On­line bul­lies prey on gamers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

MORE than half of chil­dren and young peo­ple have been bul­lied while play­ing on­line games, re­search sug­gests.

A sur­vey of 2 500 Bri­tish kids aged 12 to 25 found 57% had been bul­lied while play­ing a game, and 22% have stopped play­ing as a re­sult.

Anti-bul­ly­ing char­ity Ditch the La­bel said many vic­tims were also be­ing bul­lied by peers at school and sought refuge in the on­line com­mu­nity.

When bul­lies tar­geted them in the cy­ber world too, the vic­tims could feel iso­lated and alone.

Liam Hack­ett, the founder of the char­ity, added: “Peo­ple who are sub­jected to bul­ly­ing off­line are some of the big­gest con­sumers of the in­ter­net and tech­nol­ogy.

“They are more likely to use on­line games for es­capism.”

A 16-year-old gamer, Bai­ley Mitchell, said he had been reg­u­larly bul­lied and re­ceived death threats while play­ing on­line games since the age of 10.

He said: “They’ll call you some ran­dom abu­sive thing they can think of.”

The sur­vey was con­ducted with users of Habbo, a vir­tual ho­tel plat­form.

Al­most three quar­ters of those said on­line bul­ly­ing in games should be taken more se­ri­ously. – Daily Mail

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