Anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label published a study recently, in partnership with Habbo, outlining the scale of the cyber-bullying problem facing young people gaming online .
In:Game Abuse states 57% of young people report they have been bullied playing their favourite games, with 22% saying they have quit playing because of it.
20% surveyed said they had bullied others online. A large number of these were bullied themselves and go on to perpetuate the cycle. Anonymity online facilitates bullying, dehumanising the victim. Many of the bullies questioned said they wouldn’t do this face to face.
So what can be done about this growing problem? Many believe human moderation with in-game support and rewards for reporting bullies would help. Other suggested measures include more anti-bullying awareness campaigns within games and more digital citizenship training in schools.
Game companies are beginning to take this problem more seriously but as with all bullying there are no quick fixes. It's going to take time and understanding and cooperation from all involved for progress to be made.
We love Ditch The Label’s excellent anti-bullying resources. They're worth using if you or your family have been affected by bullying of any kind.