96 Pc Of Professional Gamers Faced Cyberbullying In Last 12 Months: Study

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Revealing the dark side of professional video gaming, a new study on Tuesday showed that about 96 per cent of gamers had experienced cyberbullying in the last 12 months.

According to the study published in the journal Entertainment Computing, women who play professionally (16 per cent of esports competitors and content creators) are the most vulnerable to cyberbullying and sexual harassment.

“There was a definite LINK between the level of professional gaming and the incidence of cyberbullying, and sexual harassment for women players,” said Louise Trudgett-Klose, University of South Australia (UniSA) psychology PhD candidate.

“The more professional a player becomes, the more they are exposed to hostile behaviour, which affects their mental health,” she added.

The study surveyed 145 video game players from 14 countries.

The study found that about 49 per cent of bullying came from co-workers (other players) and the other half from the public.

Cyberbullying involves name-calling, derogatory comments, excluding specific players and restricting access, verbal threats and manipulative tactics, whereas sexual harassment includes being sent explicit messages and images and unwanted sexual comments.

“It's not just an isolated incident. The fact that 96 per cent of players -- professional or otherwise -- experienced cyberbullying in the previous 12 months suggests that toxic behaviours are prevalent in the gaming community,” the researchers said.

Dr Sarven McLinton from the University of South Australia suggested that new avenues need to be explored to better support emerging professionals in this "contemporary era of gaming work, protect their mental health, and create a safer virtual environment for everyone".



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