The Daily Grind: How can individual MMO players combat toxicity?

MOP reader Tyler sent us a tip over the weekend that keeps bothering me. According to a post made on Facebook this weekend, a World of Warcraft player took his life over in-game bullying. I haven’t been able to verify whether it truly happened, but I can verify that the replies to the thread about it were just as toxic as the toxicity that allegedly led to the tragedy itself, with people victim-blaming, insulting those with mental disorders, inserting antique arguments about the efficacy of report-and-ignore, inquiring as to the victim’s loot drops, and suggesting that they themselves “need to step up [their] trolling game,” presumably because nothing’s funnier than suggesting your trolling is sub par since you haven’t managed to get anyone killed yet. If you’re a giant asshole, that is.

“I have never understood why the MMO community is so eager to bury its head in the sand about stuff like this,” Tyler lamented. “Even the people who do admit that in-game harassment, hate speech, and the like are actually a bad thing never seem to actually do anything about it. This is something we should be raising hell about. […] I stopped caring when I realized no one else cared.”

I know people care. There are even people in that toxic thread shouting down the monsters. But I do acknowledge that every article we do on toxicity spawns more toxicity against people trying to solve the problem, and some days it feels like we’re getting nowhere. Maybe we’re approaching the problem wrong: We often debate what studios should do. What about the rest of us? How can individual MMO players combat toxicity? What do you do yourself, beyond the bare minimum of report-and-ignore?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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213 Comments on "The Daily Grind: How can individual MMO players combat toxicity?"

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John Mynard

This cultural.

In all seriousness, this isn’t a rule or a policy or a law is going to fix.

It’s going to have to take a return to the golden rule we all learned(or should’ve) as children:

Treat others as you would wish to be treated.

It’s really that simple.

That or the entire internet is going to have to go onto a verified ID basis where everyone uses their legal names to post anything and everything, which I don’t think anyone wants.

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Vexia

This was yesterday’s daily grind, but the issue is important to me, and I want to help create online spaces that are healthy, rather than toxic, for users. These games are made by developers, but at the end of the day, they are made up of players. If we can only hurt one another, what’s even the point in playing?

To help combat toxicity, first and foremost is to consider the butterfly effect. If you being the target of someone else’s antisocial behaviors or words makes you angry, do you really need to lash out at them in turn? There are ways to stand your ground or state your disagreement without adding fuel to the already bombastic situation.

Secondly, using the aforementioned as a guiding principle, stand up for other people who are being harassed and bullied. For example, if someone in your dungeon party is ridiculing another player for poor performance, being new to the game, etc. just say something along the lines of, “Hey, that’s not cool. Why don’t you try giving advice without being a jerk?”

Finally, it almost goes without saying that you should avoid being a jerk, yourself, but try to stay patient when you feel like your patience is being tested. You may think, “I’m not a toxic person,” but toxic is a type of behavior, not a type of person. Even though I desire to enrich the community of my game in a positive manner, there are times when I still act before thinking, and my behaviors work against that goal.

justkasp
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justkasp

The issue is that mmo companies don’t want to invest on building intelligent systems that can filter out toxic behavior. From the simple.. having a report function and a log parser that can automatically verify the report in text chat for example and auto-ban. Such mechanisms are rather simple to implement nowadays, with high precision, but still the biggest companies deny to. This rings a bell to me, dealing with toxic behavior will harm their profits.

veldara
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veldara

As individual gamers I believe that we should be given as many tools as possible to handle toxcity on our own. I’ve played plenty of online games where the social options are lacking some of the basic functionality or just as egregious; have a very obtuse system of going about blocking/reporting. I’ve been part of online communities where not only can you block a person, you’re able to derender them, they won’t even be visible in your play anymore, and that is a very empowering thing. Someone else mentioned ESO, while I never played that game, I think their social systems are on the right track.

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Jeffery Witman

If I have the will power at the time, I try to be as kind as possible and let them know their behavior is harmful and they should think about what kind of person they want to be. It’s rare these days because I’ve never seen it work. Mostly I just end up letting other people know about the toxic people I come across so they can avoid them, too.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Once played a game with 24×7 moderated chat channels but that all went out the door due to cost.

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Jack Pipsam

Moderation doesn’t necessarily mean results either, for example, the moderator at the time could side with the bullies.

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Leiloni

Well at that point you have to wonder if the person was even being a bully at all. If the moderator thinks they didn’t break any of the game’s social behavior rules, then maybe they were fine and the person just took it the wrong way. I’ve certainly seen that happen.

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Bryan Correll

First and foremost, be a good MMO citizen yourself. Even small acts of “niceness” can go a long way in improving someone else’s game experience.
Past that… well, it’s not easy unless the game is going to meet you halfway. Reporting bad behavior should be a simple process. I should be able to right-click on a player’s name and have a ‘report’ option come up right there. The more steps it takes to report someone the less people are going to make reports.

cambruin
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cambruin

There’s nothing we can do due to the naming and shaming policy. I remember someone posting pictures of abuse in chat by a certain individual and while no action was taken against the offender, the person reporting him got a temp ban due to violating the CoC. This was LotRO… famous for it’s ‘warm’ community.

Also, hardly any MMO has any form of accountability. This is one of many reasons why I love ESO. Everything is account-wide. You join a guild, so do all your alts. You leave it? So do your alts. You act like a j***? Get tossed on ignore and all your alts with it.
My first day in ESO and I posted a dumb question. I know it was dumb, but I honestly couldn’t find out myself and alt-tabbing when using Sweetfx sometimes causes my games to crash, so instead of checking google I decided to check /zone. I got a few helpfull replies, a few less helpfull ones and one downright rude j*** who I tossed on ignore immediately. Imagine my surprise when not Dark Knight of Doom was listed on ignore, but the actual JohnDoe@gmail.com

And last but not least: some people actually worship these negative elements. I played LotRO for 10+ years on Laurelin, which is considered the best among the best (together with Landroval). It has a famous/notorious troll who’s name I shall not give. Everyone knows it, everyone knows what kin he’s part of, yet that kin takes no action whatsoever, instead, he’s one of their officers. I’m sorry, but that speaks volumes of the kin as far as I’m concerned and as such I left whichever group I was part of that had one of their members in it.
I always play tanks, so I could afford leaving, I’d find a new one within minutes.

It’s part of human nature I guess, the best way to deal with it is to just ignore them and toss those who take things too far on ignore.

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Chosenxeno .

