What should I do if my teenager is cyberbullied in an online game?
First, determine if it's real cyberbullying or just heated trash talk. Here are some examples of gameplay behavior that could cross the line into cyberbullying:
"Griefing." Repeatedly harming a player's avatar or placing the avatar in harmful situations that make it hard to play the game. This behavior is often directed at new players by more experienced players.
"Trolling." Intentionally trying to frustrate, anger, and offend other players. Trolls may pretend to be someone they're not or say inflammatory things.
Invading privacy. Using personal information (such as an address, a phone number, or even friends' names) in direct threats.
Stalking. Everywhere your kid goes in a game, the bully is there -- often with private information on your kid.
Ganging up. Enlisting other players to surround a player and intimidate and scare him or her.
If your kid is the target of hostile online play, he or she should block the offending player, flag the behavior, and report the player. Nearly every reputable online game (and virtual worlds for younger kids) has community-reporting tools that you can use to call out behavior that violates the site's terms of service.