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The Double-Edged Sword Of Online Gaming

The purpose of this study is to understand what boys and young men are seeing and experiencing in the online gaming community. Overall, our results find that the experience is a double-edged sword for male gamers. On the positive side, streaming platforms are a vital space for connecting with male friends -- these communities are a space where boys and young men can share their emotions and problems and be their authentic selves. But online spaces are also rife with identity-based prejudice, harassment, and bullying that are ultimately harmful to boys and young men, and also harmful because other community members who interact with this content may mimic or condone these behaviors online as well as offline. We offer a list of concrete actions in this report for parents and content creators to improve online gaming spaces for male gamers, and those female and non-binary gamers who also find a sense of belonging within the gaming community.