Eek. This has been sitting as a draft for me to share for over a month now. Time I get on it and post it. It is a longer reading, so make sure you have your cup of coffee all set and some time set aside to read it. Here are a couple of passages that I found especially interesting:
"When something is traditionally done by men, seeing women doing the same thing can be jarring for the men. Some men see women as intruders and feel that their masculinity is threatened among other things (Berdahl, 2007). So, one of their reactions is sexual harassment. When people think that videogames is played mostly by men, well they'd tend to sexually harass female players (Taylor, 2006). Some games are more men-only than others, some genres like first-person shooters, fighting, action adventure, sports and strategy gamers are more macho than others, so it's reasonable that there would be more sexual harassment in those games (Cruea & Park, 2012; Eden et al., 2010; Pew, 2015; Phan et al., 2012). On the other hand, differences could arise from games in the same genre. The literature found that companies emphasizing work over personal obligations reported greater sexual harassment rates than those that balanced them (Timmerman & Bajema, 1999). Perhaps this translates to videogames with high stakes (e.g., ranking, scores, win-loss ratio) reporting higher rates of sexual harassment than games with greater social experiences. For example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive vs. Team Fortress 2."
An important situational factor for online sexual harassment is the psychology of internet communication (Barak, 2005). The social identity model of deindividuation effects is one theory that explains how anonymity and identity influence people's online behaviours. First, anonymity does not make anyone equals. Men and women do not interact each other as equals (Postmes & Spears, 2002). For example, women were more likely to hide their gender if they think it puts them at a conversational disadvantage with men, especially when the online neighborhood is male-dominated (Flanagin et al., 2002). They stereotyped themselves and others with what little knowledge people display online (e.g., redditors, gamers, girlgamers, etc.). Second, prosocial and antisocial online behaviours do not come out of a vacuum. They come out from the online neighborhood's social norms and group membership (Postmes et al, 2001). For example, Starcraft players type "gg" at the end of match as a courtesy. Third, online actions and its consequences are not separate from the physical world. People's real life presence on the Internet is displayed through social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Twitch). People have been physically and psychologically harmed (e.g., doxing, swatting and stalking; Citron, 2009). Thus far, I have only briefly addressed some parts of the psychology of internet communication relevant to online sexual harassment.
These interest me because I think they indicate where the design of the environment (read game) influences the culture of that space ("companies emphasizing work over personal obligations reported greater sexual harassment rates than those that balanced them ").
Also having built-in etiquette is a simple and elegant response: "For example, Starcraft players type "gg" at the end of match as a courtesy." If this kind of courtesy is the norm, then it follows that someone who is not playing by these courteous rules will be called out by their community.