Spectrum Labs’ Co-Founder and CEO Justin Davis sat down with candidate for congress and game developer Brianna Wu, Roblox’s Director of Community Safety & Digital Civility, Laura Higgins and Matt Soeth the co-founder and executive director of #ICANHELP to discuss the paradox of the female gamer.

More and more woman are playing video games. A recent report from The Entertainment Software Association found 46% of US gamers are now women. Yet, close to 40% of female gamers experience harassment during gameplay. In order to enjoy the game, many woman obfuscate their identity: a casino.org study reveals almost 70% of them will disengage from verbal communications, 50% of them will disengage from visual communication and choose gender neutral screen names, nearly 25% of them will say they are male and create a male avatar.

Brianna talks about her experiences with harassment and her policy plans related to her run for congress in Massachusetts. Laura shares her perspective from the inside at Roblox, where she’s been instrumental in creating a safe place for female gamers. Matt helps listeners understand how to change this story by outlining how his organization, #ICANHELP, teaches people how to make positive change in society.

Game developers, community moderators, product managers and trust & safety executives will all gain something of value from listening to this panel tackle this pressing issue.

She wants to play, but she can’t play.

That is the paradox of the female gamer.

Our Panelists



Ask any woman in game development, she will tell you, she doesn’t feel like it’s always the most welcoming environment to talk about how woman are treated in games.

Brianna Wu is a software engineer, entrepreneur, game designer and outspoken advocate for women's rights. One of the most prominent women in gaming technology, Brianna founded her first $250,000 startup at 19. In running for US Congress, Brianna is working to bring a new generation of voices and values to Washington -- voices who understand technology and its impact on culture, society, and politics.

Brianna joined our webinar to share her story and perspectives on policy.

Laura HIggins

Having women involved in development right from the beginning really is valuable. We might be experiencing very different issues than male players. If that's not considered, then those standard reporting tools may not be suitable.

Laura is dedicated to helping Roblox players of all ages to have a fun and safe experience! She creates resources and tools to empower kids and parents to be confident in navigating the internet, working in partnership with safety organizations around the world to help make the online space a nicer place.

Laura joined our webinar to share an operator’s perspective on online civility.

Matt Soeth

We all need advocates and especially the victim, whether offline or online bullying is very hard to speak up for yourself.

Matt’s organization #ICANHELP started when a student made a fake social media page about a teacher. The page gained over 1000 followers and was the center of school drama for two weeks. Finally, at the end of those two weeks, a student turned in the person who made the page and it was taken down. #ICANHELP teaches teachers and student how to respond to negativity online.   

Matt joined our webinar to share tactical steps people can take to positively change toxic online gaming environments.