The Anti-Defamation League is a New York–based international Jewish non-governmental organization and advocacy group that specializes in civil rights law and combatting antisemitism and extremism. In their most recent efforts, the ADL conducted a survey to see how online harassment in games causes players to not just play less, but spend less as well.

An estimated 83 million of the 110 million online multiplayer gamers in the U.S. were exposed to hate and harassment over the last six months. Three out of four young people (ages 10-17) experience harassment when playing video games. Normalized harassment and desensitization to hate frame the reality found in ADL’s fifth annual survey of hate and harassment in online multiplayer games.

There are all sorts of equally sad and interesting findings from this survey, including the fact that 20% of teens and adults said they spend less in online games because of harassment. Furthermore, three-quarters of teens and pre-teens experienced harassment in online multiplayer games in 2023, up from 67 percent in the previous year. Harassment of 10–17-year-olds based on identity increased to 37 percent from 29 percent in 2022. In one area of slight positivity, the overall rate of harassment of adults in online multiplayer games decreased for the first time in the five years this survey has been conducted. 76 percent of adults experience harassment in games, down from 86 percent in 2022.

The charts above show how online hate in games impacts players in various ways, and across different age brackets as well. There’s so much more to be found in the full ADL report, which you can read here.


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