Wang-tta: Social Rejection and Peer Victimization

What is Wang-tta?

Wang-tta is a slang term used to describe bullying from victimization and social rejection upon a victim. The term originated from Korean, describing a rising social issue among the youth in Korea. The difference between Wang-tta and typical bullying is that Wang-tta describes a group of peers who target one specific victim rather than one-on-one bullying.

Why is Wang-tta used by Players?

Wang-tta is a common issue in Korea. In grade schools in Korea, the academic pressure and social hierarchy encourages students to bully those who are less academically achieved or physically weaker. The same social rejection has spread into the gaming culture. Gaming is one of Korea’s national pride, leading in E-sports world as most competitive and prestigious. Many of the people in Korea aspire to become professional gamers, which is the reason for the competitiveness of gamers in Korea. Kids in Korea spend several hours gaming with their friends. But this focus on gaming in Korea, has caused so much competition that kids have begun to victimize and reject the weak players in the group. And this social issue is not only prevalent in Korea, but is also becoming an issue in the United States. Some kids become so competitive and so determined to win, that they will blame and isolate the weak player if they lose.

How does Wang-tta affect Players?

The effects of Wang-tta upon victims can be severe. Because Wang-tta is the victimization of one specific individual, the victim often feels socially isolated when they are victimized. Typical effects of Wang-tta are developmental issues, anxiety, tic disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What can Parents Do?

Active parent engagement with their child is a great way to prevent bullying and victimization. While we don’t recommend you to stop your child from playing at all or strictly monitoring your child’s gaming activity, we encourage parents to have an open relationship with their children about gaming. Rather than strictly limiting their gaming time, you can encourage your child to participate in other activities like hanging out with friends at the park or hosting a family game night. Active socialization can make the child feel less isolated. In addition, you can create an open space for your kids to play their games. Many children will lock themselves in their room to play their games. This makes the child feel physically and mentally isolated, connecting with only the players in the game. Instead, you can set up a gaming station for them in the living room or another open room where people are walking in and out of.