BlizzCon gamers react to, reflect on Overwatch toxicity

Toxicity in online gaming is easily one of the biggest stories of the year, particularly in Overwatch, where Blizzard has been focusing its anti-toxicity efforts with such persistence that it’s almost become silly. And yet here we are, with the problem unsolved and a whole lot of people sure it’s unsolveable or content to direct victims to just “ignore” it.

So how bad is it? Eurogamer collected clips of female gamers and streamers being harassed via voice chat in Overwatch and toted them to BlizzCon, showing them to attendees who agreed to be interviewed about their reactions and their own experiences. Forewarning if you’re going to watch the video below: The clips are awful and will make you angry once you realize they aren’t parody. The worst part? Most of the men and women Eurogamer interviewed basically all have that same stony look on their faces that I currently have on mine because it’s par for the course – and it’s just the misogyny brand of toxicity. The video doesn’t even touch on racism or homophobia.

“That sounds about right,” said one woman after watching the clips. “That’s pretty common.”

“It’s sad, but that’s what happens to pretty much every every female who plays a video game and has their voice up,” another points out.

“I’ve learned over the years just not to talk in games and just be kinda silent,” says a third.

“I would love [more than] anything for people to look at Overwatch and think about the amazing talent and the amazing game that we all have to play,” remarks a dude clearly stunned by the clips, “but unfortunately this attitude really takes away from what is a beautiful and inspiring game.”

In one of the clips, another player on the team calls out harassers and tells them to knock it off, but attendees point out that while that’s great, it’s uncommon. “I get that you don’t want to start a huge argument in there, but I also feel like if no one says anything, it just feels like, yeah, it’s totally cool to lay into her like that,” explains an interviewee, who gives a few examples of how she’d like to see gamers stick up for each other to fight toxicity in the moment itself – in fact, multiple people argued that men have a unique ability to influence toxicity in other men.

“If they’re not confronted about it, they’re just going to keep doing it,” one man says. “They’re going to assume it’s OK.”

The takeaway?

“We have to police ourselves. We have to make sure that we are the community that we want to be.”

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104 Comments on "BlizzCon gamers react to, reflect on Overwatch toxicity"

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possum440 .
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possum440 .

And gamer’s think that “E-sports will become a thing” lol. No company will touch esports as long as the possibility of anything happening that would damage their brand.

Gaming in esports is a lost cause. You may have regional meetings that call themselves world whatever, but when it comes right down to it the only people that tolerate the way gamer’s act are the game companies, since they never seem to do anything about it.

Here is a solution that will work. With the report and a finding that a player has committed one of these offenses, have a police report automatically generated and ready to turn in once the game company verifies the incident.

Then you will see some changes in their mouths. until then, banning and slaps on the wrist will do nothing.

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BDJ

They are talking about eSports being added to the Olympics. ESPN covers eSports. eSports is on TV. Injustice 2, CSGO, Street Fighter V, all on live TV. Its bigger now than it ever has been. Your opinion is no company will touch eSports. There have been , what , 3-4 NBA teams that have bought into the League of Legends LCS. There are other major companies that have bought into eSports as well.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting code. There is no reason for the personal attacks.))

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Jay Madison

Aaaand this is why I don’t frequent Competitive games and I don’t talk to randoms in the games I do play.

Anonymity makes people bold enough to be total assholes.

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Brinto Sfj

Been playing online games and mmo for nearly a decade. I have suffered so many insults over the years, it is impossible to count how many times. There were many times i let insults bother me but i did something about it in game, like ganking them or using alt to join their raid and ruin it for them etc. there was a time when i was in a guild for 6 months and they found out i was from a country where majority are muslim, they kicked me from guild, tried to harass me in game on every chance they got, despite knowing i don’t believe in god or religion, my “crime” was that i live in a country full of muslims. Then there was another time when a group of people in swtor found out i did not believe in god or religion and proceeded to annoy me with their religious crap every time i was online, going as far as to demand that i repent for my sins. Yeah… there have been lots of situation like that in nearly a decade of my online gaming life, but i never ever let that effect me in day to day life. why? because i know instinctively that humans are shit. we don’t live in a fairy tale where everyone is inherently good, in fact it is opposite. People like me get hacked to death in my country for being a “blasphemer”, we are social destitute, even my own family hates me for being a “secular pig”, i am barely “tolerated” because my family have social status to maintain. You waste your time on these nonsense, meaning you are just allowing bunch of nobodies have power over your lives. They are nobodies who have no power over their lives, they can’t achieve anything, they have nothing, so they resort to these tactics to find some meaning in their pitiful existence by getting attention from people who get easily offended. Stop giving these people the time of day they seek.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

Kudos to you. I cherish freedom from religion but it’s easy to take it for granted. Your convictions require genuine courage.

