On Friday, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA3), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led a group of Democrats including Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA45), Stephen Lynch (D-MA8), Susan Wild (D-PA7), Mondaire Jones (D-NY17), Kathy Castor (D-FL14), Adam Schiff (D-CA28), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI8) to sign letters requesting information from gaming companies about their efforts to combat hate, harassment, and extremism in online games. The letters were sent to companies including Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Riot Games, Epic Games, Valve, Microsoft, Sony, and Roblox.
The letters followed a report issued by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Center for Technology & Society earlier this month that found that 77 percent of adults and 66 percent of teens have reported experiences of harassment while playing online games over the past year, and identified a number of other concerns about social gaming environments.
Today, I’m joined by one of the authors of that report, ADL Center for Technology and Society Director of Strategy and Operations Daniel Kelley; as well as by Queens University professor Amarnath Amarasingam, coauthor of a report commissioned by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism on the intersection of gaming and violent extremism that was released in October.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.