Abstract: This paper includes preliminary findings from a research study to investigate perceptions among adolescents and adults regarding prevalence, seriousness, and psychological impact of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments. A survey was administered including questions regarding what gamers believe constitutes cyberbullying in online gaming environments, whether they have experienced cyberbullying in this space (i.e. witness, victim, or bully), and what, if any, psychological effects those experiences have had on them. The survey was posted to the Animal Crossing Community gaming forum and was completed by 1,033 respondents who report playing a variety of online games, in a variety of content levels (i.e. “early childhood” to “adult content”). Analyzing data from adolescent and adult respondents (ages 12-70) indicate that cyberbullying does occur in the online game space and can have negative psychological effects. In addition, an emergent theme from this research is that age, gender, and experience play an important role in perceptions regarding the frequency, seriousness, and impact of cyberbullying in online gaming environments.
Keywords: cyber abuse, cyberbullying, electronic bullying, gaming, gender, MMORPG
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Recommended Citation: Fryling, M., Cotler, J. L., Rivituso, J., Mathews, L., Pratico, S. (2015). Cyberbullying or normal game play? Impact of age, gender, and experience on cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Perceptions from one gaming forum. Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 8(1) pp 4-18. http://jisar.org/2015-8/ ISSN: 1946-1836. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of CONISAR 2014)