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What to Do When "Toxic Gamer Culture" Enters the Classroom

Bonnie Ruberg  (Assistant Professor, UC Irvine)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Educators Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Recently, with the rise of what has been referred to as "toxic gamer culture," discrimination and harassment have become important issues for video games. Unfortunately, this toxicity is increasingly finding its ways into the classroom. It is common for game educators, especially women educators, queer educators, and educators of color, to encounter resistance and even hostility from students who insist that discussions of diversity have no place in their education. This talk breaks the silence about this widespread but largely unacknowledged problem in game education today and provides attendees with actionable techniques for thriving in the face of problematic student behavior.


Attendees will learn about the challenges that many game educators face when teaching students who are skeptical, resistant, even hostile toward discussions of "diversity." They will receive concrete, actionable suggestions for how to prepare for and respond to potential problematic student interactions in the classroom.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for attendees who teach video game courses at the university level. It is particularly relevant to instructors whose classes include discussions of social issues, as well as instructors who are themselves "diverse." The talk also raises awareness among educators who have not experienced toxic behavior first-hand.