The main objective of this project is to implement a counter-action to online hate speech, enhancing video games as tools to reinforce positive behaviors in teenagers, through four interrelated activities:
- A research on hate speech in young video gamers’ communities, aimed at gathering more information on the issue and identifying the main challenges and potential solutions that can be applied to counteract the problem.
- Creation of new pedagogical itineraries for teachers and youth workers which will contain tools, resources and activities which tackle the topic of hate speech in a new way, promoting gaming as a powerful ludic pedagogical tool and changing the perception of the video game as a mere leisure activity, especially in educational contexts.
- Organization of a European-level hackathon, during which game designers and educators will work together on new gaming solutions to counter hate speech and design new short video games.
- Implementation of an online platform that will be used as a reference point to provide new tools for use to counter hate speech and organize dissemination events (urban games, seminars with teachers and youth workers and a European conference).
We will provide new pedagogical tools and independent online resources to identify hate-speech online and propose solutions, alternatives or strategies, promoting awareness and comprehension of xenophobic and racist hate speech. Our proposal involves existent gaming productions (independent as well as commercial) as basis for the development of media literacy, then creating new pedagogical experiences, allowing young people to approach the theme in a new way, positively influencing the way they think and act in their everyday life and promoting critical thinking.
We are currently studying the phenomenon of hate speech online in the field of video gaming, considering the important and massive presence in the daily life of young people as well as in their cultural practices. Through questionnaires and focus groups in school, we will gather information on the field with the aim of shaping more clearly the phenomenon.
We will bring together brilliant minds in the field of game development around an event for sharing of ideas, knowledge and competences, enriching the discussion on hate speech among the European community of game developers. We foresee the development of new tools and alternative counter narratives to inform and educate teenagers and young adults about online hate speech; in particular, we will produce 4 short (high-quality) games, which will be integrated in the design of a urban game and included in the online platform of the project.
During the project we plan to disseminate outputs and knowledge produced by the project to raise awareness of young people, teachers, educators and youth workers and public opinion about online hate speech and to promote the need to build new narratives enhancing video games and gamification as tools to reinforce positive behaviours in teenagers.