Episode 1: Toxicity in Video Games (feat. Dr. Rachel Kowert)

In the inaugural episode of the SPARTIE-Cast, Dr. Rabindra Ratan speaks with guest, Dr. Rachel Kowert, about the origins and toxic behaviors in gaming communities: harassment, bullying and gatekeeping, among others. They discuss the social and political ramifications of such behaviors, as well as potential remedies that could be pursued through industry partnerships, STEM initiatives and future research. Kowert is a psychologist, author, and consultant who has studied emerging media for more than 15 years, with her research largely focusing on the potential positive and negative social impact of mediated communication at the individual level. Currently, Kowert is studying the social impact of online games with a focus on social benefits and comparisons, as well as the origin of any social differences between online game players and offline/non-players.


She is the research director for Take This, a non-profit organization that provides mental health resources and information to gaming communities and the video game industry. Kowert also serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Kitsune Analytics, a full-service research consulting and analysis firm. She is an accomplished author who earned awards for her work, including an INDIES award in Science for “A Parents Guide to Video Games."

A mother of two, Kowert currently resides in Ontario, Canada. More information on her work can be found on her website.