Our Corporate Ambassador Guild Esports has teamed up with Sky to launch an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the abuse women and girls suffer online.
#NoRoomForAbuse has come off the back of new research conducted by Sky Broadband, which shows that almost half of women gamers have suffered abuse online, with over 80% of those revealing messages had been sexual in nature. As a result, Sky Broadband created an immersive experience in partnership with Guild Esports at the Sky Guild Gaming Centre in Shoreditch, London that shines a light on the abuse experienced by women gamers in the UK. To launch the findings and the experience, Sky Broadband has partnered with a host of female gamers and gaming experts who feature in a series of striking images that depict some of the abuse they regularly face whilst playing online.
Millions of British women are victims of online abuse according to the study, which reveals that half (49%) of women gamers in Britain have experienced a level of abuse or harassment when playing or streaming online, rising to 75% amongst those aged 18-24. The findings delve into the differing experiences faced by both men and women gamers when playing video games on the internet, with over a half (52%) of women admitting they feel worried about playing computer games online, over concerns for their mental health.
The high-level gaming simulator begins as a neutral experience then changes to highlight the terrifying level of harassment that women gamers face daily. Video content from the experience shows the real-time reactions of male players as they’re slowly given increasingly aggressive messages while they try to game. Messages such as “Stop playing a man’s game little girl” and “Someone kill this wh*re” can be heard throughout the room – just a snippet of what so many women receive daily.
Stephanie Ijoma, Sunpi, Elz the Witch and Danielle Udogaranya, all regular gamers and content creators, appear in front of a backdrop covered with writing that illustrates true-to-life abusive and violent messages that are heard by women in gaming daily. The four also participate in video content discussing what needs to be done about the rising issue of women’s abuse, and give their thoughts on men’s’ reactions to Sky Broadband’s immersive simulation.
Jaclyn Beavis, Sky’s Head of Advertising & Campaigns said: “Sexist abuse in online gaming is completely unacceptable and we must stand together to address this fundamentally important issue and make online gaming safe and accessible to all. We’re proud to be working with Guild Esports and Cybersmile to help educate gamers and encourage them to be better allies. We’re also committed to creating a level playing field for women in gaming through tournaments, events, educational experiences and more.”
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports offered: “Improving opportunities for women in esports is a key commitment of our partnership with Sky. While there’s still work to be done, we’re proud to be at the forefront of fostering greater female participation in the sector and creating an inclusive gaming community. We hope that by raising awareness of the abuse affecting female gamers through our #NoRoomForAbuse campaign, alongside a collective effort of support and education, we can make real progress in creating a better gaming experience for all.”
Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation, commented: “Everybody at Cybersmile is excited to work with Sky Broadband and Guild Esports on such an important campaign. Women gamers should be able to enjoy playing video games without the constant fear of being targeted with abuse – there is absolutely no place for sexist abuse in gaming.”
Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games, added: “Toxicity and harassment in online spaces – as well as in the working environment – is not going away, and in many respects is getting worse. This is discouraging many women and girls from playing the games they love online. Tackling this issue is one of Women in Games’ priority areas, so we very much applaud this initiative by Guild Esports and Sky Broadband, and encourage our community to get behind the campaign.”
Sky is encouraging gamers to stand with women in gaming, by sharing awareness on their pages with the tag #NoRoomForAbuse. Those experiencing abuse can visit sky.com/broadband/noroomforabuse to download helpful information about staying safe online, as well how to become an ally for all gamers.
Sky Broadband and Guild Esports is also creating a safe space for all gamers through ‘The Lobby Live’. On ‘Stop Cyber Bullying Day’, June 16th the doors will open to the Sky Guild Gaming Centre to host women gamers and their allies. It will provide a safe space for gaming, education & networking with events being hosted every fortnight.