California woman creates safe haven for gamers facing sexism, racism

California woman creates safe haven for gamers facing sexism, racism MARK BONICA/FLICKR

A California graduate student has created an online forum that seeks to be a safe haven for gamers of all backgrounds.

After encountering cyberbullying and cybermisogyny while gaming, UC Riverside student Courtney Baugh, along with a couple gaming friends, formed Infirmary Gaming Community. For women and others, it’s a haven from sexism and racism.

Infirmary is a free discussion forum in which one can promote one’s own stream, seek out a buddy with whom to play Fortnite, Sea of Thieves, etc., or find other gamers who live in one’s zip code. Baugh’s role is that of HR referee, vetting new prospective mentors, policing the discussion forums.

Infirmary has grown to almost 800 members, and Baugh hopes to add more women to the current 60-40 man-woman ratio. She uses Infirmary for streaming marathons toward good causes, such as suicide prevention.

“There is a lot of good that comes with gaming, but – like with most things – there is also the potential for bad,” Baugh said.

Infirmary, she said, is her answer for keeping the bad in check.

To find Baugh’s online community, search “Infirmary Gaming Community” on the chat channel Discord or with an internet browser.

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