The problem is Blizzard and other gaming companies still want their 15 bucks a month from miscreants. Hard evidence should lead to a permaban. Permabans won’t fix all of it but it sure as heck will fix a good chunk of it. Zero Tolerance from any form of harrassment or ignorance should be standard. We have to nstop offering up “thicker skin” logic and “you can ignore them”. That’s just another way of saying “Suffer in silence”. SCREW THAT! I WANT THE FUC*ERS BANNED AND OUT OF THE GAME! Why should I have to share a game space with open racists, bigots, homophobes, bigots ect? I’m here to have a good time. Anyone impeding that should be removed. Gaming Companies have to man up and start making the tough choices. It’s annoying seeing scum return to harass again after their slap on the wrist. ZERO TOLERANCE! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR HE/SHE JUST HAD A BAD DAY! HAVE IT OFFLINE! I’M TRYING TO KILL THIS DRAGON!

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Jack Kerras

Zero tolerance policies are universally stupid.

Firstly, this has naught to do with money. Blizzard would gladly get rid of one jerk-off at the cost of $15/mo. than have a dozen, hundred, thousand other people cancel their plan early because someone was shitty to them, full stop. Problem players are so named because they legitimately damage Blizzard’s bottom line, and banning them saves fucking money, so you can get the ‘they want the sub money’ idea right out of your head: it’s wrong.

Also, when it comes to humans, people on the Internet can absolutely be just unbelievably enormous assholes; that is sort of a known quantity, since people who have basically total anonymity fundamentally don’t care what moralistic claptrap other people invent to bludgeon them with. Opinions are like assholes, and all that.

Zero tolerance policies are a great way to ban a shit-ton of folks who would otherwise add to a community for months or years to come when a slap on the wrist would straighten them right out.

Further, and this is the really important part here: it’s not anyone’s responsibility to keep you comfortable but you. You have no right, personally, to control over others’ behavior; you have agency which you use to play any game in a way you enjoy, and so do they. If their behavior upsets you, you report it and move the fuck on.

Insisting that only permabans help, or that zero-tolerance policies do anything but damage a playerbase’s trust in developers, is plainly incorrect. That’s why no one does it.

It’s clearly an overreaction to want anyone you dislike exiled, even when you feel that you dislike the correct groups of people. You have tools to correct issues with problem players, which is to report them, ignore them, and continue to play your game. If you’re continually suffering in silence after you’ve reported and squelched a problem player, that is a ‘you’ problem which you are now calling a ‘them’ problem.

I understand having an emotional response to negative experience, and I do believe that problem players should be removed, but varied and engaged communities of people contain a wide spread of humanity, some of whom are just going to fucking offend others, even if neither relevant group is specifically doing something wrong.

There is a bizarre culture of offense-as-a-positive growing just now, and the answer is to take some personal responsibility, be the change you want to see, and report/squelch people who are just dickbags for no good reason.

Feeling entitled to others’ banishment because they offended your sensibilities is a powerfully negative trait; it is important to remember that your sensibilities are only meaningful to you, no matter how objective you feel you are. Ruminating about this sort of thing at length or requiring a proverbial string of ears to answer transgression is just letting their stupid bullshit control you.

Seeking vengeance for trolling or griefing is unhealthy, even if it feels really good. Besides, who wants to take the time to dig two fucking graves?

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Roger Edwards

1.) Log acts of trolling and toxic behaviour. EG save a log file of global etc. Take screen captures of offending forum or reddit comments. Note user IDs and handles.

2.) Send concise reports to appropriate authorities. Note the time and date when you do this. You may also want add persistant offenders to your friends list. This way you can track them and verify if they get “removed”.

3.) Hold the CMs, developers and publishers to account. Politely and firmly enquire as to what action is being taken. Make it clear you are not going to be satisfied unless the matter in hand is addressed.

4.) If you blog, podcast, vidcast or stream, regulalrly raise this subject, site examples and publicly declare you are waiting for action. Do not conduct personal witch hunts but do lobby robustly. Always conduct yourself appropriately so you can occupy the moral high ground.

5.) Co-ordinate all the above with others. We are all stronger when we act collectively.

Tread boldly

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Jack Kerras

#3 is rarely answered as a matter of policy.

Inquiries as to what action has been taken which are answered with actual data are dangerous and unhelpful, and essentially no MMO developer should come straight out and say that someone was banned to the party making a complaint.

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Chosenxeno .

I notice you didn’t get a thumb because so many people are so bust harping about “ignore” and “thicker skin”. I 100 percent agree with number 3. If the developers would make it clear that nonsense will not be tolerated the problem would be lessened. Thicker skin will not help me with some idiot coming off his 5th ban. He or she should be gone.

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Utakata

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to /ignore, a time to defend
A time to fight, a time to /shrug
A time to /report, a time to walk away
A time to laugh if off, and a time for a /hug

…and whatever you think, is to never ever defend or excuse toxicity. Normalizing it will only entrench it and enable, embolden and encourage more folks to do it. It’s the last thing we really want.

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Utakata

Yeah…I know. My singing is bit off-key at times. :(

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zeko_rena

Execute order 66

Actually I don’t know, these days even if I get a random party invite I panic and log out

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Bullet Teeth

I just cannot find enough reason to give a shit about what people think of me, both IRL and in-game. Maybe I have complete control of my consciousness, or live by the Tyler Durden rule of “The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.”. Like, if you call me a filthy, degenerate, good-for-nothing, lowlife, Redneck, hillbilly, hailing from the most historically racist state in the country (Alabama), I’d still be waiting for an actual insult.

Now, I only play a small handful of “Social” games at this point in my life – GW2, Foxhole, and The Division (once in awhile), compared to when I was younger, with WoW, GW1, WAR, AoC, etc. So perhaps my “exposure” isn’t as grand as most in this particular instance. But I could not even begin to fathom why or how a random jizzrag from say, Milwaukee would make me, my “playstyle”, preferred class / character, or any aspect of my actual life feel inadequate or irrelevant simply by using in-game chat programs. Especially when you have block / ignore / report functions in almost every single game (with the exception of Destiny 2, I’m told).

***PS: @styopa said it best, IMO: “I’m baffled why people who are so injured by comments continue to pay attention to them.

/ignore exists in pretty much every game I’m aware of.”

Dilly Dilly!!

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Dystopiq

Don’t respond to toxicity with even more toxicity. Block and report.

