A couple of months ago, the Steampunk Community I’m a part of (SCARS) had some pretty bad drama between some of it’s members (as any community will have occasionally). I was inspired to do something about it. Knowing I can’t make anyone act a certain way, I thought “How do you help inspire the right behavior?” and begun writing out some guidelines of how I believe a community should behave. Now I know there’s a couple of places where the guidelines seem to contradict themselves, but keep in mind that it’s written to inspire the mindset of the individual and how they should act. Please feel free to borrow these and modify them to suit your community. I welcome feedback and suggestions. Inspired by the social guidelines from Burning Man and the Code of Conduct from the Camarilla, I present to you the Steampunk Community Guidelines.
Steampunk Community Guidelines
The South Central Armada of Renegate Steampunks (SCARS) is comprised of Steampunks of all backgrounds. We are a community built on the love for all things Steampunk. We understand that because we are different, we cannot always agree. These are guidelines to help our community grow and communicate despite those differences.
Respect Each Other
We must all respect one another. This can mean a lot of different things, such as respecting one’s wishes to be left alone or respecting another’s opinion on what is or is not Steampunk. We may not always agree, but we can always give respect to one another when interacting in the community. You do not have to like one another, but respect the community enough to not let that dislike bleed into the group.
You are responsible for your own experience, your own actions, and your community. By following this philosophy, you help everyone to get out of the community what they put in individually. No one but you are responsible for your fun and your actions.
Be Real First
Simple idea. Remember that you’re just acting out a role, and even if you don’t like a character in the game, the player might be a vastly different person. If you don’t like the way RP is going, step out of character and take a moment to talk with the players involved. We’re all here to have fun.
Have fun and help others have fun
Everyone is here to have fun. So, it is the responsibility of each of us to make sure that everyone enjoys the community to the best of their ability. If you see someone frustrated or seemingly not having any fun, please take the time to interact with them and see if you can help them enjoy the community.
Provide a Positive Image
Whether this is on the street or at an event, we will often get questions about “What is steampunk?” While our answers will always differ, the image we provide will have an impact on those outside of the community. We always want to be remembered in a positive way.
Anyone may be a part of Steampunk. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community. There is no wrong way to do Steampunk. We accept all forms of Steampunk.
Steampunk is filled with talented artists, performers, and engineers of all kinds. It’s a huge part of what makes up the Steampunk community. Everyone puts a lot of work and heart into their creations and many of us do this for a living. There is no “right way” to create art and self-expression. We should all respect each others art form, whether you like their work or not.
As a community we promote working together and sharing. Collaboration between people generate creativity and some of the best works of engineering and artwork the comminuty has to offer. We also help promote and protect our social groups, merchandise, art forms, and our members. Without this support, we wouldn’t be a community.
We encourage our members to participate; whether it’s going to conventions, making things, posting in the forums, playing in the LARP or creating stories, volunteering, etc. The more people that participate, the more fun and profitable our community can be. By joining in on the activities you avoid loosing steam!
Dealing with Problems
We will not always like everyone in our community. If you have a problem with someone in the community, please find a way to resolve the issue privately or find a way to avoid airing out issues in public. Remember, it is sometimes best to sleep on an issue. Our outlook often changes after we’ve had time to cool off and think about it.