Innovations in Social Gaming

Regan Mandryk

Games have long been used to support social interaction and create shared experiences that draw us closer together. Digital games are increasingly being used to form and maintain relationships, and in-game friendships have been shown to help satisfy our need to belong and can even combat loneliness, improving our well being. In this talk, Mandryk will present her perspective on the benefits of social gaming -- including in casual, esports, and streaming contexts, show how the benefits can be thwarted by toxicity and harassment, and discuss innovative game technologies that can better connect players, streamers, spectators, and fans.