As online gaming has continued to grow in popularity, particularly among Gen Z, so too has the risk of online harassment and discrimination. New research published by Bastion Insights has uncovered that many female & LGBTQIA+ gamers are unsafe online, experiencing severe harassment while gaming, and forced to implement protective measures to keep themselves safe. Before even starting a game, 95% of LGBTQIA+ and 90% of female gamers modify their behaviour, just to feel safe. This includes actions like turning their audio off, closing the chat or even choosing a male character to disguise who they really are.
Many gamers are frustrated with the lack of action from the gaming platforms and wish more was being done to combat the toxic culture. Further, the conversation among friends, families and other gamers is novel and limited. There is a large opportunity for campaigns, including by commercial brands, to provide some much needed advocacy to make gaming a safe space for all.
Whilst a lot of research has been done overseas on harassment among gamers, there was a lack of research and data on harassment on online games in Australia. This Bastion Insights Gamer Research explores the experiences of female and LGBTQIA+ gamers in the Australian context – highlighting the need for action, to ensure everyone can participate safely online.