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Joe Seabreeze

Don’t they have a way to vote someone out of the game? If I heard someone treating a woman like that, I’d instantly boot his ass.

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Jeffrey Meade

This shit happens in every competitive game I have ever played for many years. Its what happens when idiots can hide behind their computers with no fear of being held accountable. I can’t stand this behavior and as I grow older I have less interest in playing games with stupid amounts of this problem. The worst I ever saw was probably Shadowbane years ago. The harassment and sadistic glee some players had in terrorizing other players was truly insane.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Who’d thought that Overwatch is serious business?

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Couldn’t post this at work but…

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Melissa McDonald

Yeah, it happens, and it’s happened to me. But I refuse to blame “men” or “toxic masculinity” or any of the feminist buzzwords we are hearing frequently these days.

Probably because I have a good, honorable, loving father. So much of who we are and how we act goes back to our home life and our parents.

The problem isn’t Men. Some men are paladins and would give their lives for you. Some people are just assholes. Women too. I know some extremely boorish women.

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Nathan Aldana

..speaking as a dude here, but like. yes. Some men are great. That doesnt fucking excuse the rest of my gender for their behavior just because you want to pretend theres not really a problem and want to believe in whatever propaganda you want to believe about feminists being some rabid death cult.

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Utakata

#BothSides

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Oh those feminists!

Toxic masculinity sounds exactly like what it is.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_masculinity

And yes, some people are just assholes, men or women or non-binary, but that doesn’t mean they get a pass.

It’s also happened to me and it went beyond being ‘just an asshole’ into the realm of intentional bullying and abuse. Using multiple accounts to send me nasty and violent threats despite each time being blocked and reported. One of the many reasons I have changed my position on Free to play gaming.

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Veldan

Lol. I guess it’s because I’ve been around so long that I really am not affected by people saying such crap over the internet, but I find some of it funny. If someone got really mad and went “go back the the kitchen you dumb **** you suck at playing video games blah blah” I’d totally mess with them and see if they got more mad. (I’m not a girl, just saying)

I can see how this is a problem if it happens all the time though, but then again, it’s no surprise at all. Random gamers in a mainstream PvP game + voice chat = horrible idea. I would never want to be in voice chat with randoms.

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Ariel Domen

I watched the vid where the girl gets all those sexist insults. I don’t know how she can play like that. I remember when I was first insulted like that in a MMO, but it was in chat. It really made me sad. There were 6 other players in the match reading it and no one spoke against the sexist jerk, who kept insulting me a lot with horrible phrases; so I ended up assuming that 99% of the players are that disgusting.
I learnt that I should never clarify that I’m a girl when someone says “him” because they think I’m trying to get attention by clarifying that.
I want to believe that by now I got used to it and can ignore it, but I would never never use mic with randoms. It may sound like a coward but one can’t simply play like that.

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mysecretid

It’s not cowardly at all. Wanting to have a good time when playing a game is sort of the point of playing a game.

For whatever it’s worth, I’m a dude, and I turn off all general chat in online games (I leave Local on, in case I want to hear someone immediately next to me in-game, but that’s it) and I have a PS4, but I never plug in a headset when I’m in multiplayer.

Like you, I play to have fun, not to deal with other people’s drama and/or psychoses. If they don’t like that I can’t hear them, well, what is it that they always like to say? They can “deal with it”.

So, no, you’re not a coward — you’re taking action to ensure that your games are fun to play when you play them — and that’s the point.

Be well,

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Jeff

Everyone needs to watch that, it will make you rethink your position if you are on the other side.

I know that it was a huge topic on the floor at Blizzcon last weekend not only with overwatch but with WoW and Diablo and their forums and /trade chat communities……I’m confident that something huge is about to happen, I never seen the floor folks that engaged on anything.

Also if you ever want to see the best of the Blizzard community, you need to go to a Blizzcon, because it’s amazing

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rafael12104

There is no excuse for it. I’ve seen this happen to women. And btw, this is not an Overwatch exclusive. It is down right abuse in my eyes and across the board.

But let’s say your voice is distinctive. A bit feminine despite your male gender. Things get worse. Much worse. And no, it doesn’t matter then what your sexual preference is.

It doesn’t end there. You see, men face this issue too. That’s right. And while many argue that it is not to the same degree, I suggest they to look again. I’ve seen guys treating other guys with the same dreadful harassment and abuse. But in those cases, it is chalked up as trash talk and easily dismissed.

