The policy of the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) asserts that the personal worth and
value of every individual from all walks of life should be able to exist within our community free
from abuse or harassment. To achieve that objective, the IGDN will not tolerate abuse,
harassment, or discrimination within its association, community, or community spaces. Every
member of the IGDN has the right to file a complaint of discrimination/harassment.
The IGDN is committed to the protection of its community and its members. This policy applies
to members and volunteers of the IGDN, its Leadership Team and Safety Board, and any
spaces or events the IGDN is host to. Harassment/discrimination that occur outside of these
parameters are beyond the scope of this policy. Any incidents that occur in convention space
run by the IGDN, at social events facilitated by the IGDN, or are perpetrated by members of the
IGDN are in the scope of this policy.
This policy comes into effect November 1st, 2018. The policy will be reviewed annually and
updated as necessary to ensure the policy remains relevant and is in-line with the most recent
ethics and morals around harassment, discrimination, and abuse.
The IGDN is committed to preventing behavior which results in discrimination, harassment, and
abuse in its association.
The association is responsible for communication that harassment, abuse, and discrimination
are prohibited to all members, volunteers, associates, contractors, and attendees. This includes
ongoing policy advocacy by way of social media posts, reminders to the membership, and clear
communication to any volunteers and attendees at events. The IGDN Leadership Team and
Safety Board are also responsible for communicating, monitoring, implementing, and enforcing,
when necessary, all aspects of the policy and procedures.
The primary purpose of this policy and its attached procedures are to encourage the parties
involved to resolve their disputes, where possible, through informal resolution and/or mediation.
However, it is understood that where it is found that a violation of policy has occurred, the IGDN
and Safety Board may take appropriate action, including discipline, as defined in the section on
Where systemic bias is determined within any IGDN policy, procedure, and/or practice, as a
result of an IGDN and Safety Board investigation, remedial actions may include amendments,
revisions, or elimination of existing IGDN policies, procedures, or practices.
All members of the IGDN and its community are responsible for maintaining and promoting an
environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, abuse, and for promptly reporting to the
Safety Board any incidents they believe to be acts of discrimination, harassment, or abuse. The
IGDN recognizes its responsibility to deal quickly, fairly, and effectively with discrimination,
harassment, and abuse, should it arise.
Any member of the IGDN and its community is welcome to seek advice or assistance from, or
file a complaint with the Safety Board.
While individuals are encouraged to seek advice and counsel regarding possible violations of
this policy, the confidential nature of the complaint must be maintained throughout the process
by any person(s) with knowledge of the complaint.
6. Prohibited Grounds
This policy includes coverage of:
b. Sexual Harassment
c. Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Harassment
e. Intention to Discriminate/Hate Literature
f. Systemic Harassment/Discrimination
g. Doxxing, Swatting, and Internet Harassment
for all of the following grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin,
citizenship, creed (religion), sex, gender, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, criminal
or juvenile record of offenses, marital status, family status, the receipt of public assistance in the
area of housing accommodation, mental or physical disability, political affiliation, and/or
These will be referred to from now on as the “Prohibited Grounds.”
a. Harassment - means engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct related to
one or more of the prohibited grounds that is known or may reasonably be known to be
unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate, which adversely
affects the comfort and safety of the individual(s).
This includes but is not limited to: demeaning gestures, remarks, jokes, taunting,
innuendo, deliberate misgendering, deliberate deadnaming, display of offensive
materials, offensive graffiti, threats, verbal or physical assault, unwarranted penalties,
stalking, slurs, shunning, or exclusion related to the prohibited grounds.
b. Sexual Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct of a gender-related or
sexual nature that is known or might reasonably be known to be unwelcome/unwanted,
offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate. Depending on its severity, one action
may constitute sexual harassment.
