Abstract: Cyberbullying has received much attention in recent years due to a variety of resulting tragic events, including cyberbully victim suicides. However, research on cyberbullying in online gaming environments is relatively new and limited. Furthermore, existing research primarily focuses on young adolescents, leaving research gaps for analyzing cyberbullying among older gamers. This is particularly important since it is estimated that 68% of gamers are 18 years of age or older. Finally, causes of aggressive behavior, such as cyberbullying, are still unclear and cannot simply be linked to violent video games. Therefore, in order to develop strategies to mitigate cyberbullying in online gaming environments, we need to better understand what the biggest causes of cyberbullying are in this environment. This exploratory research investigates gamer perceptions regarding the causes of cyberbullying in online multi-player gaming environments. A survey was developed for this study and 936 respondents answered several open ended questions related to causes of cyberbullying in gaming environments. Content analysis of these questions revealed that gamers perceive the biggest causes are: anonymity, the cyberbully not seeing the real life effects of their behaviors, and no fear of punishment.
Keywords: cyberbullying, online gaming, aggression, MMORPG, cyber abuse, electronic bullying
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Recommended Citation: Cotler, J. L., Fryling, M., Rivituso, J. (2017). Causes of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Gamer perceptions. Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 10(1) pp 4-14. http://jisar.org/2017-10/ ISSN: 1946-1836. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of CONISAR 2016)