Virtual Event Support Team (VEST) is a dedicated global group of volunteers who are committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of the greater Burning Man virtual community. We are a known source for accurate information about Burning Man virtual events, and are often the first stop for someone new to virtual Burning Man culture. We offer non-judgemental compassionate emotional support and peer mediation to anyone in need. We are here to provide a safer space for people to grieve, emote, remember and celebrate Black Rock City, Burning Man culture, and the expansion into virtual burn experiences.
What is vPlaya Info?
Playa Info contributes to a joyful, enriching and fulfilling participant experience.
This is achieved by providing information and services to participants including: event orientation, recommendations, acculturation, user tech support and updated event schedules.
Depending on the event, knowledgeable volunteers will be available to interface with participants both inside the virtual burn platform via video chat as well as via text chat.
Whatever questions may come up we endeavor to work with you to find answers and solutions within the context of the 10 Principles and through a continuously updated database of events and FAQ lists.
You may even contact vPlaya Info outside the hours of virtual burn experiences!
vPlaya Info works closely with Temple Guardians as well as VEST Rangers.
How can I reach vPlaya Info?
During a virtual burn event:
- Typically the homepage or main platform of a virtual event will have links to vPlaya Info.
- vPlaya Info may have a video chat room as well as live text chat channels which are activated during virtual burn events.
- At some events, vPlaya Info is the home base for all VEST support services. vPlaya Info provides a “front desk” function providing participants with immediate “customer service.”
- Dedicated breakout rooms for 1:1 conversations are available.
Who are the VEST Rangers? And what do they do?
With over 108 global Burning Man events, you will find Ranger volunteer groups supporting their communities. It’s no surprise that for virtual events you’ll find a Ranger presence serving the same function as Rangers do from the red sands of Australia, to the beaches of Miami and the forests of British Columbia. VEST Rangers are traditional guardians of the shared values of the Burner community, and help to acculturate newcomers to virtual burn experiences. They respond to the ever-changing environment and may address situations within their community which might otherwise require outside intervention.
VEST Rangers DO:
Provide Direct Assistance
- Listen to someone who is upset or grieving
- Call services to support psychic aid and stay until they arrive
- Request services for expressions of harm, violence, abuse, psychic pain or emergency
- Answer questions about Burning Man and virtual burn experiences
- Direct a participant to a virtual burn experience Host/Community Manager
- Explain about a virtual burn experience’s Community Standards, Code of Conduct (including harassment or bullying), or Maturity Policy to a participant
- Educate participants about how to deal with individuals or objects that they find offensive or disruptive
Mediate and De-escalate
- Mediate a dispute between participants and camps
- Mediate a dispute between a virtual burn experience Community Manager and a participant
- Maintain a presence and forge connections
- Sit and talk with people in a virtual burn experience
- Be present—not interfering—while a Community Manager does their job
VEST Rangers DO NOT:
- Act as a cop, security force or hall monitor
- Actively patrol looking for violations or violators
- Act as a Community Moderator
- Battle trolls or platform hackers/griefers
- Enforce virtual burn experience guidelines, rules, Terms of Service or Community Standards through “Kicks” (temporary restriction on access to an event space) or “Bans” (permanent ban from a world for the rest of the event)
How do I reach the VEST Rangers?
VEST Rangers are accessible directly from anywhere in a virtual burn experience, this may be a button or option in a drop down menu that may take you to a chat or video conference, or there may be an actual VEST Ranger HQ within a virtual burn experience. Need to contact VEST Rangers for a non-Emergency? Please email us at: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are you a Black Rock or Regional Ranger in good standing? Come out and volunteer! We provide orientation and training. You can email: email@example.com
Who are the Temple Guardians?
Temple Guardians hold the space of the Temple, maintaining an environment that allows equal access for everyone to have the experience and expression that they need. They keep the space, as well as the participants who visit it, safe.
How can I reach a Temple Guardian?
The Guardians’ primary focus in 2021 was supporting the virtual Temple, called the Luminous Lotus Temple from within the standalone Temple application. This was a 3D experience that was available for download on PC and Mac.
365 days a year, visit us at: templeguardians.burningman.org
VEST Rangers and Harm Reduction Volunteers, vPlaya Info Volunteers, and Temple Guardians
Please understand that we are volunteers and always participants first, just like you! We are not staff or employees of Burning Man Project, nor staff of the virtual burn events or experiences.
We are not a crisis line and we do not offer any professional services or emergency services. If you are experiencing a medical or psychological emergency, please contact your local emergency services and support network immediately.