This includes but is not limited to: demeaning gestures, remarks, jokes, slurs, taunting,
or innuendo based on gender or sexual orientation; unwanted physical contact; leering;
inappropriate comments about clothing, physical characteristics or activities; unwanted
questions or comments about one’s private life, sexual orientation, marital or family
status; the display of sexually offensive material; solicitation; unwanted attention; implied
or expressed promise of reward or benefit in return for sexual favours; implied or
expressed threat or act of reprisal if sexual favours are not given; or sexual assault.
c. Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct
negatively relating to race/ethnicity/culture that is known or might reasonably be known
to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, derogatory, or inappropriate.
Depending on its severity, one action may constitute racial/ethnic/cultural harassment.
This includes but is not limited to: demeaning remarks or gestures based on race, ethnic
origin or cultural differences, jokes about race, ethnic origin or cultural differences,
inappropriate displays of racial stereotypes, racial/ethnic/cultural slurs, unwanted
questions or comments of a racial/ethnic nature about one’s private life, or physical
d. Discrimination - means engaging in one or a series of action(s) or any behavior based
on a prohibited ground that results in the unfavourable, adverse, or preferential
treatment, which negatively affects or could negatively affect the personal and/or
professional life of another.
This includes but is not limited to: the refusal to provide goods, services, or facilities
without just cause; the refusal to work with or mentor someone.
e. Intention to Discriminate/Hate Literature - means any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or
other representation that expresses or implies discrimination or an intention to
discriminate (incite hatred) against identifiable groups.
It is a violation of this policy to publish, display, transmit (by any medium), knowingly
retrieve or distribute before the public or direct to an individual, or cause to be published,
displayed, transmitted or distributed within the IGDN or through the use of IGDN
resources, with the intent of inciting others to discriminate (inciting hatred against any
identifiable group), any hate literature.
f. Systemic Harassment/Discrimination - means the existence of policies, practices,
procedures, actions, or inactions that may appear neutral, but have an adverse impact
associated with one of the prohibited grounds.
This includes but is not limited to: negative stereotypical portrayal of groups/individuals in
materials, discriminatory barriers in recruitment and hiring, discriminatory restricted
access to positions of power or leadership positions, discriminatory restricted access to
g. Internet Harassment - means engaging in a course of conduct on the internet to
harass, threaten, bully, or maliciously embarrass.
This includes but is not limited to: sending threatening and/or unsolicited email;
encouraging others to send unsolicited and/or threatening emails with or without the
intent of overwhelming; sending viruses by email; spreading rumors and/or defamatory
comments online; sending negative, threatening, or unsolicited messages directly;
impersonating another online by sending an inflammatory, controversial, or enticing
message which is designed to cause others to respond negatively; harassing and/or
threatening using live chat; leaving abusive, threatening, or harassing messages online
with the use of social media sites; sending pornographic and/or other offensive and/or
graphic material which is knowingly offensive; creating online content that depicts
another in negative ways; releasing the personal and/or private information of another
onto social media sites; enticing others through social media to contact another; using
private information acquired online to prank emergency services and/or bring a large
amount of armed police officers to a public and/or private address and/or participate in
h. Reprisal - means engaging in a course of conduct hostile toward those whom file a
complaint of discrimination or harassment, participate or cooperate with an investigation,
provide information relevant to a complaint, or act in any role under the policy and/or
This includes but is not limited to: adverse actions by a person who has the authority to
confer, grant, or deny any benefit or advancement to the person filing a complaint.
The policy and procedures, within the IGDN association, will apply to the IGDN community:
- All IGDN full members
- All probationary IGDN members
- Members of the Leadership Team
- Members of the Safety Board
- Volunteers of the IGDN
- Winners of the IGDN Metatopia Sponsorship and any other scholarships or sponsorships
- Contractors who are employed by the IGDN
- Visitors or guests who are involved in IGDN events
Visitors, contractors, and/or suppliers of services who attend an IGDN event or are hired by the
IGDN will be subject to complaints if they engage in prohibited conduct. All contractual
relationships entered into by the IGDN will be governed by a standard contract compliance
clause stating that contracts must comply with this Policy, including cooperating with
Documented and substantiated complaints may result in penalties against a member, up to and
including removal from the IGDN or its spaces or ending of a contract.
