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Almost every single LGBT+ gamer has been harassed while playing online, eye-opening study finds

Ed Nightingale March 8, 2021
lgbt gamer

Stock photo of gamer at a LAN summit (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A new study claims that 88 per cent of LGBT+ gamers who are out to their gaming communities receive some form of harassment while playing online.

The study, from gaming website OnlineRoulette.org, surveyed LGBT+ gamers to examine how inclusive the gaming industry is for the LGBT+ community.

Out LGBT+ gamers are 21 per cent more likely to receive harassment than those who have not disclosed their sexuality, with 73 per cent of LGBT+ gamers receiving harassment specifically based on their sexuality. That rises to 83 per cent for lesbian gamers, who are harassed more frequently.

It’s no surprise then that 41 per cent of LGBT+ players will avoid certain games and toxic communities due to the harassment they receive.

That’s not to say there aren’t supportive communities for LGBT+ players, however. Almost one in every two gamers surveyed said that Animal Crossing has the most supportive gaming community. Call of Duty was ranked second (27 per cent) and Minecraft third (26 per cent).

What’s more, 45 per cent of LGBT+ players said they discovered their sexuality through playing games, showing how important games themselves and supportive communities can be. In fact, 71 per cent said that online communities were more supportive of their sexuality than IRL communities.

Representation is also important to the LGBT+ community, with 81 per cent of LGBT+ gamers saying they were more likely to purchase a game with a queer storyline.

It’s a sadder story in e-sports, however, where LGBT+ professionals earn considerably less than their straight counterparts. The top all-time LGBT+ earner is SonicFox ($676,770), but by comparison the top earning straight e-sports players of 2020 have lifetime earnings over $1million (James “Clayster” Eubanks and Ian “Crimsix” Porter).

While the study may not be surprising to LGBT+ gamers, it certainly reinforces not only how toxic gaming communities can be, but also how vital encouraging and supportive communities are to LGBT+ gamers discovering their identity.

To see the study in full, visit the report here.

More: Animal Crossing, gaming, LGBT gaming

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