Nope, one more instance. I’ve seen women playing OW do the same thing to men. Yes, it’s true. It’s on youtube if you care to look. A female shaming a player for game play in such and abhorrent way that it is hard to watch. A youtuber streaming no less. People laughed at it and told the guy to “grow some new ones”. Well it’s not funny and not new either.

Net net, toxicity is not gender exclusive. It is a pervasive problem. And the answer is not to bury our heads in the sand. “That’s the internet for ya” does not apply anymore.

So, for starters how about looking at Permateam’s answer to this. If nothing else, it is a way to weed out the trolls, racists and shamers. I’ve talked to Permateam and I think they may be on to something. And it was MOP who brought this forward to us.

Permateam aims to reduce toxicity by avoiding random grouping in games like Overwatch and League of Legends

We need to stop allowing this to happen to anyone. There are, in fact, ways of doing it.

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Erik Heinze-Milne

Thank you! So many people act like it’s a gender specific issue and it absolutely is NOT. None of it is acceptable.

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Steve Fury

To be completely honest it’s hard for me to care about it anymore. I simply hit the mute button and call it a day. I’m not saying its right, but sometimes you just have to take the tiny bit of control you have over the situation and USE IT. (the mute button). I’ve occasionally tried to defend or call out people for being toxic, but that just leads to more toxicity so yeah..best to ignore them. These people want validation. Literally any reaction, positive or negative, just feeds their awful behavior. IF you want to end it, stop feeding the flame. If you’re easily “triggered”. Maybe turn off voice chat.

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kgptzac

I happen not to play hugely popular games like Overwatch and League of Legends, and it’s always fascinating to me why people would leave voice comm on during random matches. It’s akin to just because doors can be closed while unlocked, you should not leave your door unlocked during the night.

So yeah, mute voice chat all the way is the answer.

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Terren Bruce

The only way to solve this is to force everyone to use their real name as their gamer handle. That solves it overnight. Nothing else will ever even make a dent in it.

The only other option is a first offense and you’re gone policy. Because I think a lot of people don’t report because they don’t think anything will happen anyway.

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Dušan Frolkovič

The problem is, that again works as a two-way street. So instead of someone just muting the person in question, they can and will be harassed on other platforms, because they can be looked up based on their name.

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rafterman

Twitter and Facebook prove that using real names doesn’t work. Plus, the first time some neckbeard hunts someone down in real life would be the end of it anyway.

People don’t want to hear the truth, but it doesn’t make it any less true…this is an unfixable problem because people suck and they always will. As long as you are doing ANYTHING where other human beings are involved you run the risk of shitty people ruining your fun.

The ignore feature is as close as you’ll ever get to removing the problem. All games should hace it, past that it’s basically a deal with it situation.

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Robert Mann

Twitter and Facebook are terrible examples, where people actually solicit criminal activities and are not investigated or even suspended. Also, you can literally type anything as a name, there’s no actual ID therein.

Also, law enforcement has only really looked at social media for big cases. They haven’t taken the matter of action against those people who post things seriously.

Given a required ID that has a confirmation system (aka, you get to confirm via a code that is separate, and which is not stored by the game company, so it is more secure) associated with online gaming… it’s a complete different ballgame.

The end of the matter is that without real risks, people will just continue to be asses. With risks, that is mitigated somewhat. I dislike getting government involved, but short of the industry managing this on their own I cannot see any other solution that works.

Solaris
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Solaris

Those platforms don’t actually validate that the account is owned by person with a Govt.issued ID, electric bill in their name, etc. If they really chose to do so, they could implement a system that validate the person behind the handle.

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Kala Mona

Well Facebook asked for my ID though, and suspended my acc until I gave them. So maybe not everyone is checked, but some people are.

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rafterman

Right, because the Blizzards of the world are going to put the names of underaged children on thier accounts. And most kids don’t have ID or pay bills anyway so how would you even go about this?

I don’t think you guys have thought this through very well.

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Alex Js.

All of those in-game harassment examples that I’ve heard in that clip are unquestionably bad, but creating such videos (as well as extensively promoting them in articles such as the one on Eurogamer or, well, on this site) will only encourage more of such behavior from those idiots and such videos will have absolutely 0 effect on decreasing the amount of harassment/toxicity from those idiots in any game. Most of those idiots harass you not because they genuinely hate whatever gender/race/religion you prefer to identify yourself with but simply because they’re bored with the actual gameplay and are looking for some kind of “angry reaction” from you to entertain themselves with, and the more reaction they see = the more “encouraged” they become.

