Safe by Design

Join Will Bonner in considering the underlying goals, obstacles and tools available to creating a healthy and meaningful online community via gaming.

As digital gaming has grown from a niche hobby into a multi-billion dollar industry, the size and variety of effects games have on their players have increased dramatically. These impacts are amplified as both single and multi-player games are brought into online spaces, where virtually shared experiences foster new communities of all kinds.

However, many online communities surrounding digital gaming have become host to attitudes that promote socially antagonistic behavior and harassment. Besides damaging the experiences of many players, these attitudes fuel prejudices against gamers and gaming alike and prevent this industry from achieving its potential.

By exploring some of the underlying design and architectural options available in developing for a variety of platforms and audiences, Will Bonner will seek to address some of the most fundamental questions of game design with a fresh and uncompromising perspective: Specifically, what experiences do we want to craft with our players, and what are the best ways of accomplishing those goals?

About Will

Will Bonner is a software developer at YETi CGI, an independent game development studio based in Grand Rapids Michigan, USA. Since graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Computer Science and specialization in Game Development, he has provided support to clients including Zynga, Nickelodeon and the Game Show Network, most notably on the Zynga flagship product Farmville. He is as passionate about improving “how” we make games as he is in considering “why” we make them in the first place.

Beyond his lifelong passion for gaming, Will maintains a love of music and competitive fencing. These interests and others can be monitored at his blog titled Ripostes and Reposts.