understand their respective communities better than any international committee. As such, we encourage Individual organizers to expand upon the FGCoC to tailor it for each particular space, event or region.
In addition to giving signatories leeway in interpreting these rules, the drafters acknowledge that we cannot anticipate every kind of violation in advance. Care was taken to not write the code too narrowly, as the lack of flexibility could be taken advantage of by bad actors who would toe the line in ways that may not technically violate the rules, but that still creates an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for the community.
With that said, If you feel that the document should be more clear in certain areas, please reach out through our Feedback page.
How do I sign the FGCoC?
Any Event, Tournament Organizer, or admin of a FGC gathering space can sign the FGCoC and adopt it for use at their own events. If you would like to be publicly listed as a signatory, please see this page (Adopt Link).
I’m an Event Organizer/TO/Admin. Why should I adopt the FGCoC?
Any event large or small should have a set of rules for their attendees to follow to foster an environment where everyone can enjoy the community space. The FGCoC was created in collaboration with many event organizers around the world, taking many factors into consideration that may have been missed by any individual.
In addition, for infractions that are complicated, or particularly egregious and may require further investigation, you may utilize the FGCoC’s committees to take reports, investigate the situation & provide recommendations for actions.
Does the FGCoC cover the entire FGC?
It does not. Signing on & utilizing the FGCoC is an entirely voluntary process. As the text of the Code says, “It applies to all the players, attendees, tournament organizers, staff, streamers, commentators, posters, and so on who attend, run, or use the tournaments, online messaging platforms, chat rooms, servers, and other community gathering places that have signed on to enforce it.”
Each event and community space that signs on to the Code is responsible for enforcement and ultimately the final word in any decision making in their own space.
Does the FGCoC supersede over developer/publisher tours, or other events with their own CoC (examples: TWT, CPT, Combo Breaker, EVO, etc)?
No, although some events have adopted the FGCoC alongside their own CoC. Please refer to the official sites of these events to read their CoCs.
Do I have to send all infractions to the FGCoC investigations committee?
No. Organizers & leaders may handle any infraction that happens in their spaces, without submitting the infraction to the FGCoC’s Investigations committee.
Why would I submit an infraction violation to the FGCoC?
One of the goals of the FGCoC is to create uniform, faster, & community-focused actions when dealing with infractions. Every claim received by the FGCoC will be thoroughly investigated by a diverse committee who have the resources & dedication to provide a balanced look at infraction reports, in a manner to protect the privacy of all parties involved. In line with this goal of consistency, recommendations will be published in a single location for the community organizers to see and make use of.
My question is not listed here!
This FAQ is still a work in progress—we know there are still many important questions that we’ve been asked that require answers that we will be touching upon in the near future (e.g. How to join a FGCoC committee, the Recommendations process, etc.).
In the meantime, feel free to submit feedback using our form (link), or by reaching out to us on twitter at @FGCOC.