GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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The Connection Between Boys' Social Status, Gaming and Conflict

Ashly Burch  |  Actor/Writer, Hey Ash LLC
Rosalind Wiseman  |  Educator/Author, Queen Bees&Wannabes and Masterminds&Wingmen

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Advocacy
Vault Recording: Video

Wiseman and Burch will conduct a provocative seminar on the connection between gaming and social hierarchies among middle and high school boys. Wiseman will analyze group dynamics, the different roles that are embodied in those groups, and how these roles manifest when they play games. Wiseman and Burch will also discuss how the games young people choose to play have an effect, not only on their social status amongst their peers, but their social competence in moments of conflict. The presenters see this seminar as the beginning of a critical conversation that brings new insights into the social dynamics of gaming as it pertains to the development of social competency and "ethical/moral" courage in moments of conflict. A possible outcome of this seminar would be creating a new strategy for constructive and engaged discussion to address issues of aggression, racism, sexism and homophobia within games.


What if male protagonists showed fear or sorrow in a healthy and relatable way? What impact would that have on the boys that see them as heroes and role models? What impact would that have on their perceptions of their personal power both in online and in-person social interactions?

Intended Audience

Community managers, experimental psychologists, game designers and parents.