Generally speaking, gamers who choose to go online and play with or against other like-minded individuals behave as they would in real life – with good manners and respect. As inevitably as day turns to night, however, there will be times when you encounter immature adults or unsupervised kids that somehow know curse words you’ve never heard of and are all too happy to oblige you with their recital.
There are myriad reasons that such unsavory types choose to use the internet as an outlet for their anger, of course, and how each unleashes that frustration can vary wildly from one person to another. According to one recent study, in fact, the habits of so-called “Angry Gamers” makes for some interesting statistical reading. Carried out in collaboration with professional psychologists, the study polled just under 1,000 gamers about their outbursts as well as the games most likely to cause them by using the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire.
The results, as you can no doubt imagine, are fascinating.
Unsurprisingly, Activision and EA’s Call of Duty and Battlefield series’ respectively were recorded as being some of the most toxic online gaming environments, with others, such as Nintendo’s casual-friendly Animal Crossing and Microsoft’s Minecraft, being completely unexpected. Grand Theft Auto Online, infamous for its griefing issues, also scored high in the study, which breaks down responses into four categories: physical aggression, hostility, anger and verbal aggression.
In terms of how these populations are represented on different platforms, mobile was found to be the least toxic, with PC and Nintendo not far behind. The standout ‘winners’, though, were PlayStation and Xbox, the latter of which just inched out ahead to claim the dubious honor of being the most toxic gaming platform. It’s worth noting, however, that all of the above data was collected from participants in the UK, so there’s a good chance that the figures could differ in other countries, especially in the US.