Staff Spotlight: Meet Sharon Fisher, Head of Trust and Safety in Player Support
This week we chat with Sharon Fisher in British Columbia, Canada on everything Trust and Safety in gaming as well as day to day life at Keywords Studios.
Sharon recently joined Keywords Studios as Head of Trust and Safety with our Player Support team. With over 15 years’ experience in the gaming industry, she offers vital support to our moderation teams in ensuring the safety of our clients' players.
What is Trust and Safety and why is it important?
For Keywords, Trust and Safety will help ensure our moderation teams have all the necessary tools to keep our clients' players safe online, and, in some cases, real life. This is important because online interactions and their moderation are happening as you read this, some of them are totally positive but many others are not.
Trust and Safety will also help make sure that where necessary, players, moderation teams and our clients are well supported with the right processes, actions and well-being practices.
What benefits does Trust and Safety provide for video game communities?
Gamers play video games to find a space to hang out with friends and have a fun, engaging experience.
With transparent, clear, and updated guidelines from our clients, Keywords can act upon cases that prevent players from having the best experience, expanding their community, improving gaming safety and creating valuable experiences for players.
You recently joined Keywords. Why did you choose to work with us?
I have worked in the gaming industry for 15+ years with a passion for the online community's growth, safety and engagement. Keywords Studios offered me an opportunity to contribute to the good of the online world by creating a new department and benefiting not only clients and users, but also our moderators. It is a big challenge and I just could not let the opportunity pass by.
What excites you about your role in 2022?
Keywords has done a great job making sure our clients' players are supported through our amazing team.
2022 brings an opportunity to take Trust and Safety to the next level, with special attention to our moderators’ well-being, escalation processes and close collaboration with our clients and their online safety goals. What’s not to be excited about?!
How did you get into your current role and the video games industry? What inspired your career path?
It all started with a Penguin...Club Penguin, in Kelowna, Canada where a very talented team built fun, safe and engaged communities around the world for kids. The power of community was very clear right there, I mean, we were talking to kids, listening to their ideas AND making them happen!
From there I moved to Two Hat Security and had the opportunity to work with gaming companies around the world which corroborated my passion for this industry.
Someone that inspired me to continue on the community path is a past CEO, Chris Priebe, and his goal to "make the internet safe". While this looks like a huge goal, the past 5 years have shown it might just be possible.
What advice would you give to people wanting a career in your field?
Firstly to understand from the ground up what online communities are about and preparing for the joys and challenges that come with them. Communication is also key. My role expands to legal, HR, operations and marketing so being able to connect and get the team on board will be key to success.
Lastly, always keep wellness and resilience in mind. In every conversation, process or task, make sure everyone involved has the tools, support and knowledge to take care of themselves and others.
What are you most proud of in your role at Keywords?
The impact we are able to make on the online world.
What trends in the video games industry do you keep a close eye on to make sure Trust and Safety stays abreast of changes?
The gaming industry on its own is already dynamic, and the online world moves at the same rate (or even faster) than real life. So I lean on many of my colleagues in the industry who share their expertise and are working in the same field. Sometimes what happens in one game/community will most likely appear in others, so keeping a close relationship with those in the industry benefits everyone.
Trust and Safety will be a hot topic at GDC in March and we expect people to have a lot of questions around the topic. How and where can they catch up with you personally to discuss this further?
I love meeting with old and new friends in the industry so please reach out through LinkedIn, it's been way too long!
Sharon will be attending this year’s GDC in San Francisco from March 21st-25th. Discover more about how Keywords' Player Support services can deliver the tools and expertise to help keep your players happy.
Find out more about the Game Developers Conference here.