Video games are widely used and enjoyed by adults and young people alike. In fact, of all American adults, 67% play video games and among young people under age 18, 76% play video games. In ADL’s 2021 survey and report on experiences with online games, all gamers reported appreciating the social connectivity of gaming, but an alarmingly large majority encounter regular and ongoing hate and harassment while playing. Five out of six adults (83%) ages 18–45 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games and three out of five young people (60%) ages 13–17 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games. Particularly concerning is that 10% of young people reported being exposed to discussions in online multiplayer games around white supremacist extremist ideology.
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about people’s experiences with multiplayer online games, reflect on their own experiences and opinions and then consider actions that can be taken to reduce and prevent hate and harassment in the gaming world.