ARE KIDS AWARE OF BEING BULLIED OR OF BULLYING OTHER CHILDREN WHILST PLAYING VIDEO GAMES IN INTERNET CAFES?
The aim of this qualitative study is to explore cyber bullying perceptions of kids who play computer games in the Internet Cafe environment. The participants’ demographic data, game preferences, reasons for playing video games in Internet cafes and the effects of video games in terms of being bullied or bullying other children while playing video games were investigated with a holistic approach. Observations and interviews were used in order to collect data from 11 kids aged from 12 to 16 years in two different Internet cafes. The result showed that kids prefer playing online FPS games more than other genres at Internet cafes and when kids play games at Internet cafes it is usually for leisure, to get rid of boredom, to have fun and as a social activity. Moreover, when asked for a definition of cyber bullying in the game environment the kids defined it as “using profanities”, “cheating” and “stealing a game account”. Most of the participants stated that they think that they can bully other players because of the power of their characters in the game such as calling them losers, killing the others’ characters and swearing at them. However, both being bullied and bullying other children cause them to get angry or make them unhappy.