Members and customers of DeeTwenty are invited and encouraged to enjoy the facilities the venue provides to indulge their whims. We want our members to feel free to express themselves, enjoy themselves and relax in geeky surroundings with fellow geeks.
But, given the fact that we're geeks, it goes with the territory that some of us aren't as socially adept as others. Sometimes that's cute and charming. Sometimes it's less so.
That being the case, we've created some general guidelines about how to share the venue in the best possible way.
The Four P's
An easy way to remember these guidelines is a mnemonic: Respect other people's Privacy, Property, Person and Pride. The Four P’s. Let's take a deeper look at what we mean by those.
This one's pretty self-explanatory. Part of what we do at DeeTwenty involves people having lots of stuff with them. That means boxes, bags, cases and lockers all over the place. If you see someone's stuff lying around, it's best to leave it alone.
Likewise, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure that your stuff is clearly labelled with your name. That way, if someone needs you to move your things out of the way, it's not necessary for anyone to go digging through your stuff to figure out who it belongs to.
Related to the Privacy thing, respect for Property takes it a bit further. As geeks, a lot of the paraphernalia we geek out with is awesomely cool. That being the case, nobody can blame you for wanting to touch and examine their cool things.
Thing is a lot of those cool things are either expensive, fragile, sentimental or sometimes even dangerous. That’s what makes it cool, right? But that also means it’s not cool to grab someone’s stuff.
It goes a step further still: Asking someone if you can touch their stuff puts awkward social pressure on them to say “Yes”, even if they don’t want to. Asking someone to touch their stuff isn’t cool either.
The rule of thumb here is if someone is okay with you touching or borrowing their stuff, they’ll offer it to you. Unless they offer, the most you should do is look.
While most geeks are precious about their precious things, many geeks are also precious about their own bodies. Being touched or looked at inappropriately makes a lot of people uncomfortable.
Even if your only intent is to give someone a friendly hug or a playful slap on the back, that touch could be unwelcome. The best way to deal with that is just keep your hands to yourself.
But it doesn’t end with touching. Staring or saying inappropriate things can make people uncomfortable too.
DeeTwenty is kind of like the beach: you’re likely to see people here who are dressed in ways they wouldn’t dress anywhere else. But just because people are dressed strangely, doesn’t mean that the social rules about how to treat people are different. It’s still not okay to stare, touch or make creepy comments.
While it’s perfectly acceptable (and strongly encouraged!) to compliment someone’s awesome costume or uniform, there’s a fine line between that and creepy ogling or awkward flirting. Try to keep it on the cool side of that line.
It’s also worth remembering that the things you do affect the people around you, even if you don’t intend to. If someone nearby is excessively loud or smelly, it can spoil your experience and ruin your day. It can be hard to keep a lid on your exuberance in an exciting game, or to keep the BO under control on a hot day, but bear in mind how it could affect other members if you don’t.
There’s another side to it too: although DeeTwenty is intended for grown-ups, not everyone in the club is necessarily an adult. Some of our members and staff are teenagers, and others are parents who bring their little geeklets along with them from time to time. That being the case, costumes and games should be kept at a PG13 level.
The down side of growing up geek is that many of us had a hard time at school. Although the world has changed now - the geek has inherited the Earth - many of us still carry the scars of childhood bullying.
That being the case, it’s important to respect the Pride of fellow geeks: to build each other up, not break each other down. A playful ribbing is one thing, but putting someone down is another.
If you’ve got a genuine beef with someone, the golden rule is “Praise in public, critique in private.” Before you go thermonuclear in front of everyone, try taking the person aside and having a private chat with them.
If someone does something you don’t like or enjoy, before heaping scorn and judgement on them, first ask yourself “Does this actually affect me?” If it doesn’t, it’s probably best to zip it. If they want constructive criticism, they’ll ask you for it. If it does affect you, the golden rule applies.
In the immortal words of geek hero Wil Wheaton:
Right of Admission Reserved
Fact is, DeeTwenty is a business. We can’t afford to let the bad behaviour of one or a few members spoil the experience for everyone else. If people stop coming, we have to close down, and everyone loses out.
The same rules have apply to everyone: whether you’re a Full Member or a visitor with a Day Pass; whether you’re the world’s oldest Magic player or a 3-year-old visiting the club with mommy and daddy. If we all stick to the Four P’s, we’ll all get along just fine.
If someone can’t stop themselves from crossing the line and makes you uncomfortable, you can bring your complaint to the Geek On Duty (GOD).
If necessary, the GOD will ask the offender to knock it off. If they won't quit being a dick, the GOD has the option of exercising the “Right of Admission Reserved” sign and asking them to leave. It’s up to the GOD and DeeTwenty management to decide what happens after that. If it’s bad enough, the offender could get banned from the club and lose any membership fees they’ve already paid.
Hopefully that’ll never happen, but we need to have a plan in case it does, right?