FAQ: Games/Socials

Do I have to have a coordinator at a game?

Yes. All MES events require a presiding coordinator to be present at the event. For a domain event, this could be the DC, an ADC, or anyone else chosen by the DC to act as presiding coordinator for the event. They need not hold any formal coordinator position requiring a monthly report, but they should be familiar with the Membership Handbook, particularly the Code of Conduct, and should have the capability to remain impartial should they be required to act officially.


Can our domain charge a mandatory site fee?

There is no rule against required site fees. In some places, it’s necessary to maintain access to the sites. Implementing one is a decision that should involve a lot of discussion among the domain, if not a domain referendum, and that groups should always examine all their other options before settling on a site that would require a mandatory fee, but sometimes it’s worth a site fee to have a better site, or just to have one at all. It is strongly recommend that provisions be made for those who honestly cannot afford even a small site fee. Whenever possible, some flexibility on timing is also recommended. It would be disappointing to be excluded from a game because you had no cash on you, or if you are a visitor that didn’t realize there was a mandatory site fee. It is, of course, reasonable to be more strict with repeat offenders, though do sound them out to find out if it’s actually a financial issue more than poor memory. So yes, mandatory site fees are allowed, but be sure to handle them responsibly.


Can non-members attend MES socials?

While non-members can only participate in gaming events under a very specific set of guidelines listed in the Membership Handbook, social and charity events may be organized to include non-members as well at the option of the presiding coordinator. If non-members will be allowed at the social, this should be mentioned in the announcement of the social along with any restrictions on non-member attendance. Examples may include a movie night where members are each allowed to bring one guest (to avoid overrunning the host’s house), a picnic where members are allowed to bring their immediate family/roommates/whatever, or a social at a convention where the convention as a whole is invited to hang out. A non-member who creates problems may be asked to leave the social, and may be asked not to attend any future MES socials. Continued issues should be handled as with any other non-member causing problems at a MES event. If there is any doubt as to whether it would be acceptable to bring non-member guests to a MES social, be sure to ask before assuming. Likewise, if you wish to plan a social where non-members are welcome, discuss the issue with your domain or solitary chapter – make sure everyone understands what is expected so that any issues can be dealt with calmly, fairly, and quickly. Keep in mind also that this only applies to social and charity events – NOT to games, domain/chapter meetings, conventions, etc. There are benefits to membership, and while we do want to socialize on occasion with an extended group of friends, most activities do still require purchasing a membership to take advantage of.


Can minors attend MES games and socials?

Minors may not join MES, and may not participate in gaming events. Period. There are no exceptions, even for emancipated minors. Our games deal with adult themes, and even in those rare cases where a minor is socially and emotionally ready for those themes, their presence can make our other members uncomfortable. That said, there is no national ban on minors being on site, so long as they are not participating in any way, shape, or form in the game. It is also strongly recommended that minors not mingle with anyone role-playing (with the possible exception of infants who cannot walk or talk yet), as this can create very unpleasant situations. Domains are otherwise free to decide for themselves how to handle this issue, whether that be setting a room aside for the use of minors during the game or deciding that they would prefer minors to stay home or elsewhere. Perhaps minors will be allowed at some social events, or not at games – whatever rules your domain sets are the rules that you should be following. Check first with your regional staff for any guidelines set by them (perhaps due to state-specific legal issues, for example), and then discuss the issue at a domain meeting to develop your own local policy. Remember, however, that MES cannot provide child care for legal reasons (licensing, liability, etc). While individual members are free to make their own arrangements, perhaps even using space set aside at the event site, MES cannot support this as an organization. That means we cannot assign a job title or award prestige for anything related to child care.


Can I use weapon props at games?

At gaming events, weapons or realistic representations of weapons are never allowed. Period. There are no exceptions to this rule. At non-gaming events, the presiding coordinator has some flexibility. Your domain can organize a social to go shoot paintball guns even though they’re a realistic representation of a weapon, but it’s still a bad idea to wear a sword at a MES barbecue held at a public park.