Join a growing movement of innovators harnessing emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning.
Back To Schedule
Friday, October 4 • 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Designing Healthier Youth-Led Online Communities: Towards a Conceptual Framework

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Online multiplayer social games, like Minecraft, lend themselves as viable sites for youth to learn and practice social and emotional skills. Players can interact socially during gameplay, creating, collaborating, competing, and communicating. They also encounter conflict, both that engineered by the game and that created by players through disruptive behavior or social drama. Socio-technical mechanisms, like whitelisting servers or online moderation are widely accepted as potential remedies that limit and/or eliminate player-led conflict and curb toxic social behavior. However, such mechanisms may also reduce learning opportunities for youth to grow and develop both social and problem solving skills. A recent study offers fresh perspectives on ways current online gaming moderation practices disempower youth communities (Slovak et al., 2018). In this paper, we build on this research to develop a conceptual framework supporting the design of play-based online learning environments that embrace conflict and empower youth. Through the careful integration of social emotional learning strategies that originate in evidence-based prevention science programs, we discuss an online afterschool program for youth ages 8-13 in Minecraft. We report select findings from a six-month pilot of the program wherein we observed youth practicing and/or developing social competence, overcoming conflict, and creating a community guided by norms they themselves developed and enforced.


Katie Salen

University of California, Irvine
avatar for Krithika Jagannath

Krithika Jagannath

PhD Candidate Informatics, UC Irvine
I am a 4th year PhD candidate in the Informatics department at UCI and I work with Prof. Katie Salen (Made With Play Lab). My approach involves conducting foundational and design-led research to study socio-technical phenomena in youth. I am interested in designing technologies that... Read More →

Friday October 4, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom D 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697