RogerBW's Blog

UK Games Expo 2021 12 July 2021

UK Games Expo is happening on the first weekend of August. I'm really glad I'm not committed to going.

Their plan earlier in the year was to require evidence of a recent lateral flow test before first entry, and to have wide aisles, but to have no policy at all about masks or vaccinations.

They have now decided to enforce nothing beyond the legal minimum. They're keeping the wide aisles, still saying nothing about vaccinations, but now they have a explicit mask policy:

  • We do not require face masks but recommend you bring one as you may find times during the day where you decide it is sensible to wear one.
  • UKGE and Exhibitors will not require you to wear a mask, but their staff may decide to wear one.
  • Other attendees may wear a face mask.
  • We do require that EVERYONE who attends the show, in any capacity, respect the choices of everyone else.

So I look at this from the perspective of a demo guy, because that's the capacity in which I spend most of my time at UKGE. If you come along to my table, I have no assurance of your vaccination status or any recent tests, but I'm not allowed to say "wear a mask or play someone else's game"; I just have to sit there and put up with you sitting across from me.

Of course the aisles will be full of breathing people anyway, but it's an aggressive pandering to mask-deniers: not only do we say in advance that you don't have to wear or even bring a mask, nobody on site will be allowed to require you to do it either, oh and by the way please don't hassle people for doing it themselves. Clearly the organisers think they will make more money allowing in the mask-deniers than they are losing by excluding anyone with a smidgen of common sense. And I'm sorry to say that they're probably right.

(Being charitable, it may be that they think that with their current model of volunteer staff they can't enforce any rules. But GenCon, in September in the USA, is requiring either mask or proof of vaccination from everyone, and Essen SPIEL in October is going full-mask for everyone plus either proof of vaccination or recent negative test. Assuming they happen at all, obviously.)

I'm a little surprised at how shocked I am; I mean, I expect that capitalists gonna capitalist, just like all those film studios that were happy to say "only in cinemas!" at the heights of infection last year. But, dash it, I know some of the organisers. They aren't especially friends but I've sat down and played games with them. And now they're throwing in with the government's "a bunch of you will die as a direct result of our policies and that's just fine with us" attitude.

(A bit under two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated when you return to full stranger-licking mixing of people is a great way of brewing up new vaccine-resistant variants. No wonder the rest of the world is looking hard at red-listing the UK. Do it now before the next major outbreak.)


  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 12:38pm on 12 July 2021

    You might want to read this article:

    https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/lockdown-effectiveness-much-more

    An analysis of lock down by Slate Star Codex.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:46pm on 12 July 2021

    Thanks, but I wouldn't take Scott's word for anything considering his history.

  3. Posted by Nicola Zealey at 08:40am on 13 July 2021

    The only European country to go for herd immunity was Sweden. To quote from the article,

    "Sweden had about six times the first-phase death rate of the second-worst Scandinavian/Nordic country, Denmark."

    Denmark is more densely populated - so I'd expect Sweden to do a lot better than Denmark and not a lot worse. And this six time worse is not with the delta variant.

    I don't know if the gamble of letting the virus rip will work. I'm skeptical but I hope it does and if folks want to deliberately put themselves at risk, there's very little that can now be done to hold them back.

    But, IMO, only someone foolish would deliberately volunteer to make themselves part of this risky giant experiment and Roger is no fool.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 11:25am on 13 July 2021

    Expo have backtracked after being surprised by the reaction: they're now saying they "request" a test beforehand, and they'll do the standard pathetic "masks unless you have a medical exemption" thing, with nothing about how they're planning to enforce this (if they're going to enforce it at all), and failing to notice that people with medical exemptions can still spread diseases…

    I'm still not going, but it seems that they can at least respond when it looks as if doing the wrong thing will actually cost them money.

  5. Posted by Owen Smith at 12:09am on 14 July 2021

    I'm now gaming in person on Friday evenings, without face masks. But the five of us are all more than a month after second jab, and we're keeping the windows open as an extra precaution (not a big problem in summer).

  6. Posted by John Dallman at 06:55pm on 14 July 2021

    And they've changed it again, today! News courtesy of EnWorld

    https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/plan/before-the-expo/playwithconfidence/

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 07:00pm on 14 July 2021

    Looks like the same mask policy, but they're now requiring evidence of vaccination or a recent negative test.

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