Gaming problem: Toxicity

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Literature Review: Toxicity problem for Gaming

This “Ten Problems for Gaming in the 2020s” booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students’ theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the ten problems that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. addiction,
  2. injuries,
  3. toxicity,
  4. mental health,
  5. escapism,
  6. social withdrawal,
  7. digital divide,
  8. mobile games,
  9. esports,
  10. copyright.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.

3 Toxicity

THE PROBLEM — Most recently, a problem gaining increased attention in online multiplayer video games is toxic behavior, a behavior spreading negative effects and bad mood during play. The ethics of games cannot be reduced to the ethics of their content, isolated in individual moments of play. Personality traits, emotion reactivity, and motivations influence the way people behave in video games.

CASE STUDIES — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

CONCLUSIONS — Manifestations of toxic behavior are behaviors such as flaming, trolling, or insulting other players. Videogames are also part of an economy of data extraction in which players’ privacy becomes commercial interest, in a free-to-play market. High emotional reactivity and being high in two dimensions of impulsivity (negative urgency and sensation seeking) increase the likelihood of toxic behavior. Trash talk is perceived as inherently part of the gaming culture and, as such, considered inoffensive. Racism and sexism truly intoxicate the gaming communities to a great extent, but they are not interested in politics. Esports is also viewed as a toxic industry, a trend borne in part by the gaming industry in general. During the COVID-19 quarantine, in-game routines were used as a substitute to real-world routines lost due to the pandemic. Finding fair, appropriate and feasible ways to tackle disruptive or toxic players presents a particular challenge in managing gaming communities. Despite just watching, spectators of others’ video game play tend to consider themselves as part of gaming culture. In the spirit of the post-humanities, Game Studies should recognize that they are part of the broader changing digital landscape.

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

Gaming Problems
“Ten Problems for Gaming in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2021; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds