Once a solo pursuit played out in teenagers bedrooms, the explosion of global connectivity has brought people from all walks of life together in virtual worlds to play, socialise, and sometimes fight. But lots of gaming communities have developed a bad reputation, with many seeing them as a toxic environment, where hate-speech, prejudice and threats are the norm. But as the video games industry matures, so does it's audience. Technology reporter and author, Kate Russell, will explore the evolving nature of communities that grow around video games and ask: 'are we seeing the start of empathic gaming?'
Kate has been regularly appearing on the BBC technology programme Click for over a decade, and she has monthly tech-focused columns in National Geographic Traveller and BBC Focus magazines.
In 2015 her website KateRussell.co.uk won a UK Blog Award, and she was voted the 25th Most Influential Woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly.
She has published two books: Working the Cloud, a collection of online tips for startups and small businesses, and Elite: Mostly Harmless, a crowdfunded science-fiction novel based on the space trading game that inspired her love of technology.
Kate is also a prolific speaker, commentator and facilitator in the technology scene, often being invited to lecture at universities and speak at schools and educational events to inspire the next generation of tech enthusiasts.