All members and associates of the IGDN community are required to participate in the
proceedings as outlined in the Procedures attached to this Policy as part of their association
with the IGDN. However, it does not preclude the right of the IGDN or an individual to seek other
8. Review and Reporting Requirements
The Safety Board will annually prepare a summary for the IGDN Leadership Team with
complaint and resolution data, in accordance with privacy considerations. The report will include
a summary of any changes made to the IGDN Harassment Policy and Procedures over the past
year plus any significant amendments under consideration.
9. Protection of Records
All records of meetings, consultations, discussions or communications, including investigation,
mediation, resolution, and Safety Board (conversations, documents, identities of the parties) will
be kept in confidential files via Google Drive.
The goal of these procedures is to encourage the parties involved to resolve their disputes,
where possible, through informal resolution and/or mediation.
No adverse action will be taken against a person or a group without their knowledge where
there is an alleged breach of the IGDN Harassment Policy (hereafter referred to as the "Policy"),
unless notification of the individual and/or group would cause the IGDN to violate specific legal
obligations with which regards to the dignity, safety, or security of its community.
Parties to a complaint will have a reasonable opportunity to dispute, correct, or contradict all
allegations, present arguments and evidence in support of their position throughout all stages
outlined in the procedures.
Each party to a complaint may be represented by an agent of their choice.
Every individual who files a complaint, participates, or cooperates in an investigation, provides
information relevant to a complaint, or acts in any role under the policy and/or these procedures
has the right to do so without reprisal or threat of reprisal.
Abuse of Policy/Procedures
Malicious complaints or inappropriate breaches of confidentiality will be considered violations of
the Policy. Any individual or group that makes a frivolous, vexatious, false, or bad faith
complaint pursuant to this Policy for the purpose of harming another individual or group,
breaches the Policy and may be disciplined.
Nothing in this Policy or in these Procedures precludes a member of the IGDN community from
seeking alternative routes. However, it is understood that once the IGDN is aware that a
complaint may exist, it has an obligation to proceed to investigate the complaint in order to
ensure that any alleged discrimination, harassment, or abuse will not continue to take place.
Any confidential complaint made or filed to the IGDN or its Safety Board shall be deemed to
have been made or filed without prejudice. The complaint so made or filed shall not form subject
matter of a complaint made against the person making or filing the original complaint.
Any action required in the enforcement of this policy will be enacted by the Safety Board of the
Throughout all of these procedures, all information collected remains confidential in the Safety
Board’s data, except when disclosure is required to investigate and/or resolve a complaint; or
when disclosure of information or the giving of evidence is required, such as in legal
To the extent possible, where a complaint is substantiated, the IGDN’s objective is to restore the
complainants to the position they would have been in had the discrimination, harassment, or
abuse not happened, within an appropriate time frame and when appropriate. Options include
but are not restricted to: a written apology (a letter acknowledging responsibility for the policy
violation and regret for the harm that was caused); completion of training or education; or
recommended counselling or therapy.
3. Members' Responsibility
In compliance with the IGDN’s responsibility, any member of the IGDN is required to report any
actual situations of harassment, discrimination, and/or abuse arising within the IGDN or its
Upon receiving information of perceived violations of this Policy, after informing the Safety
Board, members should, if comfortable, discuss with any alleged violators the requirement to
adhere to the IGDN’s standards regarding harassment, discrimination, and abuse. Members will
direct the persons involved to desist from actions which may violate this Policy.
Members will also inform the alleged victim(s) of this Policy and Procedure and of their right to
use other alternative routes, such as legal counsel. Members will report all incidents of
perceived harassment, discrimination, or abuse to the Safety Board.
