1 in 5 Gamers Identify as LGBTQ+, and Over Half Experience Online Harassment

A new GLAAD study surveyed over 1,000 people in the US and found that the number of LGBTQ+ gamers is growing, but harassment remains a significant problem. The study revealed that one in five gamers surveyed are LGBTQ+, with 38 percent feeling that they do not belong in the gaming community, and 42 percent avoid playing games due to anticipated harassment. According to the report, 52 percent of LGBTQ+ gamers have faced online abuse, with 27 percent quitting a game entirely because of the harassment. The study was conducted by GLAAD and Nielsen Games through a trusted third-party panel and shows a 10 percent increase in LGBTQ+ gamers since a previous study in 2020.

The report also highlights a lack of LGBTQ+ video game content, with less than two percent of major gaming platforms’ total libraries featuring LGBTQ+ characters or themes. Many women are affected by online abuse, with reports of depression and suicidal thoughts due to sexist behavior in the gaming community. However, the study notes that the data is based on whether a game uses the LGBTQ+ tag on the storefront, which not all games do. It highlights examples like Baldur’s Gate 3, which includes queer romances but is not labeled as such on Steam.

Despite these challenges, LGBTQ+ players show similar levels of dedication to games compared to non-LGBTQ gamers in terms of time spent playing and money spent. They express a strong desire for more prominent queer storylines in games, with 68 percent wishing for more LGBTQ+ representation. The GLAAD report emphasizes that LGBTQ+ inclusion benefits both the video game industry and the community, as it does not deter non-LGBTQ players but makes a significant difference to LGBTQ+ gamers.

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