This is a study that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone: men who harass women online are likely to have some of their own issues.
But there's more to this study than just the obvious. Researchers at Miami University and the University of New South Wales watched how men reacted and treated women during 163 games of the popular Halo 3.
After watching the game play and reviewing online comments between players, the researchers found that men that were in the zone and playing well were most likely to be cordial to each other. They also paid compliments to men and women, no matter what their skill level.
Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.
The findings, published in the journal PLOS One, appear to reflect a recent Pew report, that says that 40% of internet users experience harassment, especially women.
Researcher Michael Kasumovic says video games are a good representation of real life human behavior for a few reasons.
First, those that play games like Halo 3 are anonymous. They don't interact with players that long so it's easy to throw an insult out there and not have to deal with the person again. Games like Halo 3 are mostly played by men, leaving the door open for harassment.