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NeoWolf

^ This has always been my approach

Zariarn
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Zariarn

Simple. Don’t be a troll and/or don’t feed the trolls.

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Pandalulz

Be nice, be friendly, be social, be patient. I’ve doven into FFXIV further than ever before the last weekend, and noticed that every Duty Finder event I jump in, people are quick to say hello, they will answer questions, and if we all screw up, they were easygoing enough to try again, forgive, and move forward. And it made me stupid happy. I’m anti-social as hell and will be the first to admit that I avoid people like the plague. But this, this made me actually want to play with people again!
Which is to say, I can’t control other people’s toxicity, only my own.

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Serrenity

Playing WoW again and running random dungeons – it’s night and day with FFXIV. I’ve yet to have anyone in chat respond when I say hello and I’m a healer, so the tank just continues to chain pull through the entire instance, and f-all if I run out of mana. I’ve asked several times for them to slow down and I don’t even get an acknowledgement. Someone initiated a vote kick against me because s/he went below 50% health (it failed).

When I talked to my SO about it, he agreed. Said that in general, people in FFXIV just weren’t assholes — and we couldn’t say the same of WoW.

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Chosenxeno .

I spent a little time in FFXIV. The community was pretty friendly.

borghive
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borghive

This is toxicity is just a reflection the spirit of the world itself. Something always stuck with me from my religion classes from when I was kid and it was this verse in 2 Timothy from the bible.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” – New International Version

Sorry to bring religion into this, but these guys thousands of years ago were grappling with the same thing. I just think this is standard human behavior made worse because of the anonymity of the internet. Not to lose hope here, but I doubt things will ever get better. My best advice to people is just turn off your chat windows or take advantage of that ignore feature. Plenty of games have tools now for us to remove this toxic element from our play sessions.

Zariarn
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Zariarn

Nailed it!

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Robert Mann

We can only do what we can: Report, not engage in the toxic crud, and offer our support in turn. That, however, is like painting a target on ourselves in places like forums where there is often no private message feature to offer the support.

On the other hand, if we get government involved we will face more problems as they will inevitably take on things we don’t want them to. I think the appropriate middle ground point is making it such that people’s identity is known and can be traced as best possible, and that those who want to pursue legal action against behavior that is not acceptable are allowed to do so. This likely means that companies will need to take measures against some methods such as VPNs and all that, maybe even a secured login ID that is tied to driver’s licenses or some such.

Sadly, without such action the toxic idiocy will only continue to be a growing problem. People who are asshats only stop being asshats if it hurts to be an asshat.

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rafael12104

Hmm. I feel like MOP covers toxicity every couple of months or so, at least, and… rightly so.

I’m all for report an ignore in game, but it is not ok to ignore the problem. And it is the anonymity. It is also this incredible desire for some to be “known”. It makes them feel important, I guess.

Devs can’t police it all. BUT it is important that they also be seen as trying and holding players accountable. I’m not talking about the political diatribes in gen chat. Lol. No, I’m talking about the outright racism and shaming that goes on. Trolling at the worst level. And those that encourage stuff like that? They should feel the pain too.

Recently, I’ve seen a few situations managed quite effectively in a f2p game. Oh yes, ignore and report worked because the devs took action. I mean IP blocking action and other security measures. I don’t want to spill the beans, but in this case, even IP spoofing didn’t help the would be menace.

So, we should continue to talk about it. Devs do come here as we know. We should also not be the “silent majority” and as Miol points out, be vocal. Not necessarily in game, but in forums, here, and other places devs see as feedback loop.

As long as we don’t take it as “that’s the internet for ya” and devs see positive results in terms the health of their customer base, things do get better. I’ve seen it get better.

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MesaSage

Implement Snow Crash protocol.

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Utakata

…and have everyone break out in tongues? o.O

Loyheta
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Loyheta

Anonymity + competitive environment = toxic swamp full of degenerates

So many games are just a giant epeen measuring contest.

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Arktouros

Oh boy.

Look, if you want to solve an issue you generally need to get to the root cause of that issue. You can hack away at the symptoms all you want but fundamentally you haven’t addressed the core issue so it’s likely to just manifest more symptoms elsewhere.

What does that mean? It means even if you get developers to crack down on one type of toxic behavior it’s just going to manifest elsewhere. A great example is “leavers” in games. Player isn’t happy with their game so they abandon their team mid-match. Developer cracks down and gives leavers a penalty before they can join another game. So now the same player who wants to leave has no other option but to stay and pretty sure they won’t be happy for being forced to stay and you get a toxic player verbally berating his team for the rest of the match. You crack down on language, and it’ll just end up with a different form of toxic behavior. It never ends because you didn’t address the root cause.

More importantly, I’ve seen innumerable tools set to protect players from toxic behavior in turn be used to be toxic to other players. A classic example there is the vote kick. Sure you can vote kick out someone who’s being toxic and verbally abusing the group but you can also use group kick to steal groups and remove players.

So the reality is that players and developers lack the tools or the ability to address the root issue with toxic players. Therefore the only pragmatic solution is to give players the ability to filter out the noise.

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Arktouros

Also, literally the best feature ever (removed the more…naughty…filters):

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zeko_rena

Damn SWTOR needs that, most the chat is gold spammers these days with links

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Arktouros

Every MMO needs this.

Last year when the whole US election thing was blowing up for trolling all you had to do was enter 3 words and that all disappeared instantly. It’s easily the best thing I’ve ever seen. There’s no way to know or predict what toxic players will use. Are you going to ban people for having a “political” opinion? Oh boy that’s a can of worms. But you give players the ability to filter the social content they see and suddenly that all loses all it’s power.

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zeko_rena

You are correct, every MMO needs it, may I ask which MMO is that from?
SWTOR just jumped to my mind as when I last logged in most of the fleet chat was gold sellers :(

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Arktouros

Black Desert Online. I use a custom Font :)

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Ukrutor

Report-and-ignore is all we can be expected to do. You are not there to police the game, you are there to play it. You are not even equipped to do the policing. Leave the policing to those who are paid for it & geared for it.

Now, I realize this may sound like an ostrich approach, but think about it: either the objectionable behavior is against the rules, in which case it will be punished, or it isn’t against the rules, in which case the problem is likely you and your (over)sensitivity. Reporting and ignoring solves both: (1) it forwards the problem to an unbiased third party equipped to solve it, and (2) it shields you from having to perceive any more annoyance from that person.

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Leiloni

I agree, this really boils it down for people.

