Why do gaymers and other LGBTQ gamers hide their sexualities and gender identities in gaming spaces? Because they then become subjects of bullying and harassment, says a new study.
The study from OnlineRoulette surveyed 788 gamers, according to Pride. The gamers ranged between the ages of 18 and 70. Within them, 10 percent of gamers stated that they identify as LGBTQ. Surprisingly 45 percent of the LGBTQ respondents stated that they had their sexual awakening because of gaming.
Despite that fact, many LGBTQ gamers reported experiencing harassment in gaming spaces because of their sexuality or gender identities. Specifically, 88 percent of LGBTQ respondents said that they have experienced these moments.
Because of this, 50% of LGBTQ respondents said they hide their sexual identity, 44% said they keep their screen names neutral of any gender identifiers or queer context. If that doesn’t work, 43% have had to block or mute other players, and 41% have had to avoid specific games and/or gaming communities.
So where did LGBTQ gamers find the most support and the healthiest gaming environments? The LGBTQ respondents shared that the safest spaces for them were The Sims, Animal Crossing, Pokémon, Call of Duty, and Minecraft.
In addition, it appears that LGBTQ gamers are thirsty for queer representation. They stated that if a queer storyline is included in a game, 81% of LGBTQ gamers would be interested in buying it.
The numbers from this survey expand the knowledge we learned from the Nielson Games 360 Survey from last year. That survey also found that 10% of gamers over the age of 18 identify as LGBTQ.
Nielson’s survey then broke the pool down and discovered that 40% of LGBTQ gamers over the age of 13 identify as gay or lesbian. Then, 50% of LGBTQ gamers identify as bisexual and 10% identify as either transgender or non-binary.
As for the financial weight of LGBTQ gamers, the survey found that LGTBQ gamers spend 8% more money a month on games than straight gamers. On average, we spend $16.01 to every straight gamers’ $14.78.
“The survey really shows us that there is a thriving sub-community within the extensive world of gaming that has a voice and impact on the industry at-large,” a Nielsen representative told Out Magazine last year. “LGBTQ+ gamers are active gamers—though this shouldn’t be surprising, as LGBTQ+ consumers are very active consumers of media and tend to be on the cutting edge of most media trends.