Online video game communities can provide a sense of belonging and support for marginalized people, while at the same time, can be rife with prejudice and discrimination. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of both positive and negative comments about sexual orientation and gender identity during online gaming, and to test the hypothesis that LGBTQ+ people witness or experience more prejudice than do heterosexual and cisgender persons. An online survey, distributed on social media sites and a psychology subject pool, included rating scales and open-ended questions on game-related conversations. Respondents (N = 185) provided negative examples made by others more frequently than positive ones and attributed serious comments to themselves versus jokes and offhand comments to others. Across all respondent gender identities, the targets of the negative comments by others were almost always LGBTQ+ persons. These results bolster critiques of online gaming environments as hostile to members of marginalized groups.
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