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Robert Mann

IF developers and the police dealt with this as a serious subject… I would agree. Sadly, all too often they don’t.

styopa
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styopa

I’m baffled why people who are so injured by comments continue to pay attention to them.

/ignore exists in pretty much every game I’m aware of.

Besides, this is the internet: nobody knows you’re a dog. The only reason anyone knows anything about you is because YOU PUT IT OUT THERE.
Why did you put it out there? Likely either you were signaling, ie expecting a reaction. That you don’t LIKE that reaction is your problem.

I find general chat gets tedious much of the time, so I turn it off. Nobody is harmed. If I want a general-chat I’m happy with, that’s why we have guilds.

I cannot insist the world conform to MY preferred standards of discourse. To assert some sort of universalization of MY beliefs would be absurd.

…and everyone should feel the same way, dammit.

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Robert Mann

Agreed that conforming to any one person is wrong, but there are reasonable standards of common interaction… and they should be enforced. Somebody says those things offline, they will get some level of enforcement (people tearing into them for being terrible, a punch to the face, the police involved, getting fired, etc.)

We can and should expect the same standard online. The only thing that happens, in the end, if we veterans all use ignore and leave general chat is that new incoming people suffer. That’s not right.

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Leiloni

Well every MMO has standards set by the company that runs it. They have a set of rules people need to abide by and you can report people for breaking those rules.

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Robert Mann

Now if they would just stick to those rules and enforce them when reported consistently!

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Jacobin GW

It seems to some people /ignore isn’t enough. They can’t stand the fact that people are trolling or offensive even though they can’t see it.

Its a bizarre stance to take and seems like a certain segment won’t be happy until a community is ‘Disneyfied’ and anything remotely controversial gone.

I wonder if these people were in favor of the adpocalypse on youtube.

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ensignedwards

“They can’t stand the fact that people are trolling or offensive even though they can’t see it.”

But it isn’t that how it should be? Cruelty shouldn’t have to be directed at you personally for it to bother you. Not if you have even a minimal level of human empathy.

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Jacobin GW

Sure it would be better to not happen, but a police state isn’t the answer.

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A Dad Supreme

I know people care. There are even people in that toxic thread shouting down the monsters.

Which ALWAYS stops the monsters every time or most of the time, right? No. All this does is add fuel to those monsters because now you are playing their game.

This is why you don’t feed into that kind of behavior and definitely don’t participate along with it by “shouting down” someone.

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Leiloni

Some people don’t understand the idea of “don’t feel the trolls” and “report and ignore”. As if shouting at them is going to make them stop (it’s not) and shouting will make everyone understand how bad the behavior is (we already do).

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Robert Mann

Eh, they react the once, but you don’t react back. You simply tell the player “Ignore the asses, whispered you a real response.” The trolls get more frustrated than anything, because not only did you negate the damage they were trying to do, but you also aren’t reacting to their continued attempts to bait.

Sadly, abandoning the chat completely just hangs other people out to dry.

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Leiloni

You don’t have to abandon chat. Just reply to people having different conversations. Ingore/report the troll but keep chat open and when people reply with other questions or comments, you can participate in those.

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Robert Mann

True, but there are a lot of people saying they leave chat completely too.

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Wolfyseyes

Frankly, I’m at a point where multiplayer games should have conveyance in-game and to shut down all forms of in-game communication, be it chat boxes or VoIP. It’s clear these wastes aren’t capable of empathy unless they’re nose-to-nose with someone about to blow up in their weasely little faces, so let’s shut it off entirely.

These little shitstains want to chat, they can form their own dickhead Discord and lul at each other all damned day.

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

I mostly play solo in mmos anymore, and turn off most chat channels. I can’t control toxic players in games, but I can control their access to me.

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Robert Mann

I specifically don’t block people (or unblock them after I report the behavior if no other method of reporting is available) so I can counter them in those channels. Sadly, there’s usually about 3-4 of the toxic people talking compared to those who simply say things like “Forget players A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H… they are just trolls and there’s plenty of nice people around. Sent you a note for an actual answer to your question!”

I know that’s not fun per se… but at the same time it is needed until the developers do take action.

I’ve also been known to work on custom channels where we have the power to remove toxic people in games that support that. It is very successful if you can control the moderators in game. More such things for communications, including developers noting popular channels with remove the toxic people for new members… might help to some extent.

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ensignedwards

This has been my solution. I no longer join guilds or attempt to make in-game friends, and I shut off public chat channels whenever I’m given the option. Frankly it makes the games much more enjoyable.

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Tandor

Solo play has a lot to commend it! That, coupled with very occasional use of the /ignore command is how I would deal with toxicity but to be honest I never encounter it in-game, only on the forums where I leave it to the mods to sort out. There’s also a tip from quite a lot of American players I’ve chatted to over the years and that is to play on a European server.

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ensignedwards

If I had a point in the ill-thought out angry late night rant that led to this article (big “if”), it’s that we need to start lobbying developers to take the problem seriously. There’s a limit to what we as players can do ourselves. Combating toxicity needs to as much a priority as designing new content. It needs to be viewed as an essential part of building an MMO.

Now, I don’t know exactly what developers could do to solve the problem, but I’m sure there are people out there who have good ideas. Make like Riot and hire and some actual sociological experts.

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Leiloni

We can talk all we want about what players or companies can do, but at the end of the day neither of those groups are the problem or the solution. Things going on in a person’s real life are both the problem and the solution.

Sure people on the internet can make an already troubled person feel worse and that’s not good, but they can’t be blamed for a person’s already fragile mental state. We need to ensure people get the help they need in real life, by real people – and trained professionals. There’s no way to know via talking to someone online if they truly need help, and there’s no way to know before you open your mouth how someone will react to something.

We need to stop blaming people for things they did or didn’t do or say, and instead focus on getting people offline and into the doctor’s offices or hospitals that they need. Too many people feel like online communities are their safe haven to hide from real life, but we cannot encourage that behavior. Hiding from problems is never a good idea, no matter the problem.

We need to try our best to make sure people are merely using games as a healthy, fun, relaxing break from our busy days – like we’d treat our favorite tv show – and make sure those that have problems are trying to deal with them. Whether that be social anxiety or serious depression, we cannot allow them to hide on the internet because the internet will never be the solution.

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A Dad Supreme

We can talk all we want about what players or companies can do, but at the end of the day neither of those groups are the problem or the solution. Things going on in a person’s real life are both the problem and the solution.

