Video Game Offenders: Game Over?

The world of online gaming has evolved enormously over the years, with platforms such as Xbox, PlayStation and PC gaming topping the charts. With the evolvement of video games, comes the evolution of multiplayer mode. The days of taking your own video game controllers to your buddy’s house were long gone after video game giants introduced their gaming networks. This allowed users to play with and against friends online, with accessories such as headsets making hours of gaming more interactive.

With the accessibility to other gamers higher than ever, the unfortunate incidents of online ‘trolling’ and abuse is at an absurd high at the moment. A survey which was conducted in 2017 concluded that 41% of Americans had been subject to abuse and harassment over the internet. Those included platforms such as Facebook and Tinder. A new survey conducted by Anti-Defamation League, with games analytics firm NewZoo, showed just how bad things are with online gaming at the moment. According to the survey, 74% of online gamers reported experiencing some sort of harassment from other gamers.

In the survey, 50% of gamers reported being discriminated against based on their gender or ethnicity, and 29% reported having been doxed, which the survey defines as having ‘had a stranger publish private information about me.' Scary, right? Video gaming networks provide platforms where gamers can chat, however, gamers are experiencing abuse whilst playing the game. According to the survey, Dota 2 is the most toxic online multiplayer game, with 79% of players claiming to have been harassed at some point during their time playing the game.

Not far behind were Overwatch and the very popular, Fortnite, which had harassment rates of 75% and 70%. It wasn’t all bad however, as 88% of respondents claimed to have had a positive experience playing online games.  The game’s most likely to lead a positive influence was World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and the NBA 2K series. There was also a romantic connection between gamers, with 13% of respondents said they’d met a romantic partner through online gaming.

The survey was conducted with 1,045 respondents between the ages of 18 and 45.