Some of you may have already guessed the conclusion of the Anti-Defamation League’s latest Hate and Harassment in Online Gaming report, but the news is not good. According to the report, hate, bullying, and most disturbingly, white supremacist views are on the rise in multiplayer games.
According to the report (courtesy of GamesIndustry.biz), 86 percent of adult gamers between the ages of 18 and 45 experienced some type of harassment in the last six months. Teens ages 13-17 reported being bullied at a rate of 66% (up from 60% in 2021), while 70% of tweens reported being bullied in the past six months, up from 67% for the year previous.
Most concerning, however, is the rise in white supremacist ideologies being expressed online, from 8% of surveyed adults who experienced exposure to white supremacy in 2021 to 20% this year. Children ages 10 to 17 have reported experiencing some form of white supremacy at a rate of 15 percent this year.
The ADL defined white supremacy as expressing a view that other rates are strictly less, providing an example of a player saying that other races should be enslaved. Just running around in GTA Online chatting with the N-word or Trump 2024 was considered simple bullying speech, but it didn’t rise to the level of white supremacy.
The report also pointed out that some games are worse for white supremacy than others. For adults, 44 percent of respondents reported experiencing white supremacy in Call of Duty, while 35 percent reported white supremacy in Grand Theft Auto Online and 34 percent in Valorant. For teens ages 13-17, Dota 2 was the worst offender with 29 percent reporting exposure to white supremacist views, and for kids ages 10-12, 32 percent reporting exposure to white supremacy. in PUBG.
On the bright side, the report noted that several games were relatively safe from white supremacy, including Final Fantasy 14, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and Rainbow Six Siege.
Identity-based harassment has been largely flat since 2021, except for anti-Muslim harassment, which increased from 22% of respondents in 2021 to 34% this year.
You can read the full report, and its recommendations for the gaming industry, on the ADL website here.
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