4. Threat of Personal Safety and Security
A personal safety or security threat is defined as a situation which may be in the form of an
assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, threat of assault, uttering threats of
death/damage, harassment of an individual, or any other act that constitutes as a violent act
defined by the legal code of the country the act is happening in. A threatened individual or any
person who becomes aware of the safety/security threat to any other person is responsible to
immediately obtain help from local law enforcement or on-site security. All situations must be
reported to the Safety Board.
Where it is deemed to exist that a threat to personal safety/security of any member of the IGDN
or its community, the IGDN may suspend the alleged violator from the community and its events
Where an alleged violator is a member of the IGDN, part of its Leadership Team, or part of its
Safety Board, the IGDN may suspend the alleged violator from membership and/or any role of
authority until such time as an investigation can be completed.
When an alleged violator is not a member of the IGDN, they shall be denied access to the
IGDN, it’s community, and its convention spaces until such time as an investigation can be
When a person believes that a violation of the Policy has occurred, they may seek confidential
advice from the Safety Board and/or file a formal complaint with the Safety Board. However, it is
understood that these procedures do not preclude an individual from exercising other legal
Reports of alleged violations should be submitted to the Safety Board.
A Safety Board complaint may be initiated where allegations or violations of the Policy are
reported and there are no individual complainant(s).
A complaint must be filed within six months of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint,
unless the delay was incurred in good faith and no substantial prejudice will result to any person
affected by the delay.
Formal complaints of alleged violations shall be recorded digitally via email and stored in the
Safety Board’s Google Drive.
Two or more complaints alleging a violation engaged in by the same person, or having facts in
common, may be dealt with in the same proceeding.
While parties involved are encouraged to seek advice and counsel, it is requested that the
confidential nature of the complaint shall be maintained throughout the process by any
person(s) with knowledge of the complaint.
A person who is the subject of a complaint made under this procedure and who has reason to
believe the complaint is vexatious, in bad faith, or itself a form of harassment, has the right to
file a complaint.
A complainant may, at their discretion, decide to withdraw a complaint at any point in the
procedure. However, it is understood that the Safety Board may pursue a complaint in order to
comply with its Policy obligations.
6. Determination of Complaint Process
Complainants will receive a letter of recognition in writing via email from the Safety Board within
48 hours upon receipt of a complaint.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Safety Board will review the complaint to ensure:
- The complaint is within the scope of the IGDN’s Policy
- The subject matter of the complaint has not been found to be trivial, frivolous, vexatious,
or made in bad faith
- The complaint does not require the recusal of a member of the Safety Board
Where the Safety Board advises a complainant to withdraw a complaint or to seek alternative
routes, the complainant shall be advised in writing of the reasons and alternative procedures
Where the Safety Board determines that no Prohibitive Grounds have been broken, it may
recommend mediation or informal conflict resolution to the complainant.
7. Informal Resolution and Mediation
Where there is a breach of the Prohibited Grounds, but where conflict could be remedied by
informal resolution, the Safety Board shall select a member to be a Safety Board Ambassador
(hereafter referred to as the “Ambassador”) or designate who shall meet with each party
involved and attempt to affect a settlement of the complaint informally.
The Ambassador will provide impartial counselling to all parties in the dispute, including advice
on external means of redress available (e.g. legal recourse, counselling). A peace circle or
meeting may also be held or recommended to all parties involved.
Where the parties to a particular complaint agree to a resolution, it shall remain confidential, be
documented, filed with the Safety Board and the complaint considered resolved.
In the absence of an agreed-upon settlement reached informally by the Safety Board
Ambassador, the complainant(s) may withdraw the complaint or file a formal complaint.
8. Formal Complaint
If the complaint is not resolved through informal resolution, a formal complaint may be filed or if
the complaint is one that the IGDN has determined is not appropriate for informal resolution, the
formal complaint process shall be initiated.
Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Safety Board shall assign an Ambassador from the
Board and notify all parties in writing via email that the formal complaint and investigation
process has commenced (See Section 9. Investigation).
