Online games are becoming increasingly popular, with over 930 million players globally currently. However, with popularity comes cyber threats as a growing number of gamer accounts are lucrative targets to cybercriminals.
According to the data from the Atlas VPN team, 38 per cent of gamers have been hacked at least once in the past while playing games.
The numbers are based on the data from surveys on abuse and inclusivity in online games by Ditch the Label and Habbo, as well as Jenny Shi.
A total of 34 per cent of gamers also had their personal information shared on an online game without their consent. One gamer recalls multiple instances where someone shared his personal information or photos with other players as a form of attack.
A significant amount of gamers also experience psychological attacks while playing computer games. The number one online abuse concern reported by 64 per cent of gamers was trolling.
Furthermore, a total of 57 per cent of gamers said they were bullied and subjected to hate speech, including racism, homophobia, transphobia, and disablist language while playing a computer game. A huge 47 per cent of gamers received threats in the past, while 40 per cent experienced unwanted sexual contact.
Many gamers are intimidated by multiplayer games and would rather stick to themselves than have to endure other online players. However, some would reconsider playing multiplayer games if game developers fixed specific problems.
The majority of gamers agree that disruptive behaviour is the number one problem of multiplayer games. A total of 33 per cent of male and female respondents believe eliminating toxicity would make them reconsider joining multiplayer games.
Both genders agree that simply improving the game quality would make the overall experience better. Overall, 16 per cent of male players and 18 per cent of females feel it would advance multiplayer gaming.
Some aspects of multiplayer games are more important to one gender than the other. For example, females felt strongly about game violence, with 30 per cent of female gamers and only 10 per cent of male gamers saying limiting violence in games would change their minds about playing multiplayer games.
Males, however, are more concerned about a number of microtransactions. Over one-fifth of males (21 per cent) believe limiting microtransactions in the game would change their minds, while the same is true for only 8 per cent of females.
Both male and female players least care about the quality of game sequels. Merely 4 per cent of male and 9 per cent of female players feel that bettering game sequels would encourage them to play multiplayer games.
Gamers of both genders named more original content, diversity, and inclusivity for special needs players as other desired improvements that would encourage them to go for multiplayer games.