Gamers of color detail experiences with online harassment

Roughly four out of 10 adults say they’ve been harassed online.
5:01 | 10/21/20

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Transcript for Gamers of color detail experiences with online harassment
for you shining a light on race and video gaming. One study finding around four in ten Americans personally experience some sort of harassment online particularly those for gamers of color so T.J. Is back to tell us about this. Hey, for this story I listened in on a gaming session and the black gamer was told by someone he was playing with online you need handcuffs and a knee on your neck. Now, I was shocked by what I heard. The gamers were shocked that I was shocked. They say this is typical of what happens on the online gaming community. They call it a racist, toxic environment and they're doing it all when they're trying to do the simplest of things and play a video game. Terence Miller is a star in the world of professional gaming. But one of his breakout performances at a major gaming tournament in 2016 was overshadowed by racial abuse he says he endured in realtime as he competed. There was a lot of racist and hateful messages posted. I never expected it to happen at the scale that it did. Reporter: A history of harassment this professor says. Sexism and racism has been a constant since gaming went Reporter: In 2014 there was gamergate. An organized campaign threatening women online. Things have definitely gotten bet are but I do still like see stories of similar things happening to other people. Reporter: "Gma" spoke with a group of gamers. All of them say they've at some point hidden their identities while gaming online to avoid the I would only chat with my friends and be in private parties just because of the verbal violence that is going on in the space. You've made a conscious decision at some point to keep people from knowing, one, you're a woman and from knowing you're black. In doing something you love that much, you still felt that's what you needed to do to participate in it. I have gone through a very rigorous amount of online harassment that made me afraid to do that. When folks of color are there making themselves visible within the space they are subject to a whole host of inequalities. Reporter: "Gma" was there as friends and family of professor gray go online with disturbing results playing call of duty, a multiplayer game in which people are placed randomly on teams. After a few hours of play, this happens. Oh! Trying to figure out why he's so angry. Reporter: The verbal harassment went on for nearly ten minutes with language too offensive to broadcast and played an except for our group which included caylin on the receiving end of that racial abuse. Caylin, you sounded kind of calm in the recording there but tell me what was actually -- were you calm or was something else bubbling up inside of you? My hands were shaking. It was hard for me to focus. It was just like for a good 10, 15 minutes of straight racial attacking. Sometimes it's like unbearable. What do you hear when you heard that, khalif? This is like every other weekend which is the saddest part, right. I'm surprised you are not That's definitely super tame compared to what I hear. The anonymity of a keyboard, it allows them to be absolute and complete internet thugs. Reporter: Activision told "Gma" we do not tolerate racism, hatred or harassment of any form. The actions we have taken include banning thousands of players for racist and hate-oriented names, regularly implementing new technology to address these issues adding resources dedicated to confronting raist behavior and providing even easier ways for players to report offensive behavior. Xbox, the platform of gamers in the demonstration they were playing on says racism has no place in our community. Players exhibiting this behavior will lose access to Xbox live. Only 2% of game developers are black according to an industry They're not in the room at the table. Reporter: Until that begins to change Miller warns young players of color might be discouraged from doing something they love. They still deserve to be in the space without feeling alienated. Every single person we talked to all the gamers say, yes, it has gotten better and some companies put some things in place that can help but it's not enough. This is a $150 billion a year industry. There's an estimated 2.5 billion gamers around the world and can you imagine, guys, that that is online. We know about social media and stuff, but these folks can talk directly to you, right? So why you have to hide your identity to do something you love or try to leave the community to do something you love so it's not -- you can't dismiss it as if you don't like it, mute them. We wouldn't tolerate that in a workplace. We wouldn't tolerate it anyplace else and this is why it's such a big deal. Doing everything else while black, gaming while black is also an issue. Thank you for shedding a light on that. Let's get back to ginger. Ginger.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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