An investigation into women’s experiences of gaming online has revealed that one in 10 has felt suicidal as a result of online abuse.
Of the 4000 female gamers surveyed by Sky Broadband, 49 per cent report having been abused or harrassed when streaming or playing online, although this rises to 75 per cent for women aged 18-24.
80 per cent of those affected by online abuse confirmed that the messages and comments were sexual in nature, and 35 per cent was violent.
The results further confirmed that one in four women – 25 per cent – “admitted to feeling depressed”, 27 per cent were concerned the threats could translate into real-life attacks, and 40 per cent had been personally threatened. 25 per cent of respondents said they would not report the abuse, and 31 per cent of female players say they have lied about their gender online in order to remain inconspicuous and avoid attention.
The report also took account of the views of male gamers, over half (51%) of which said they’d witnessed a female streamer be harassed online. 66 per cent of men and women believed women were more likely to be harassed.
“The reality is if this was happening on a football pitch, you would have a ref that would like literally blow a whistle and send someone off,” Guild Esports CEO Jasmine Skee told Sky News.
“We can’t keep watching these numbers keep happening and these women keep having this experience. This is all about looking after their mental health and making sure women feel that they can play and do the thing that they love and feel very inclusive of it.”
Last month, Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman released a statement asking if the games industry is “going backwards” following reports that “multiple folks” were assaulted or spiked at this year’s GDC event.