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Fair Play Summit: Complex, but Very Human: Rethinking Safety and Wellbeing for Players

Patrawat Samermit (User Experience Researcher, Google)

Elise Lantz (User Experience Researcher, Google)

Location: Room 3007, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 17

Time: 3:00pm - 3:30pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

While the term "gamer" evokes the image of young, passionate, competitive men immersed in gaming culture, the breadth of players, motivations, and contexts for gameplay are far more diverse. Stadia UXR presents a framework that challenges the notion that "gamers" are a homogenous group with a single version of "healthy" and "safe" gameplay. Common mnemonics around wellbeing and safety signal a need to control the amount of time players spend on games and eradicate disruptive behaviors. However, Stadia UX research found that accomplishing goals through gameplay and connecting with other players in-person or online contributes to wellbeing as time well spent. Additionally, on top of reducing disruptive behavior, building trust, autonomy, and resilience in social interactions online are critical components to safety in gaming. This framework presents nuance - complex, but very human - to how we can build games and interactive experiences to improve wellbeing and safety for all players.


Attendees will walk away challenging common assumptions in gaming culture. Takeaways include reframing players as having diverse sets of needs and contexts for their gameplay, a novel framework around what "wellbeing" means to players, and how one focus for safety is building resilience, trust, and psychological safety with others.

Intended Audience

This session will be useful and open to attendees of all levels and disciplines at GDC. It may be particularly useful to members of the Fair Play Alliance, UX researchers and games user researchers, and anybody interested in player-centric frameworks on the wellbeing and social safety of players.