So instead of pointlessly wasting time on creating and publishing videos like these (well, unless you’re a gaming blog or site, in which case it’s never a “waste of time” but always an “extra Ad revenue” ;-)) – just be a rational, mentally stable person and use in-game tools to block/report such people and move on. Oh, and keep reminding Blizzard to bring “Avoid this player” option back – it was pretty idiotic to remove it altogether, everyone should have an option of NOT being “matched” through matchmaker with some person they dislike for whatever reason, and even trying to “avoid” a person who is simply better than you is just as valid reason as trying to “avoid” the player who verbally harasses you.

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Michael18

I’m a bit surprised people didn’t see this coming. Blizzard game + PUGs + voice chat is a recipe for disaster. It would never have crossed my mind to turn on voice chat in PUGs in WoW (of course it wasn’t supported anyway, at the time I played WoW).

That aside, this is an excellent video. They manage to show and discuss the problem without being overly accusatory or alarmist and, most importantly, not divisive. I find it impressive that all people interviewed express in one way or another that it’s not about punishments or the like or retaliation in any form. It just has to stop. I also agree that the most promising way of improving the situation would be to have more older men stepping in; not by making a huge drama, just by briefly pointing out how silly such shit talk is to make the offenders feel like the immature little children they are.

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imayb1

I thought these clips were actually pretty mild. Mostly the typical “go back to the kitchen” B.S.

What I found most interesting was the response from men saying how horrible this is. Pfft. If you think that’s horrible, you don’t know the half of it. There were also several comments on youtube about how this doesn’t happen to ‘the female I know’. I call bullshit. Did you ask her about what harrassment she has been through recently? Say, within the last week? Peel those eyes open, gentlemen.

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Bannex

1: if you’re streaming or in random voice chat be prepared to be harassed regardless of gender.

2: If you’re defending this behavior by saying it’s trash talking then you likely fall into the category of these scared little boys that resort to school yard taunts when they feel intimidated.

3: Attempting to broadly fix the problem will most likely result in less fun for all.

4: The Internet is most certainly the wild west right now. If you’re willing to put yourself out there be prepared for anything.

5: I’m watching these clips wondering where the hell are the rational players that shout these kids down? I’m not a bully to innocent people but I love tearing these assholes apart when I hear it. You want to call a random girl a C$NT? You better be prepared for battle bud ;)

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BDJ

Fellow guy gamers. Please. For fucks sake. Act like you aren’t a basement dweller. When a girl speaks on the mic, don’t act like it’s the holy grail. Leave them alone. Let them play. Quit being so sad and pathetic.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting code.))

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A Dad Supreme

“Fellow OW gplayers who are female. Quit socializing during ranked. We get it. You are female. You want attention. “

I find guys more guilty than this. They are usually the ones wise-cracking corny ass jokes, playing their rap or heavy metal music or telling some fantastic, unbelievable story so that they can be the “life of the team”.

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Steve Fury

I have to admit I’ve run into a few girls who were less than nice to me or the team lol but that being said, Ive run into WAY more disrespectful and flat out abrasive dudes.

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Cinaminson

People suck all over. Toxicity should be fought in all forms it comes in. I would never claim that women aren’t capable of some super toxic crap, but women do get a lot more of it in general.

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BDJ

I don’t disagree with you there. They do get grief a lot. Its sad and always comes from the same demographic.

I do hear females harassing people too, especially when they are grouped with guys in premades.

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Cinaminson

Maybe some of them feel like that’s how they’ll fit in with “the guys”? Or it’s a form of defense? I don’t know. Hopefully that’ll stop too the more we fight toxicity.

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John Mynard

I’ll say it again. Toxicity isn’t something you can fix with a rule or algorithm. It’s cultural. The only thing you can do, as a multiplayer gaming studio, is to give players the tools to excise the toxicity socially. Which means blacklists to socially punish bad behavers and white lists to reward good behavers and possibly removing the anonymous aspect of the platform.

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Robert Mann

What amazes me here is that people are so invested in trying to protect their ‘shit-talking’ that they are willing to allow far worse things for fear of losing that. Does calling each other newb and noting that you and that other person’s mom are getting it on (with them doing the same to you) really add anything to playing the game?

Seems to me all it does is drive those who don’t like it away, kill games, and continue the locust cycle of people moving on to ruin another game with that behavior. Why not just take it to a chat room where you can get insulted as much as you like?!?

