This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
More than 200 million people—64 percent of U.S. adults—regularly play videos games, and COVID-19 lockdowns have only caused their popularity as a vital social space to surge. While many gamers have positive social experiences, there is also a harmful side of video games, leading to a lack of civility in online interactions—and sometimes outright defamatory interactions.
A recent Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report titled “Free to Play? Hate, Harassment and Positive Social Experience in Online Games 2020” found that 81 percent of U.S. adults who played online multiplayer games experienced some form of harassment. Alarmingly, a significant portion of online harassment and abuse targets groups and individuals based on identity characteristics such as race/ethnicity, religion, and gender. Gamers can be exposed to extremism and disinformation linked to white supremacy, Holocaust denial, and other abuse.
On March 15, the Center for Technology Innovation and the Center for Universal Education will host a webinar to think about the world of gaming as a civic space where Americans develop and reinforce social norms that influence how they interact and treat each other. After a brief overview of the ADL report, a moderated panel discussion of experts will consider how laissez faire attention to these matters, and an overall lack of diversity among gaming developers, may contribute to pernicious interactions.
Viewers can submit questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at #GamingCivility.