Week 7 – Ironing Out the Details

Tackling Toxicity with Play

Week 7 – Ironing Out the Details

Session Planning

We went through and laid out exactly how we want the presentation to go this July at Games for Change. We know that we will need to be concerned with “three” screens – one large presentation screen that everyone sees, one medium sized screen per team (probably an ipad), and one small phone screen per player.

For each of these three screens, we story-boarded what should be going on at each step of the presentation. In this process, we sharpened our focus transformationally speaking to these three myths:

3 Targeted MYTHS


Orientation gives the MC a chance to prime the players for the upcoming experience. The MC will give them a basic overview of who the players are in the experience, what they’re doing, and how they do it. Teams will be split up into groups of 8 max. Their goal will be maintaining a high population with a low toxicity rating.


The players will go through a round of the experience with just the ability to ban. The community will begin in a relatively calm, manageable state, but quickly get out of hand. Players will be overloaded with reports that they cannot address quickly enough. Our goal is to make them fatigued and hopeless to fix things.


The MC will then pause the simulation to address the current state of things. They will prompt the players for why they think the current tactics aren’t quite working out. During ths period the MC will post up the suggestions from the audience on the presentation screen. To further discussion, they’ll pull up the myths that we are targeting as potential causes for some of the failure being experienced.

Towards the end of this interlude, the MC presents the two possible upgrades available to teams – AI Mods or Empathy Training. The players will be directed to vote for their choice on their smart device. Each team will get to make their own choice.


The second round of the simulation will p[lay out with the teams utilizing their new upgrades. This round will go better than the first, but still imperfectly. If a team opted for AI mods, then they will have a much easier time managing their report inbox, but they won’t see a drastic shift towards positivity. They’ll reach a stagnant point, just keeping toxicity at bay.

On the flip side, if a team opted for empathy training, they will have a chance at combating the overall toxic culture. However, they will still have too many reports to handle – a problem compounded by how much time they need to spend to train anyone.


The MC will pause the simulation one more time to review results. They’ll prompt players to provide pros and cons for their chosen upgrade – focusing on the fact that, while both help, neither are a total solution. Finally, they’ll suggest that a holistic approach may be the best strategy. That is to say – using banning, AI mods, and empathy training altogether. They’ll give that a shot with the third and final round.


This round will go the best of the 3, with a relatively manageable inbox thanks to ai mods giving the time to put into improving overall community culture with empathy training.


The experience will then conclude with a debrief from the team. We’ll go over what everyone just experienced and what our goals were with the whole thing. This will include going over what our research on the matter suggests. It will be mostly freeform discussion and Q&A beyond that until we call an end to the event.


To accomplish the above, we’ve needed to do some work on networking separate instances of the game together. By doing this we can both facilitate actors moving between communities when banned and showing off room-wide information with the ecosystem screen pictured above and below:

This is, of course, placeholder art meant to communicate the basic necessities of the screen. It will communicate number of teams, the size of their communities, and the level of toxicity of each community. While this is working in a testing state, networking has been troublesome in combination with AirConsole. It’ll need some more work.