Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Youth and online gaming

Youth and online gaming in Australia

Young people 8 to 17 years

Online multiplayer gaming is a very popular activity for young Australians.

  • 6 in 10 young people have played these games

Anonymity is an important aspect of online gaming.

  • 1 in 2 young people have played with people they have not met in person.

Around 34% of young people made an in-game purchase between June 2016 and June 2017.

An estimated 17% of multiplayer gamers experience in-game bullying. Equal to roughly more than 200,000 young Australians.

How young people responded to bullying that they experienced while gaming online:

  • 42% turned off chat function
  • 41% ignored the bullying
  • 38% stopped playing a game with bully/bullies

Young people also used more formal channels to deal with bullying.

Nearly 30% of multiplayer gamers who experienced bullying reported it to game moderators.

1 in 5 young people who were bullied while playing also retaliated.

  • 25% teens (in this case, 14 to 17 years old), 19% kids 
  • 24% boys, 16% girls

Source: State of play — youth and online gaming in Australia, Office of the eSafety Commissioner, March 2018. Data drawn from eSafety’s Youth Digital Participation Survey, based on a random sample of 3,017 young people in Australia aged 8 to 17 years in the 12 months to June 2017.

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