Study Says 7 Out Of 10 Players Avoid Playing Certain Games Because Of Toxic Communities

"Hate and harassment in gaming spaces take a toll on the mental health of the community."

                                                                             Story Highlights

  • Take This is a mental health organization with the goal to raise awareness regarding mental health in the gaming community and the broader gaming industry. 
  • The company’s recent study conducted by Dr. Rachel Kowert highlights a connection between toxic communities and how it impacts the bottom line of a game, as in its commercial and financial success.
  • According to the study, 6 out of 10 players said they had quit a session or match or quit a game completely because they were subjected to hate and harassment.
  • 7 out of 10 players reported avoiding playing certain games because of the reputation of the community.

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Rachel Kowert, the research director of Take This, it was revealed that toxic game communities are actively detrimental to not only the mental health of the gaming community as a whole but also the game’s bottom line, aka its commercial and financial success. 

Take This is a mental health organization that is concerned with decreasing the stigma and increasing support for mental health in the gaming community as well as the games industry. Their most recent report aims to highlight the connection between overly toxic gaming communities and their negative impact on a game’s success, with the ultimate goal of encouraging publishers to take stricter actions to combat toxicity in online games. 

Looking at game players aged 13 – 25, researchers found that the average monthly amount of money spent on games deemed ‘non toxic’ as compared to ‘toxic’ was a difference of 54%.”

Dr. Kowert points out that games that are more widely known for fostering a positive, safe community experienced a 54% gain in revenue compared to games generally regarded for having toxic, abusive communities. With the aid of Nielsen, a global leader in data and analytics, it was further revealed that players were much more likely to quit playing any game if faced with toxic and abusive behavior.

6 out of 10 players said they had, at least once, quit a session or match or quit a game completely because they were subjected to hate and harassment within that gaming community.”

Furthermore, it was also discovered that players were less likely to spend money on a specific game because of toxic behavior from within that community. 

6 out of 10 players reported they had, at least once, chosen to not spend money in a game because of how other players treated them in that community.”

The most damming discovery from this research, however, was that a majority of players tend to hover away from games that are known to have toxic communities. Also, it was discovered that it was more likely for male players to report a change in their spending and playing behavior due to toxic communities than female players, who typically experience toxicity much more frequently than male players. 

7 out of 10 players reported avoiding playing certain games because of the reputation of the community.”

It was also found that younger players, as in players under 18, were most likely to take action against toxic game communities, meaning they would actively avoid, or leave toxic groups. Toxicity is a rampant problem in games today. Games such as Call of Duty, Dead by Daylight, Rainbow Six Siege, are widely known to be filled with toxic and abusive players. 

That is, there was a 54% gain in revenue for games that ‘don’t sell consumers spewing name calling, racial epithets, holocaust denial, misogyny, threats to one’s safety, and your garden variety **** and death threats.”

Meanwhile, titles that are known to have relatively welcoming communities such as Final Fantasy 14, Hunt Showdown, and Deep Rock Galactic are getting more and more popular every single day with each new update. 

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Community Feedback

Stop using the word toxic when refering to bad behavior, there are words that describe that kind of behavior. People are to week minded, they need to go to a military training camp for 6 month straight. Stream sniping and spamming in games? Ridiculous.

good on you for calling the games out specifically

Good content, easy to access

As a long life gamer this article was helpful, community toxicity impacts gaming experience and the likelihood of interest in the game. I hope that more awareness around this issue will be shared.

Great article addressing a massive issue

I refuse to play online games because some players ruin the enjoyment of the game.

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Take This

Nameer Zia is a video game News Writer on eXputer obsessed with hunting down all the latest happenings in the industry. Nameer has been gaming for more than 15 years, during which he has spent more than 3,000 hours on Overwatch 1 & 2. As a literature student, his literary chops feed into his passion for games and writing, using eXputer as the medium to deliver the latest news in the industry. Websites such as GamingBolt and IGN have also credited his works.

Experience: 4+ Years || Previously Worked At: Tech4Gamers || Education: Bachelors in English Literature.

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