Entertainment

It’s not all Doom and gloom – heartening study shows almost half of LGBT+ gamers find friends online

Ed Nightingale September 28, 2021
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LGBT+ gamers

Gamers. (Getty Images)

A new study suggests 47 per cent of LGBT+ gamers find friendship when playing online multiplayer games like shooters, and even fighting games. 

It’s certainly a more positive take, when LGBT+ representation in games is so poor and so many streamers are victims of hate raids on Twitch.

The new study comes from market research agency Synchronix Research who surveyed the gaming habits of players in the UK aged 16 – 64. 

A total of 1,007 adults were surveyed, of which 102 identified as LGBT+.

As well as using games to make friends, 36 per cent of the LGBT+ respondents appreciated the social interaction gaming brings.

It’s not all positive though, as 40 per cent report encountering homophobia while gaming online and 12 per cent report transphobia. 

As a result, 33 per cent conceal their sexuality while playing online multiplayer games.

In response to toxic behaviour, 37 per cent report to moderators, while 20 per cent will directly challenge offenders and 22 per cent boycotted after a negative experience.

Sadly, 44 per cent of LGBT+ respondents simply ignore the problem, unfortunately in-line with gamers generally.

That said, LGBT+ players aren’t deterred from gaming online or actively taking part in the gaming community: almost 60 per cent will rate, discuss or review a game within three months of release.

“The gaming community is a diverse community and LGBTQ players are fully part of it, with 60% of LGBTQ adults playing every week,” says Paul Watts, Director of Synchronix Research.

“Gaming brings more positives than negatives for LGBTQ players with many clearly enjoying the social interaction and the friendship it can bring. However, it is sad to see that over one in three have encountered homophobia and this may well explain why a similar proportion choose to remain in the closet online.”

LGBT+ players are most like to play casual games (39 per cent), shooters (31 per cent), life simulations (29 per cent), fighting games (28 per cent), and survival games (27 per cent).

This is similar to the general population, though LGBT+ players are less likely to enjoy sports games.

Predictably, 42 per cent of LGBT+ players would like to see more queer characters in games. In fact, LGBT+ players are most likely to want more diverse representation overall.

Lastly, 31 per cent of LGBT+ players want more horror games. It seems playing Dead by Daylight on repeat isn’t enough.

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Related topics: gaming, LGBT gaming

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