The Safety Board will provide the respondent with the written official complaint via email
outlining the details of the complaint within 7 days from the date an official complaint was
If the respondent(s) maintains a position of power within the IGDN, such as being part of the
Leadership Team or Safety Board, they are to recuse themselves within 24 hours of notification
of the investigation opened against them.
In cases of recusal by the Leadership Team, a temporary replacement shall be selected by the
Leadership Team and the Safety Board within 72 hours of recusal. The Leadership Team shall
be responsible for ensuring this process takes place and that the responsibilities of the recused
Upon nomination, the Leadership Team and the Safety Board must agree that the new
nominee(s) are not respondents within the current complaint and are not currently under
investigation for any other complaints.
9. Investigation of Formal Complaints
The Safety Board Ambassador will conduct an investigation of the allegations giving rise to the
complaint. The Safety Board Ambassador will meet with the respondent(s), complainant(s),
persons that may have information relevant to the complaint, community stakeholders, and any
other person(s) requested by either the complainant or respondent that may have additional
information for the purpose of determining the facts and providing all reasonable opportunity for
any information to be included in the investigation report.
Within 14 days of receipt, the Safety Board Ambassador will compile an Investigation Document
to be shared privately with all members of the Safety Board. Any new information gathered after
this date will be added to the document, including any decisions, penalties, or redresses made.
The Safety Board will ensure the conclusion of the complaint within 30 days of receipt.
Both the complainant and respondent will have the right and responsibility to provide all
information as accurately as possible, including dates, times, locations of the allegations, and
any other information that would assist in the investigation.
The Safety Board and its Ambassadors may request:
- The production, for inspection and examination, of documents or things that are or may
be relevant to the investigation
- Copies of said documents
- Interviews with any person(s) on matters that are or may be relevant to the complaint
In the event of a complaint alleging personal safety or security threat, the Safety Board will have
the authority to contact and consult with any law enforcement or other appropriate agency, for
the purpose of completing their report.
Any information gathered, documents received, or testimony provided should be noted within
the Investigation Document.
The Safety Board Ambassador shall provide a copy of the draft report to each of the
complainant(s) and respondent(s), who shall have 5 days in which to notify the Safety Board
Ambassador, in writing via email, of any errors or omissions in the report in the description of
the facts or allegations provided by each to the Safety Board Ambassador.
The Safety Board Ambassador will make further enquiries or amendments, if required, in order
to prepare a final Investigation Report and will submit a copy to both the complainant(s) and
respondent(s). This document shall be reviewed by the Safety Board and discussed at length
until resolution is decided.
The Safety Board Ambassador, within 10 days of the final Investigation Report, shall prepare a
Conduct Report which will describe what actions, if any, are required that would achieve
compliance with the Policy, in respect of the complaint (e.g. education, sanction, and/or redress)
and future behaviour and/or practices. These actions must be agreed upon by the majority (3/5
members) of the Safety Board.
Where the Final Investigation Report finds no facts to substantiate the allegations, and/or finds
that the complaint was frivolous, vexatious, false, or bad faith complaint pursuant to this Policy,
the Conduct Report will address what actions, if any, are required to exonerate a respondent
and/or initiate other actions as deemed appropriate by the Safety Board.
It is understood that where the Conduct Report identifies disciplinary action against a member
or an individual of the community of the IGDN, the decision and disciplinary action shall be
conveyed, discussed, and confirmed at a final discussion involving the affected parties, via
online means such as Skype or Google Hangouts. This meeting may be done with the
respondent(s) and complainant(s) individually or together, per their wishes.
The disciplinary directive shall be issued, in writing via email, by the Safety Board.
A final Conduct Report, outlining all details of the resolution, shall then be provided to all parties
involved in the disposition of the complaint and to the Leadership Team of the IGDN. In all
circumstances, copies of all documents, reports, memoranda shall be confidential and
maintained by the Safety Board for reporting and/or operational purposes.