Exactly.
The vast majority of players aren’t psychologists or social workers. A troll generally will not tell you what their particular problem is when they are being toxic.

An individual (as the question is posed) has no idea what the “problem” truly is so how can they even begin to solve something as an individual that they can’t find the origin of?

Even if they asked a toxic person directly “What’s your problem?”, the person may lie so you have no way of knowing if they are really telling you the truth.

All you can do is ignore/block/report. Even a trained mental health pro will tell you not to try and diagnose someone’s problems that you’ve never met.

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gelfred

Better articulated than what I typed previously, well said.

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Leontes

While I tend to agree where troubled people are concerned (this is no challenge to your sentiment :) ), in general being an ass does not necessarily indicate a disorder of any kind. And also, any kind of disorder is no excuse for being an ass.

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Leiloni

No I’m not saying being an ass means someone has a disorder, nor does that mean the person who thinks they’re an ass has a disorder, either. But neither of those people are going to be led down a dangerous path for their encounter, either.

The article is discussing someone who took their own life, so the topic is about people who do have real problems. I’m honestly not terribly concerned about healthy individuals who merely dislike each other online. That’s a minor concern.

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Robert Mann

Well, that’s where you focused. And I agree with your points there. Many of us, however, are focused instead on the behavior of the toxic people. Your own comments on many other segments of the thread focus on your perspective instead of on the one they are discussing…

So maybe some noting of that elsewhere would be appropriate?

*Also, I responded to you in some places based on the topic being from the other view, so take all that with a grain of salt in that we are actually approaching different topics, it seems!*

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Leontes

Aaah, ok. In that case, I agree. Sorry for misunderstanding your point, I probably should have taken more time reading carefully.

Leontes
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Leontes

… and I guess I need to add – emphatically – that being annoyed by asshats does certainly not indicate a disorder of any kind…

(edit: I obviously misunderstood L.’s point and a major reason the article above was written in the first place – but I won’t delete my coments for the sake of discussion ;) )

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Robert Mann

Aye, for those who suffer so much from this… there are other problems they need to address.

That said, I agree that acting as an ass has no excuse, and that we should have methods to pursue appropriate punishment for those people. Simply put, bad behavior only stops under the condition a person wants to change. There are only two reasons that people want to change it. Self-improvement, and when it hurts too much to engage in that bad behavior.

The first is ideal, and should always be something we all promote. The second… is there for those people who will never enter that first condition no matter how much evidence that it is better.

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Leontes

Every now and then, there’s that “enough is enough”-moment, where I decide to stop playing silently along, but give respective temporarily-not-quite-humans a rather pointed piece of my mind. Sometimes it backfires, but usually others step up and the discussion soon shows that I’m not the only one pissed.

It invariably costs time, so I don’t bite that often – but usually most people involved feel a little better, and less disconnected to fellow players, that haven’t abandoned their ideals of shared fun and common decency yet.

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miol

Stop being the “silent majority”!

I would argue the bare minimum is:

– Call out publicly the specific toxic behavior (without going into it) and then report!

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Suikoden

/Ignoring does help the problem, but what you need to do is not just /ignore someone trying to troll you, EVERYONE needs to /ignore the toxic person as soon as he/she shows that they are a troll. As soon as I see someone being toxic to anyone, I /ignore that person right away. It works pretty well.

Here’s the thing though. I am an adult, and it’s very easy for me to recognize a troll and to put them on /ignore instantly, before any response is made, and go on with my day. But I’ve had a lifetime of experiences, with nothing to prove to an angry young person that wants to try and tear someone down to make themselves feel better. But I think of all the younger people, and it’s not so easy for them to just ignore people. Especially when the troll is shouting in global about them. They feel like they need to defend themselves, which never helps when dealing with a troll.

It’s so incredibly sad that a kid could get torn down, or ridiculed, to the point that they felt like they can’t continue living. Young people tend to see their world small, and that’s okay, it’s part of growing up. When I was young and got made fun of at school, I was able to come home and escape from it. There was no twitter, or facebook, or snapchat, or forums, or MMO in which people could continue the harassment. I don’t know if I’d be able to handle 24/7 bullying at that age either. If anything, I would hope an MMO could offer an escape for the child, perhaps a healthy community of friends that like them for them. But sadly, the bullies have to be present in that world as well. So of course I could see a kid getting driven to kill themselves. It’s an utter shame and I wish MMOs were able to keep detailed records of that which could be used to prosecute these bullies to the full extent of the law.

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Robert Mann

I’m personally a fan of automatic chat logs, but the problem is proving who did the bad behavior. Sadly, accounts are usually linked to emails which are often used solely for game signups… so there’s reasonable doubt a person was involved in the behavior.

We need reform to how we access the internet, and how anonymous we are on it… but without allowing the government too much power. Doing that, well, it requires some measures to curb the current state of government bloat and power creep.

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Stropp

One of the downside of going away from subscriptions is that a sub links an account or accounts to a credit card. That’s fairly easy to track.

Free to play games have made it significantly harder to track bad behaviour. Is this why they seem more toxic?

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Robert Mann

Maybe, and maybe because there is that much less invested money for X days that people will lose if they get banned.

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Stropp

Certainly I think the lower cost of losing an account plays a part. People don’t really equate time with money.

But I reckon it’s also because it is so easy to create throwaway accounts for trolling. Create a new gmail or whatever account, create a game account linked to it, and start harassing other players. Who cares if it gets banned.

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Toy Clown

I’ve allowed online toxicity to chase me away from many things I’ve enjoyed, and over the course of the past year I’ve been trying to change that around. It’s helped quite a bit toward acquiring peace-of-mind around others, but I still go out of my way to avoid certain types of games due to high levels of toxicity – such as games that have PvP as a main feature, and to a large degree, raiding as a main feature. Both of those activities, in my experiences, spurn the highest levels of toxic behaviors. I tend to rarely join guilds anymore, also due to bad behaviors and having them pushed in my face. I refuse to become like the people in these toxic online environments.

My peace-of-mind comes down to this: If I don’t like something, I have three ways I can approach it:

1. Can I change the situation?
2. If I can’t change it, can I accept it?
3. If I can’t accept it, then I need to remove myself.

I’m a firm believer that most people set out to hurt because they’ve been hurt and bullied by someone in turn, and it’s the only way they know how to deal with it. It’s far easier to blow emotions through anger and bullying than it is to look inside and ask oneself why they are the way they are. Most people can’t deal with that sort of inner reflection and end up mirroring the madness of society. So for my own peace of mind, I have stopped becoming attached to games and will leave them according to the above.

