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Women dealing with unchecked verbal and sexual harassment in MultiPlayer Video Games

by Reviewboard MagazineAugust 29, 2014










Just recently the Entertainment Software Association released an interesting report for 2014 that says 48% of gamers are female. Now a lot of you males are wondering what is going on as you haven’t seen 48% females representing in the video games you play. That’s an interesting tidbit so we did some investigating.

We spoke with 200 female gamers aged 18-40 and they told us some interesting things:

(Percentages of the female gamers we spoke with)

  • 93% of female gamers do not speak in public channels, only in private parties.  The OVERWHELMING reason was that they are bombarded with hatred when they kill people.  They are verbally assaulted with terrible things ranging from you are a B-word to extremely graphic sexual insults and the list goes on.
  • 85% of female gamers have a non-gender specific gamer tag (like Destoyer3010) to avoid detection.
  • An overwhelming percentage just don’t want to hear the male players whining about being owned.
  • 100% of the female gamers we spoke with have flagged people for harassment only to see them on week after week, month after month with no penalty.
  • 35% of the female gamers we spoke with eventually end up not playing the game they played because nothing is done about it.
  • 30% of those female gamers who stop playing say they don’t buy gaming titles from the companies that didn’t act on harassment reports.

So what are game companies doing about it?  The biggest offenders are the big gaming companies, who apparently are not responding to these reports.  Are they driving away customers?  Our group of female gamers say absolutely.  What’s far worse is that the gaming companies are not very interested in doing anything about it from an outsider’s perspective.  That isn’t a good perception, because as a parent, now that I’m aware of this I don’t want my kids (male or female) anywhere near these games.  I don’t want my son to be taught that this behavior is OK (because Activision isn’t banning people for it) and I don’t want my daughters to have to deal with it.

This is a big line item for game companies because they count on teens to continue to purchase their titles (like Call of Duty) well into adulthood.  If the teens never get into them, the likelihood they will later on in live is much smaller.

We tried to contact EA and Activision for a comment but didn’t hear back.  No wonder…  If a news organization can’t get a comment on verbal/sexual harassment in a game how can a player hope to?

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