Code of Conduct, Cosplay Guidelines, and Prop & Weaponry Policy

Below is the SXSW Gaming Code of Conduct, Cosplay Guidelines and Prop and Weaponry Policy. SXSW reserves the right to remove you from the festival with revocation of your credential at no refund if SXSW determines that you violated any of these policies. If you believe that someone is in violation of these policies, please contact conduct@sxsw.com.

1. Code of Conduct

SXSW helps creative people achieve their goals. One way we do this is by serving as a platform for engaging, thought-provoking conversations and discussions.

However, SXSW is not a place for conversations, discussions, and behavior that are intentionally inappropriate, off-topic, disruptive, or abusive.

SXSW defines inappropriate behavior as any form of verbal or physical abuse, the use of derogatory or discriminatory language, gestures or actions, any form of harassment, racism, sexism, or any other targeted comments which are intended to cause personal offense to another SXSW participant either in-person at the event or through social media channels, including but not limited to comments via SXSW PanelPicker®, or the violation of any local or state laws.

SXSW may take action in its discretion against any individual(s) or group(s) it believes fail to meet the standards set forth in this Code of Conduct, including but not limited to revoking the violating parties’ credentials without refund.

Please contact conduct@sxsw.com if you believe you’ve observed or experienced a violation of this Code of Conduct, and SXSW will work to assess the situation and to respond as soon as possible. Please remember that notifying SXSW does not constitute or replace a notification to local law enforcement.

All violations of the law should be reported to local law enforcement. For emergencies, immediately dial 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, the Austin Police Department is available at (512) 974-5000.

If you’ve had an unwanted sexual experience, you can also access free and confidential walk-in services, forensic exams, and 24-hour support and information via the SAFE Alliance SAFEline. Call: 512-267-SAFE (7233). Text: 737-888-SAFE (7233). Chat: safeaustin.org/chat. Online: www.safeaustin.org.

2. Cosplay Guidelines

  • Keep costumes PG-13
  • Refrain from lewd or overly revealing costumes
  • Do not bring equipment into the festival venue that:
    • might be damaging to people or property; or
    • might hinder other people’s enjoyment of the festival
  • Ask people permission before you take pictures of them
  • If a complaint is received about your costume, SXSW will investigate the situation and you may be asked to change your costume or leave the festival premises
  • Questions or concerns can be addressed to gaming@sxsw.com or the Cosplay Help Desk

3. Prop and Weaponry Policy

  • SXSW has a strict weapons-free policy, available here – no real weapons of any kind are allowed at the festival under any circumstances
  • All props including, without limitation, prop weapons, must be reviewed and tagged at the Cosplay Help Desk prior to bringing them into the festival
  • In addition to being tagged, all prop weapons that can be triggered or perceived to be an explosive must have the appropriate markings to indicate that the prop weapon is fake
  • All metal prop weapons (e.g., swords, knives, etc.) must be blunted and kept sheathed at all times
  • All custom objects/props are subject to approval at the discretion of SXSW at the Cosplay Help Desk
  • Although prop and weapons check is a mandatory, appropriate authorities or staff can require you to recheck at the Cosplay Help Desk at any time if there are questions about the equipment and/or its safety
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