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Knox Harrington

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Melissa McDonald

By reporting and ignoring. Trolls turn to stone when the sunlight hits them.

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borghive

Love the Lotr reference there. :)

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Jacobin GW

I dont get why /ignore is ‘antique’. You have complete power to remove anyone you want unlike like any real world bullying situation.

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Paragon Lost

Because that’s never really worked. It silences them for you and you only. They carry on often and working the crowd. I’ve yet to see this work well in a quarter century plus online. Game developers need to take a more active role in community interactions and policy enforcement like they used to do in the earlier days.

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Jacobin GW

The devs themselves are hardly honest brokers due to toxic microtrasactions, loot boxes and casino schemes forcing players into $/second monetization tactics.

Bullying in gaming is a tiny issue compared to social media or real life since you have complete control over who you interact with.

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Paragon Lost

(throws hands up) You’re right, what do I know after almost thirty years online in nonstop social online gaming situations. Or the more than forty years of tabletop gaming or just the living all around the world and living life for almost six decades.

Tired of debating common sense, the last decade has been been a real shit show in this country and I’m just tired of debating. Waste of time, frustration and bandwidth.

Use the Ignore Feature, it works folks. /s

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Leiloni

But it solves the problem for you if you can no longer see them, and isn’t that what matters? If other people are bothered by it, they can ignore them as well. But the first step is removing what’s bothering you, and since that works, I don’t know why you wouldn’t encourage people to do that. It’s easy and effective.

Worrying about what other people are doing is excess stress you can’t afford to worry about if you’re already agitated. The way to peace is to allow yourself to not care about things that are not in your control. The one thing that’s in your control is the ignore button, so use it and move on.

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Paragon Lost

Because after almost thirty years online I’ve yet to see it be really successful. Even though you ignore the one person you still end up often dealing with it in a continual on going basis. I don’t get why you and others refuse to understand this.

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Leiloni

Because my behavior online for the past 20 or so years the internet has existed has allowed me to avoid ongoing problems. Just because your actions cause you to continually encounter problems, that doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions you haven’t tried. When people like me give that sort of advice, it’s because we’ve lived the results.

Often if you encounter ongoing problems with various people, you are often the one causing it without realizing it yourself. Your own behavior is as important as others, and just because you didn’t mean to do something, that doesn’t mean you didn’t accidentally cause negative responses in others.

If problems are ongoing, perhaps you need to remove yourself from the situation until you can figure out what’s causing it. I’m not trying to be mean, just trying to be helpful, here. Your problems won’t ever be solved by blaming other people. Even if people are being mean, you can’t force everyone to do what you like. You can only change yourself.

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Robert Mann

Sounds like a great way to remove oneself from online gaming, except in private servers with people you know and can hold accountable… XD

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Schmidt.Capela

That, and how effective putting someone on ignore is, which is a reflection of the kind of MMO.

I mean, putting someone on ignore is a damn good solution in a PvE-only game that took steps to prevent players from being able to hinder each other; from the player’s point of view it’s almost as if he had banned the offender. In a PvE game where players can still hinder each other or, worse yet, in a game with non-consensual PvP, though, ignoring is often useless.

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Paragon Lost

You read into that. I never said that I had problems, ongoing or otherwise. It’s actually what I’ve just observed over that time. I’ve been noting that I’m tilting at windmills far too often anymore on forums, I need to just stop.

Life is too short and I’ve lived an interesting and full one and though the path ahead is much, much shorter than the path behind me I need to just focus on just having fun. Caring is just too draining anymore and feels far too often like a Sisyphean sort of activity.

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Hirku

But if everybody would just use the option for themselves and themselves only, then there isn’t a crowd to work anymore and the problem goes away.

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Paragon Lost

And if wishes were horses… :) I agree but the big “if” there… (sigh)

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gelfred

Well if you know people who have such mental problems as to take online criticism to any serious level (though targeted harrasment is different), then the best thing to do would be to advise them to seek help and stop playing for a time. Though I feel many people would not take this well.

Trying to combat ‘toxicity’ rather than aiding fellow players who are weak to such is not the right way to make a better place.

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Leiloni

Agreed. The most basic medical advice for starting to solve any problem is “If it hurts, don’t do it”. The same applies here. Avoid the problem to avoid making it worse, and then head directly to the doctor where you can receive professional advice on how to move forward.

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A Dad Supreme

How can individual MMO players combat toxicity?

Rule #1:

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Utakata

Feeding pigeons though…can be relaxing for some! O.o

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Robert Mann

Sadly, in all too many cases ignoring trolls in online games just means the find you. Outside instanced content, they hound your every step, doing anything and everything to make you suffer. I’ve seen the poor player who had 15 trolls 50 levels above them, killing every spawn in an area to prevent quest progress. The person moved, so did they.

Ignoring bad behavior doesn’t stop it, although it may minimize a little of it. Sadly, most people who engage in this crud won’t stop until they are given a proverbial punch to the nose. Not that I want violence… but until some system of punishment exists against their behavior they will simply find ways to make life painful for everyone else.

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Armsbend

Even though true it is kind of the same as victim blaming.

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Tobasco da Gama

Bullshit. Unadulterated bullshit.

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Shiro Madoushi

The problem with trying to “solve” this problem is a difference in how people definite “toxicity” in games. I know one guy (with clear mental health issues) that says anyone who kills him in a PvP game is “toxic” and a cheater because there’s no way he lost fair and square. Anyone that simply says “you suck” he calls toxic. The same goes for a lot of people I have met in these games. They all have extreme views on what toxic behavior really is. Some of them even believe people with differing opinions are toxic.

I feel like the game companies should only be responsible for providing decent tools for blocking unwanted social interaction. It should allow you to block an entire account. If someone intentionally tries to circumvent that with alt accounts, they should be subject to a ban. Otherwise the company should stay out of it.

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BalsBigBrother

On a personal level all I think you can do is be the person you want to meet and set the example. What your example is depends on who you are I guess for good or bad.

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gelfred

Well, also you can not play with people you dont deem up to standard.

But yeah, thats about it. In a limited player pool this can ostracise people enough that most behave.

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Robert Mann

Sadly, the bad behavior is common enough that such a tactic will fail. The idea of consequences, however, can indeed have an impact.

