A new report from the Anti-Defamation League has found that most U.S. teens experience harassment when playing video games online.
The study said 60% of children 13 to 17 years old experience harassment when playing games online.
- And it doesn’t seem to be catching on with parents. Less than 40% of parents or guardians said they implemented safety controls for online games.
- And less than 50% of teen gamers said they talk to their parents about their online games.
Overall, gamers experience massive harassment online. The survey found 71% of adults from 18 to 45 years old “experienced severe abuse, including physical threats, stalking and sustained harassment within the first six months of 2021.”
- “This new research examining the experiences of young online gamers sheds important light on their specific experiences, and unfortunately reveals a deeply disturbing trend: teenage gamers are harassed almost as often as adult gamers,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “By allowing this harassment of young people to continue, we risk children feeling that they should be ashamed of who they are. That message is completely unacceptable, and online gaming platforms have a responsibility to do better.”
According to the survey, about 10% of young gamers and 8% of adult gamers said they were exposed to white supremacist comments when playing online.
Some video game companies have worked to curb abuse. For example, Phil Spencer, the chief of Microsoft’s Xbox division, announced an initiative with Microsoft that would look to solve online bullying and abuse by taking a stance against abusers, according to the Deseret News.
- “No one group ‘owns’ gaming. Instead, whether you’re new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gaming. In this way, when everyone can play, the entire world wins,” Spencer wrote in a blog post in 2019.