Title IX, Esports, and #EToo

76 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jane K. Stoever

Jane K. Stoever

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: July 27, 2021


As colleges and universities increasingly award video gaming scholarships, field competitive esports teams, construct esports arenas in the centers of campuses, and promote student interaction through gaming, schools should anticipate the sexual cyberviolence, harassment, and technology-enabled abuse that commonly occur through gaming.

This Article is the first to examine Title IX and First Amendment implications of schools promoting and sponsoring gaming. To date, the rare Title IX discussion concerning esports has focused on increasing female representation in this male-dominated realm. As campuses invest heavily in esports, they also should foresee that funding and promoting esports—without attending to gender-
based harassment and sexual violence in games and gaming—could lead to concerns that college campuses and organizational climates signal tolerance of sexual harassment and create “chilly” climates conducive to underreporting and retaliation. Colleges instead could lead in creating safe and inclusive gaming experiences.

Esports is one of the fastest growing competitive markets in the world, and the gaming industry is repeating past mistakes of professional sports leagues like the National Football League, as demonstrated through the summer 2020 outpouring of allegations of gender-based harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault from competitive gamers and streamers. Rather than waiting for a global #EToo movement to create demand for a comprehensive gender-based violence policy, colleges should affirmatively act to create responsible gaming initiatives with goals of violence prevention, player protection, and harm minimization.

Suggested Citation

Stoever, Jane K., Title IX, Esports, and #EToo (July 27, 2021). 89 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 857 (2021), UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2021-42, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894496

Jane K. Stoever (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
United States
949-824-3418 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uci.edu

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