Online gaming 'just another platform for bullies'

Nearly one-in-five children in a Barnardos survey said they found it difficult to stop playing video games
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.33 27 Sep 2023

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Online gaming 'just another pl...

Online gaming 'just another platform for bullies'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.33 27 Sep 2023

Share this article

One teenager who plays online games has said he believes it is just another platform for bullies.

It comes as nearly one-in-five children said they found it difficult to stop playing video games.

Barnardos found half of the children surveyed had seen others being cyberbullied/sent mean messages, with one-in-six seeing it always or often.


Children described having a wide range of physical effects such as headaches, sore eyes and ears and general tiredness.

The charity surveyed 700 children in third to sixth class about their online gaming experiences.

Ben, who is 18, told Lunchtime Live he has been playing video games 'on and off' since he was 10.

"Online gaming, I feel, is just another platform for bullies to bully people," he said.

"It's been like that for years, and there's no real way to tackle that unless the parents get involved.

"I feel like everything else it needs to be moderated and it needs to be... not too much, not too little.

"My older brothers were into it, and then of course I followed suit.

"I felt that I benefitted in some ways and I was negatively affected in others.

"I was always a good reader growing up just from playing games, reading stuff, playing stories.

"Now I was inside a lot which of course isn't the best for a kid growing up.

"Sure look, we're in Ireland [where] it rains every other day."

'I was in my room a lot'

Ben said parents should be aware that small things matter.

"The main thing that parents need to be aware of is a lot of it is actually small things like not sitting too close to the TV," he said.

"The staying up late thing, definitely nip that in the bud.

"I remember going in with maybe five [or] six hours of sleep most days in school, and it just makes everything so much more difficult.

"I was just in my room a lot, and they didn't really see a problem with it."

'There's no consequences'

Ben said he believes older people take out their frustrations as there are 'no consequences'.

"What I think happens a lot is you'll have grown men - they wake up next to their wife, they get in an argument, they got bad sleep themselves, they go into work, have a bad day, they come home," he said.

"Then they have their own time to themselves, they'll play some video games, and then they'll hear a squeaky voice in the game chat talking.

"They'll hear it's a kid and because there's no consequences, they'll just starting ripping into him... it's projection, if anything.

"I've been on both ends of it; I'm not innocent here either.

"It's like a cycle nearly - you grow up with it and as you get older, it's like, 'It's time for me to be on the giving end'", he added.

Main image: A boy (14 years) sits in his illuminated room and plays the computer game Fortnite on his PC. Image: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

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