Lesson Plan

Don't Let Hate Ruin the Fun: Youth and Online Games

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language

SEL STANDARDS*: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

What can we do about hate and harassment taking place in online games?

Video games are widely used and enjoyed by adults and young people alike. In fact, of all American adults, 67% play video games and among young people under age 18, 76% play video games. In ADL’s 2021 survey and report on experiences with online games, all gamers reported appreciating the social connectivity of gaming, but an alarmingly large majority encounter regular and ongoing hate and harassment while playing. Five out of six adults (83%) ages 18–45 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games and three out of five young people (60%) ages 13–17 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games. Particularly concerning is that 10% of young people reported being exposed to discussions in online multiplayer games around white supremacist extremist ideology.

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about people’s experiences with multiplayer online games, reflect on their own experiences and opinions and then consider actions that can be taken to reduce and prevent hate and harassment in the gaming world.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn about people’s experiences with online gaming.
  • Students will reflect on their own experiences, thoughts and opinions about online gaming.
  • Students will consider possible actions that different constituencies can take to reduce and prevent hate and harassment in online gaming.

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