The steering committee for Games on Demand GenCon 2019 is calling on GenCon, LLC. to strengthen their stance concerning the recent revelations around Zak Smith. The current response (linked here) is weak-spirited and does not provide satisfactory assurance that attendees can feel GenCon will take their side in cases of abuse. We strongly urge GenCon to provide a stronger statement as quickly as possible that names abusers, and distinctly calls out action that will be taken against them so attendees feel like concerns and incidents are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.
On behalf of Games on Demand at GenCon 2019, we continue to hold the policy that neither Zak Smith nor his games are allowed at our events. Zak has a long history of terrible behavior against cherished members of our community. We believe them, and we believe Mandy, Jennifer, Hannah, and Vivka.
We’re very concerned about folks not feeling safe at GenCon 2019, but also fundamentally believe in Games on Demand’s presence there. Year after year, we’ve introduced many new players to indie roleplaying and have tried to provide a second home for our community with a safer and more compassionate space for play. We will be strengthening our guidelines for safety and response within Games on Demand to help players and volunteers feel protected and supported outside of GenCon’s existing structures. Whether or not GenCon as a whole can live up to our expectations for safety, Games on Demand is committed to being a safe space for anyone who needs it.
We fully understand and support anyone who feels they might not be able to attend GenCon this year in wake of their position. Again, we urge the convention to strengthen their statement and take a strong stance against abuse.