Female gamers’ experience of online harassment and social support in online gaming: a qualitative study

McLean, L. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2018. Female gamers’ experience of online harassment and social support in online gaming: a qualitative study. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. ISSN 1557-1874

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Female gaming is a relatively under-researched area, and female gamers often report experiencing harassment whilst playing online. The present study explored female experiences of social support while playing online video games, because of the previous research suggesting that females often experience harassment and negative interactions during game play. Data were collected from an online discussion forum, and comprised posts drawn from 271 female gamers. Thematic analysis of the discussions suggested that a lack of social support and harassment frequently led to female gamers playing alone, playing anonymously, and moving groups regularly. The female gamers reported experiencing anxiety and loneliness due to this lack of social support, and for many, this was mirrored in their experiences of social support outside of gaming. The female gamers frequently accepted the incorporation into their gaming of specific coping strategies to mitigate online harassment, including actively hiding their identity and avoiding all forms of verbal communication with other players. These themes are discussed in relation to relevant research in the area, along with recommendations for future research and consideration of possible explanations for the themes observed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: McLean, L. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer New York
Date: 23 July 2018
ISSN: 1557-1874
9962Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © the author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 04 Sep 2018 12:40
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 12:42
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34410

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