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Jeff

We have been talking about this in my ESO guild which has a couple ZoS Employees and a couple well known streamers, most of us agree that a big issues is GM’s and forum mods ignoring the trolls and toxic people who continually harass others.

There is no consequence management flat out tells employees to not get drawn into what they consider a soap opera. Companies like Square Enix and to a lesser extent Arenanet have much more strict rules about player and forum behavior and have no problem banning accounts.

I think though this atmosphere will continue as long as the companies aren’t held accountable. The first time they are sued then it will change.

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Armsbend

Become that in which you hate. Become so toxic that you consume the entire game…AND THEN THE WORLD.

Or just take a break and grab a latte. It isn’t anyone’s job to fix a game but the developers themselves.

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Jon Wax

aright so ill bite:

you guys keep doing this. you keep acting like this is one sided. like folks are just randomly selecting people to bother. there are “usually” 2 sides to all stories. you gotta ask yourself, what was it YOU were doing that pissed these cats off so much they harass you for it? if it’s just random garbage being talked, ignore it. you esteem them with the scale of your response. if they aren’t important to you, then why are you feeding in and engaging them. but ill say it again: “criticism is not toxicity”. if you are being called out for doing poorly or you are anchoring your team with your incompetence, being called out for that is not toxicity. it’s just criticism. now, if you respond in the wrong way and catch hell for it, that’s gonna be on you. how YOU handle criticism is not on the other player. maybe folks might need a lesson in how to deliver the idea, but the sentiment is legit. frustration from being anchored to incompetent players with no real ability to fix the situation? yeah… there will be drama from that.

interesting how you put the weight on clans to deal with the issue. as i said in the last big post… we HAD the tools to deal with this stuff. you guys complained so much about clans being in the spotlight and casual solos being shunted that they took away those tools. Vote To Kick worked up until you guys had it removed. now you have no tools to deal. that’s just pretty much the start and stop of it.

i’ve never been anonymous online. never. pride myself on that. i own all my crap. maybe you guys should learn to own yours. stop being anonymous. start a trend.

in the end, it’s the same thing from last time:

aggressive players are only as toxic as the rest are corrosive.

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Robert Mann

Vote to kick was massively abused. There were groups that formed up simply to vote kick people in order to troll.

Yes, there are some cases where there is bad behavior on both sides. However, if you think this isn’t an unprovoked problem a lot of the time I have to wonder how long you have been on the internet. Because the sunshine and rainbows where people don’t do this unless given reason lasts about an hour, max.

Again, you have a point in a very small segment of these cases. Great. Those cases won’t result in problems for the people who are just responding to such stimuli, given a fix, because that stimuli will be available to note as well. Meanwhile, there’s a massive problem of unprovoked nastiness that can and should be addressed…

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Sunken Visions

Bad games encourage toxic behavior, which attracts toxic players. Even if you prevent negative behavior, you cannot promote positive behavior with a game that doesn’t reward it.

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Dušan Frolkovič

How would you reward positive behavior in a way it would not get instantly abused and gamed?

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Sally Bowls

Would that be so bad?

If the alternative is people getting undue rewards by being excessively nice/kind versus people being toxic, then I would prefer the former.

And just like the article here on Overwatch automated compliments, what if people went around saying thank you for pixel rewards – perhaps they might someday be in the habit of coplementing and polite.

We have Skinner boxes in MMOs. Would Skinner complements be so bad?

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Dušan Frolkovič

Except they would be nice for purposes of the reward system, and just go back to being toxic in whatever communication system the game uses.

E.G. the Good Game button in Gwent, just because everybody presses it, does not mean they will not spam in-game to annoy you.

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Minimalistway

Sometimes talking in defense of other people work, someone asking a question in general chat (that is a mistake!) and gets a horde of trolling answers, it helps to provide “shame on you people” then add your helpful answer.

Sometimes reminding people “it is just a game, chill” is a good way to deal with elitist angry player who could not believe he is dealing with such “noobs”.

If this did not work, whisper the victim with kind words, suggest that they /ignore and /leave the channels.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

As Colin said below, link accounts to Social security numbers. It will greatly reduce gold spammers, trolls, hackers, and people botting. A ban then actually equals a permaban unless you have friends who trust you with their social security number so you can make a new account.

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Stropp

Aside from the security risks in providing an SSN to a developer. Even if they are hackproof, doesn’t mean they are ethical and won’t sell it to the bad guys. Not everyone has an SSN.

In the US, sure, but here in Australia we don’t have a national ID number. The closest thing we have is a Medicare number for our public health system. There was a proposal back many years ago for a national ID card, but that was howled down.

Point is, how does requiring an SSN work when most countries in the world don’t use that system or don’t have one at all?

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Robert Mann

Rather than SSN, let’s use something else. There’s no reason to link our financial security to an ID system that doesn’t need our financial data to determine if a loan should be made.

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Leiloni

No offense but that would lead to serious security issues. There’s no way I’m letting a game company have my social security #.

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Melissa McDonald

Yeah I think you’re missing the point here. There is no reason I should give ShadyAssGames my SS#, regardless of what “Dark web” or “seedy underbelly” it might already be found in, this is a terrible idea.

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Armsbend

Huh? If a video game ever required a SS# not only would I not ever sign up but I’d actively campaign to have it shut down. You’d trust the bozos at a video game company to protect your SS#? That is crazy. Most developers are security idiots.

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Robert Mann

Certainly not SSN. I’d have an industry related ID number, along with recourse to petition via ISP IP records that you were not the one at fault.

SSN needs a massive overhaul anyway, though, that we won’t see… because our government is terrible at fixing anything.

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pepperzine

Chances are your SSN is already floating around the dark web. With technology the way it is now, the only real way to be safe is to diligently monitor your credit report.

Even the highest security controls are being breached on the daily, so really if you ever trusted any entity with your private info you need to be actively watching it regardless.

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OneEyeRed

That doesn’t protect you from identity theft. I am unable to discuss my wife’s career, however, based on Fed and FBI information, the only way to really protect yourself is to put a freeze on your credit. Even then, it is possible for someone to access you, your kids, etc. SS # in the future if they already acquired it.

The whole Equifax thing is a joke and these same companies are also the ones holding your “monitoring” services. Freeze, freeze, freeze!

On the note at hand, (truly no offense to you pepperzine personally) this initial comment of yours leaves me speechless more then the last 30 years of gaming forums has. Please feel free to hand out your SS # number to everyone. Hell, might as well post it here because it will have the same effect.

