For many young people, gaming and esports (competitive video gaming, often for money) are a source of fun and of community.
Both the games and the communities, however, are rife with racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and misogyny that can be not only toxic, but genuinely dangerous to marginalized youth. Too many young people have to contend with cyberbullying, threats, violent words, and even doxxing (the publishing of their personal information online, which carries the threat of real-world violence). Online trolling can have very real and sometimes tragic effects on the offline world. By now, it has become very clear that the time for cultural change in the gaming community is long past due.
To begin making esports safer for 2SLGBTQI youth, we’re asking young gamers (age 16-29): what have your experiences with esports been like? And what needs to change to make esports safer for you?
We’re now recruiting 2SLGBTQI gamers to participate in our new Youth in Esports Focus Group.
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director