Electronic Arts is putting in $3 million over the next three years to tackle the issue of gender-related abuse in gaming. The gaming company in partnership with HeForShe is launching a campaign with the goal of driving out stereotypes to help address the widespread problem of harassment in gaming communities. HeForShe is the UN’s gender equality initiative. It is reported that half of female players hide their gender identity during online gaming because of the harassment they face. The report further states that half of the gamers have abandoned gaming because of online abuse they faced.
These figures need to be taken more seriously because there are a billion people around the globe involved in gaming.
The initiative by Electronic Arts is called “Play to Give” which aims to come up with a list of approaches that will limit or lessen the harassment faced by women online. With this plan the UN and EA aim to “put the power directly in the hands of gamers and empower them to generate solutions from within the community for the community”. The UN and EA plan to reveal some of the strategies that come out of the new campaign at the UN General Assembly in September.
HeForShe first partnered with EA two years ago to look at building “safer spaces” in gaming. Previously, this revolved on encouraging gamers to pledge to “take action against gender bias, discrimination and violence to bring the benefits of equality to us all”, but now the two parties are looking to flesh out further strategies in collaboration with gamers.
According to the UN, these awareness campaigns and massive public education is important in fighting the issue of gender based abuse. Furthermore it aims to get gamers involved in developing strategies to counter discriminatory attitudes towards other genders and reduce abuse.
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