The Cyber Awareness of Online Video Game Players: An Examination of Their Online Safety Practices and Exposure to Threats

The Cyber Awareness of Online Video Game Players: An Examination of Their Online Safety Practices and Exposure to Threats

Soonhwa Seok (Korea University, Seoul, South Korea) and Boaventura DaCosta (Solers Research Group, FL, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2019010108

Abstract

The cyber awareness of online video game players (n = 183) was investigated by examining their online safety practices and the degree to which they were exposed to threats. With findings revealing that gamers engaged in poor online practices, despite expressing concern for their safety, this investigation supports the view that gamers are unaware of the possible consequences of their online actions, and/or continue to show resistance to cybersecurity practices perceived to hinder gameplay. While the findings should be regarded as preliminary, game developers and publishers, policymakers, and researchers may find them valuable in obtaining a clearer understanding of gamers' cyber awareness and online practices. Coupled with ongoing research, these findings may also prove valuable for the identification of strategies that may be used to curb risky online behavior.
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Introduction

Video gameplay has become an everyday activity, available on a multitude of platforms, from computers to mobile devices. While these games can offer rich interactive experiences, their connectivity raises concern about safety. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), for example, have been described as breeding grounds for hackers and cybercriminals. Further, mobile games are believed to expose gamers to cyber threats through vulnerabilities that, when coupled with granted permissions, can create opportunities for unintentional access to device features. With video games anticipated to grow in popularity and sophistication, it is important to understand the cybersecurity risks associated with this form of entertainment.

This study investigated the cyber awareness of online video game players (hereafter referred to as “gamers”) by examining their online safety practices and the degree to which they were exposed to online dangers. With findings revealing that gamers engage in poor online practices, despite concern for their safety, this investigation offers empirical data in preliminary support of the argument that gamers are unaware of the possible consequences of their online actions and/or continue to show resistance towards cybersecurity practices perceived to hinder gameplay.

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