1 In 5 Gamers Are LGBTQ+, Over Half Face Harassment Online
13.02.2024 - 15:43
According to a new GLAAD report, one in five gamers surveyed are LGBTQ+, but 38 percent "feel they sometimes don't belong in the gaming community". A staggering 42 percent report that they even avoid "playing a game because they thought they would be harassed."
As reported by Eurogamer, 52 percent of LGBTQ+ gamers who took part in the survey report facing abuse online - over half of the community. 27 percent even report having completely quit a game due to the harassment they faced.
GLAAD and Nielsen Games surveyed over 1,000 PC and console gamers in the US between June and August 2023 through a "trusted third-party panel."
This is despite the number of active LGBTQ+ gamers growing over the years. GLAAD's new report sees an increase of ten percent since Nielsen's Games360 study in 2020. They also noted that there's a higher spike of queer players among the younger demographic, with 23 to 28 percent of gamers under 35 identifying as LGBTQ+.
GLAAD's report also argues that "LGBTQ video game content is lacking", as less than two percent of Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo's total libraries include LGBTQ+ characters or themes.
However, it's worth noting that this is based purely on whether a game uses the LGBTQ+ tag on the storefront, which not all games do. For instance, Baldur's Gate 3 has a slew of queer romances, but is not tagged as such on Steam where GLAAD reports less than 2.5 percent of games being LGBTQ+.
LGBTQ active gamers overall report similar levels of dedication to games as non-LGBTQ gamers in terms of average hours played and money spent. One point of divergence is that LGBTQ gamers play significantly more on mobile platforms than non-LGBTQ gamers.
Regardless, GLAAD argues that "the game industry lags far behind other media industries in terms of quantity of LGBTQ representation". According to the study, queer players are 1.4 times more likely to purchase a game because it lets them play as a character matching their gender, and 68 percent of LGBTQ+ players want more prominent queer storylines in games.
"We believe that LGBTQ inclusion benefits both the video game industry and community," GLAAD associate director of gaming Blair Durkee said. "As this report shows, the presence of LGBTQ characters or storylines doesn't meaningfully deter non-LGBTQ people from buying or playing games, but it makes a huge difference to LGBTQ gamers."