Any company requiring you to give out your SS# for entertainment can take a flying leap and that will never happen in my home.

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Armsbend

I know but I am certainly not going to give it away to a group a fruitbats who are just trying to get me to buy lockboxes all the time. No way, no how. At least Equifax can be held accountable in some fashion to Congress.

The only company I’d trust with my personal info is Blizzard and that is a huge stretch for me. Everyone else are manned by complete nincompoops or might as well be thieves themselves.

2cents

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Hirku

I don’t trust any game company, even Blizzard. A throwaway email address and the copy/pasting of game time codes is the only info I’m ever going to provide.

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Armsbend

I wouldn’t really trust Blizzard either – but they are the closest company I can think of that is run by real adults who care about things like their customer’s security and who populates their games.

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pepperzine

Fair enough :) though I doubt we’ll see any real accountability when it comes to equifax either.

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Armsbend

Same – but only because the US government really doesn’t understand what technology is. I’m hoping things get better once the Boomers die. Sorry Boomers, love you guys…sometimes.

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Robert Mann

I disagree on why, I think it is because the rich donors are more important to them than the people of the nation or the costs to the government.

Personal pockets are all they really care about, in the majority.

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Melissa McDonald

On this you are quite correct.

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Denice J. Cook

You wrongly assume that people would give out their true social security #s. Those with bad intent would most certainly use fake #s, and really, nobody in their right mind would hand out their social security # to strangers, never mind allow publishers and developers to handle them.

Look at the PSN hack from a few years back. Look how many times MMO players’ accounts are hacked every single day! Security doesn’t get much worse than in the gaming industry.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Have you tried making an account for a Korean mmorpg before? Put in a random ssn and report back to us how well that worked out.

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Robert Mann

Yep, a couple fake attempts and they will start doing IP traces and blocking you. Or so I hear. I’ve never had interest in trying to learn that much Korean!

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rafael12104

Very true, Pepperzine. Amazing how different it is in that respect.

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Colin Goodwin

I like South Korea’s system (cyber defamation law) of linking all of your online gaming to your actual SSN so that way if you are caught cheating, or spewing bile into your games you’re banned for good, from all games that require the authentication. Their system keeps the SSN-Screenname relationship secure, through a government entity, ensuring no doxxing by triggered trolls (unless you happen to trigger a legitimate hacker who is ready to risk a federal charge just to “win” an internet argument) because people don’t even have to report for them to take action against an SSN and all it’s associated game accounts. The second people have to give up the anonymity they hide behind currently I guarantee behaviors will change, because then they actually have to be accountable for their actions in the real world.
This sounds pretty heavy handed but honestly, gaming communities have proven again and again that they will continue vile behavior because they suffer no real consequences for their actions, and until they do no amount of good will, and hopes to appeal to the masses’ collective “sense of right and wrong” is going to change our current cesspool of lowlifes and scumbags.

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Leiloni

And that move gave the country serious identity theft issues.

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Robert Mann

That problem is an already existing thing, which already was a problem there, and which requires it’s own action from government. As much as I say that, I don’t really want a government center for this.

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BalsBigBrother

So you do know games and gaming are world wide entities these days. How would that work on a world wide basis with all the different systems of social security, id and so on that are in place or not in some cases.

Should every country have a gaming register that you sign up to before you can access games, who manages it and regulates it on a world wide basis to ensure fair and equitable access. How would it even work in that context?

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Robert Mann

It would be upon each publisher, and nation, to have a system. Just like everything else. If people from a nation are being a problem online for people of a nation, then that’s where diplomacy comes in, requiring action of the other nation of just blocking any tracerts that link back to their nation.

That, or a full on industry that works together across the globe, and if you step outside what they approve? Such a group could easily, for example, do similar things like blocking access in a manner much like China (just in reverse.)

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starbuck1771

However the same could be said about the victims. Require a psychiatric evaluation to get online. The fact is those who commit suicide are suffering from mental disorders.

Trolls and bullies while yes are not good are basically the scapegoats for the deeper issue which is why if this person had issues this bad why were they in this toxic place to begin with. If you can’t control these issues in the real world how do you think you can control it online? Toxicity has been around for centuries and that’s not about to change like it or not.

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Hirku

Their system keeps the SSN-Screenname relationship secure

Hahahahahahahaha…good one. I’ll take the trolling and toxicity any day over the real life damage that happens when that “secure” system inevitably gets compromised.

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Paragon Lost

Indeed. What a lousy idea that Colin and Jon Wax and others are floating around. There is a damn good reason I and my wife had our credit frozen and don’t use my real name with my email, posting etc. We unfreeze it for big purchases and then refreeze it.

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Hirku

Yeah, the eagerness to put out a fire with napalm is staggering.

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Paragon Lost

David Bowie’s song “Cat People – Putting Out Fire” just came to my mind. The lyric “putting out fire with gasoline.”. Hehe

pepperzine
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pepperzine

It’s not like a large percentage of social security numbers in the US aren’t already floating around anway *cough*equifax*cough*

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Robert Mann

The real problem is that our government isn’t taking any action on it. When the most recent library card I got came with a theft pin (kinda like the 3-4 numbers on the back of a debit/credit card that can be changed to stop thieves from using it)…

Yep, the library card has better security than the SSN.

Reader
Hirku

So because of that it’s okay to increase the risk of damage even more?

Reader
starbuck1771

Correct which means it wouldn’t work to start with.

pepperzine
Reader
pepperzine

I would assume most people purchasing private information over the dark web aren’t planning on using that information to create an mmorpg account 😂 😆 😂

Reader
starbuck1771

You do realize that’s what gold sellers and the such are known for right? Not purchasing but hacking your information. Need I remind you of the Sony hacking of 2011.

Reader
starbuck1771

Bree you wrote: some days it feels like we’re getting nowhere.

The reason for that is because we are getting nowhere. The toxicity has been around even longer then the internet. The fact is the world is a tough place and it always will be and the only answer to the issue is to develop tough skin. I have dealt with mental disorders most of my life personally. Support groups can sometimes help however in life there is no safe place. As someone who attempted suicide in 2000 I would know what pressure can lead to on the internet and in the real world.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Js.

What do you do yourself, beyond the bare minimum of report-and-ignore?

Well, I “report and ignore”, of course. Or I simply stop playing the game which encourages such behavior by design (like most “tiny team class-based” games such as Overwatch and every MOBA). What else am I supposed to be doing?

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