It is understood that all documents, correspondence, and discussions regarding the disposition
of a complaint will be treated in confidence and all parties to a complaint are requested to
maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.
10. Consequences of Policy Violation
The primary purpose of any actions taken in consequence of a violation of the IGDN
Harassment Policy is to create an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and abuse.
Where it is found that a violation of the Policy has occurred, the Safety Board may take
appropriate action, including but not restricted to the following:
- Mandatory Training
- Warning (verbal and/or written)
- Apology Letter
- Required Reading
- Required Education
- Temporary Removal
- Permanent Removal
- Temporary Ban on Positions of Power
Consequences are determined by Safety Board with respect to the severity of the breach.
The Safety Board shall inform the IGDN and its membership of their final decision in writing via
email by stating the respondent(s) name(s), the part of the Policy they have breached, and what
redress and reparations there will be.
Members of the Safety Board or Leadership Team who were respondent(s), may resume their
leadership if no breech is found. If breech is found, they may not hold a position of power until
their redress is complete.
Within 10 days of receiving the Conduct Report, a written appeal may be submitted to the
Safety Board requesting a review on the grounds of:
- Prejudice by procedural unfairness
- Determination that the complaint could not proceed as it is not based on a Prohibited
- Determination that a breach was unsupported by the facts
- Determination that a sanction was excessive or insufficient
It is understood that resolutions reached at the Informal Resolution stage cannot be appealed
but must be made into a Formal Complaint.
The Safety Board will hold a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the request. The Safety Board
shall review any written submissions, investigate reports, final resolution report, and any other
written documentation with regards to the complaint. Depending on the nature of the complaint,
the Safety Board may hear further submissions. The Safety Board will also review any new
information brought forward by the complainant(s) and/or respondent(s).
Appeal investigations will be conducted and concluded within 14 days of receipt. The Safety
Board shall make its decision and communicate the Board’s findings and recommendations to
all parties involved, as well as to the IGDN Leadership Team.
The decision of the Safety Board on appeals shall be final and binding to all parties involved.
Complaints that are issued beyond the member’s time as an IGDN member, or beyond 5 years,
shall not be processed by the Safety Board unless deemed necessary to do so by the Safety
Board for reasons of safety and security.
13. Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest may be defined as a person close to the respondent(s) and/or the
complainant(s) in regards, but not limited to: being family, business partner(s), romantic
partner(s), close friend, or stakeholder in the outcome (e.g. someone with emotional or financial
stakes in the outcome of the complaint).
Anyone in the Safety Board found to have a conflict of interest with the complainant(s) or the
respondent(s) must recuse themselves. A new Safety Board member will be nominated from the
membership to take their place. They may return to the Safety Board once the conflict of interest
complaint is resolved.
14. Victim Care
The IGDN and its community values the needs of victims of discrimination, harassment, and
abuse. As such, 5% percentage of each membership due shall be set aside for Victim Care. It
will be the duty of the Safety Board Ambassador to speak with the complainant(s) to seek what
support they require. If the support is beyond the scope of the Safety Board or the
complainant(s)’s support network, funding may be used to offset the cost of acute care needs of
The Safety Board Ambassador, in cases of trauma incurred by the complainant(s), will dedicate
time to research local resources for the complainant(s) to access, for their support and needs
within 72 hours from the received complaint.
15. The Safety Board
The Safety Board will consist of three permanent members who are nominated from the
membership yearly, approximately 6 months after the Leadership Team is elected. The Safety
Board cannot be members of the Leadership Team. Nominees for the Safety Board must
consent to nomination. From the nominations, the Leadership Team will select three members
with diversity as a priority in selection.
When a complaint is received, the Safety Board will elect two more Safety Ambassadors from
the IGDN membership depending upon the individual needs of the case. These two members
will remain part of the Safety Board until the end of the complaint investigation and resolution.
It will be understood that the Safety Board will investigate its Ambassadors for conflicts of
interests before any investigation starts.
The Safety Board shall be responsible for the examination and updating of the Policy and