Clara Siegel is a Product Manager with Facebook Gaming supporting Gaming Video and Community products. She is passionate about building experiences that support engaged and inclusive gaming communities. Prior to Facebook, she worked at Microsoft, Amazon, and Tableau. She holds a B.A. in Theoretical Mathematics from Reed College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her favourite games are MYST and Portal.
To kick off the first panelist spotlight, we caught up with Clara about our upcoming panel “Player Behaviour: Your Secret Growth Tool” on the digital GamesBeat Summit 2020 as well as her incredible work she’s been doing at Facebook Gaming.
Carlos Figueiredo: Hi, Clara! I’m looking forward to our panel on the first-ever virtual edition of the GamesBeat Summit! It’s great to collaborate with you on this session. What are you most excited about as we get closer to the day?
Clara Siegel: It’s great to collaborate with you too, Carlos! I’m really excited for a rich discussion around how we as an industry can support an ever-growing population of people who play games to have great experiences with each other through our games and products. The teams at Facebook Gaming care deeply about supporting positive and welcoming environments across our experiences to help people have fun and be authentic as they engage around a shared love of gaming.
Our vision is to build the world’s community for gaming that can be approachable to anyone, and it drives a lot of what we do.
This is a really exciting time for inclusion efforts in Gaming. For a long time, this work has meant bringing awareness to issues around toxicity and building out mechanisms to support integrity and safety. As companies address these kinds of issues, more and more of us are looking out ahead for how we can support more positive environments. Player behaviour is one of the biggest factors in the experience that people have with games and platforms, and we as companies are investing heavily in supporting vibrant communities just as we would any other part of our games and products.
The moderator Kate Edwards has been outspoken on this for a long time, and you and Kim have had a tremendous impact here through the Fair Play Alliance – it’s going to be a rich discussion between some great leaders and thinkers in this space.
CF: Can you tell us a little about your work at Facebook Gaming? What is your main focus and your vision for online gaming communities?
CS: I’m a product manager with Facebook Gaming, working with teams to build out our Gaming Video and Community products. Our gaming video creator program started in 2018 and is the #3 most-watched live game streaming service in the world. People love interacting with and around gaming video on Facebook, and we are currently rolling out a toolkit to promote inclusion in stream chat, a redesigned fb.gg home on Desktop, and new experiences like Dark Mode to help strengthen creator communities. We also just launched early access to our new tournaments product globally a few weeks ago to help bring gaming communities together, which we decided to release early to help people cope with isolation during the COVID-19 crisis.
CF: Can you tell us about the exciting announcement that came out earlier this year regarding the new dashboard and toolkit that streamers and video makers can now use to manage their communities on your platform?
CS: Yes! In January we introduced a toolkit to help game streamers foster inclusive communities on Facebook Gaming. We worked with the Fair Play Alliance, and partnered directly with the executive committee, to develop a set of optional rules for streamers that address some of the most common types of disruptive comments in gaming. Rules like “Be Accepting” and “Respect Boundaries” can help maintain a positive environment for everyone. Similarly, “Don’t Criticize” can help newer players feel welcome. These are above and beyond the safety offered by Facebook’s community standards.
Gaming… inherently inspires and enables communities.
We know creators come to Facebook to build positive and supportive communities around the games they love, so when they choose from these rules or write a custom description, fans will be asked to accept the rules before they’re allowed to leave a comment. When a moderator removes a comment, they can select which rule was broken to communicate back to the commenter and reinforce the norms of the community. All of this is to help streamers craft the types of spaces they want, while also giving room for communities to have different norms from each other, since “creating positive environments” can be so subjective.
CF: In this challenging time, with a big part of the world’s population staying home for extended periods of time, are games and platforms reaching a more diverse player base? What’s a risk and an opportunity you see for those platforms to be a solace for people during this crisis we are facing?
CS: I have definitely been playing more games with family and colleagues as a way to feel connected while staying home. These are people who I hadn’t played games with as much before the COVID-19 crisis, so I know personally gaming is reaching a much broader audience. Gaming also inherently inspires and enables communities, and this is especially important now as people are looking for more ways to connect digitally while staying home to avoid the spread of COVID-19. As this crisis acts as a catalyst for more players participating in online gaming communities, it’s up to each platform to welcome them.
Our vision is to build the world’s community for gaming that can be approachable to anyone, and it drives a lot of what we do. For example, women represent more than 40% of the 700M people engaging in gaming-related content on Facebook each month. We’re also excited to promote the World Health Organization with the #PlayApartTogether campaign encouraging people to engage digitally and fight the spread of the disease.
Hear more from Clara in our GamesBeat Summit 2020 panel discussion “Player Behaviour: Your Secret Growth Tool” — and make sure to download the accompanying checklist with new best practices and insights inspired by our panel discussion.