A hot potato: There’s a line between competitive trash talking and outright harassment and unfortunately, most of those surveyed have been on the wrong side of it. A full 65 percent of those polled said they have experienced severe harassment including physical threats, stalking and sustained harassment.

Nearly three in four adults that play video games online have experienced some form of harassment according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Technology and Society.

Among those that have been harassed, 53 percent said they were targeted because of their race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity or ability.

Specifically, 38 percent of women and 35 percent of LGBTQ+ players reported being harassed based on their gender and sexual orientation. A full 24 percent of Hispanic players, 31 percent of African American players and 23 percent of Asian Americans experienced harassment due to racial or ethnic identity.

More concerning still, 29 percent of players claim to have been doxed – that is, having had their personal information exposed.

The ADL also examined individual games and found that harassment is more prevalent in some than others. The top five games in which players experienced the most harassment were DOTA 2 (79 percent), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (75 percent), PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (75 percent), Overwatch (75 percent) and League of Legends (75 percent).

The ADL surveyed 1,045 mobile, PC and console gamers between the ages of 18 and 45 for its study. Surveys were conducted between April 19 and May 1, 2019, with a margin of error of four percent.

Masthead credit: young girl playing computer games by OHishiapply