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June 15, 2023
ACM Games Research & Practice

Games as Social Platforms

Constance Steinkuehler argues in this opinion piece that online game companies can and should be included in new social media regulations.

In September 2022, the California governor signed into law sweeping state legislation (A.B. 587) demanding transparency among social media platforms as to their content moderation policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, and extremism....

For those of us working on the front lines of toxicity and extremism in games (Rachel Kowert, Alex Newhouse, Petra Regeni, Linda Schlegel, Jessica White, and others), such regulatory effort would be a much welcomed and long overdue relief, setting up the means for researchers to finally get their hands on reliable industry-side data as to the real nature and extent of the problems of toxicity and extremism in online games....

Indeed, every conversation I have with colleagues in the c-suite of game companies readily admits (that, until the problems impact the bottom line) there really is little motivation to fix it.

But the costs of toxicity and extremism in online games are not only social, psychological, or moral; they are also financial.

Read the full opinion piece in ACM Games & Research Practice.

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