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starbuck1771

Are you against the freedom of speech? Now think about it. It is a trap. Because no matter the answer a group of people will label you. My reply to that question is no I’m not against it.

Why?

While I don’t shit talk in games.I will defend people right to talk shit if they choose to do so.

I have no issues telling people how I feel however I generally ignore or mute assholes if I have the ability. However I do not shit talk people like some (13-28 is usually the main demographic) do. While they have the right to say whatever they want, I also have the right to ignore it and I usually do.

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kgptzac

You don’t have a “right” to be an asshole and harass others on commercial platforms such as an online game or a social network. The rules may or may not allow that and the enforcement of such rules may or may not you having consequences for shit talking.

As others have pointed out, this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. You should at least learn the basics, and what’s being talked about here, before go all hyper.

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Robert Mann

Freedom of Speech is not freedom from consequences. Other people don’t like this speech, so we are looking at how to give people a virtual black eye for engaging in it. If you want respect, it’s a two way street… and that got thrown out the moment the trash talk started.

There’s reasonable standards of behavior. If you violate them, there are consequences. You can say whatever you want, but if somebody doesn’t like it you might get a black eye or a lawsuit. That’s life. That’s what is missing here, and without that consequence there has to be some other measure of agreed upon behavior.

The one concession I would make, is games can note that they are ‘trash-talk friendly’ and then deal with the toxicity as they see fit. However, given the choice I’d bet that the non trash-talk friendly games would do far better…

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Serrenity

I mean, Freedom of Speech is a government-citizen thing. But splitting hairs …

I think the “You can say whatever you want with no consequences!” is part of the problem … rather the larger, existential crisis in the US. Why do they have a right to be bitter, bigoted, sexist,homophobic, and hateful? Why is that their right? I’m reasonably sure the framers didn’t sit there and think, “Being a complete and utter dickwad to everyone you meet without fear of consequences, definitely free speech.” There was a litmus test on free speech originally. This isn’t anything about politically correct culture or anything, it’s literally people who say these things with the intent to hurt, to cause emotional distress. That’s it.

I just don’t get why that’s Freedom of Speech.

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starbuck1771

Do you agree with everyone? It’s a simple question. Do you feel you should be punished for telling someone why you disagree? That’s why we have freedom of speech. Some country’s will kill or imprison you for speaking out against oppression. Do you think that’s right? We have Freedom of Speech so people can speak out against what they see as injustices without the fear of punishment for it.

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Serrenity

You can’t conflate disagreement with Freedom of Speech. It is 100% possible, and used happen before everyone turned into raving, foaming, hyperbolic caricatures of the views they espouse.

To use terms that you know are offensive, that demean the people they represent, and are said only to be mean, to ‘get a rise’ — that’s not speech – that’s being a dickwad and we shouldn’t be excusing that behavior and hiding behind an idealistic principle because it’s easier and less messy than actually having to confront and deal with the metaphyiscal dissonance created by two competing values – where all peoples are created equal and the Freedom of Speech.

The heart of your argument is this: Its more important that some twatwaffle with an inferiority complex and access to 4chan can say whatever he wants, regardless of consequences or content, than all people being equal.

When you distill out all the noise, that’s the the argument. It’s important that people be able to spew hatred and drivel than it is for everyone person in the united states to treated like a person.

But really, this is neither here nor there and probably not a discussion for massively.

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BalsBigBrother

Trying to solve toxicity in gaming, feels like

As much as it pains me to say it probably isn’t going to change in my lifetime but that doesn’t mean you should stop pushing that rock :-)

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starbuck1771

My point exactly it’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t type of situation. It is something that will never change no matter how much we want it to. There are always going to be assholes in the world and the sooner you realize that the better.

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BalsBigBrother

Yes I agree but just because that is the case its not an excuse to stop trying or not to give a damn. I will always strive to be the change I want to see, I won’t always be successful but I will always try.

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Cinaminson

As much as it pains me to say it probably isn’t going to change in my lifetime but that doesn’t mean you should stop pushing that rock :-)

You missed that part of the post.

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starbuck1771

Nope I didn’t miss it I replied to that part by saying : It is something that will never change no matter how much we want it to. There are always going to be assholes in the world and the sooner you realize that the better.

Because that is the reality of the problem being discussed. We can all be dead a hundred years and this issue will still persist history has taught us that.

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starbuck1771

((Deleted by mod. Please review the commenting code.))

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Robert Mann

No. Never gotten worse treatment all in all that the women. Our society has, over time, made the idea of the guy chasing the girl not only normal, but normal in aggression to the point of being a problem. Sadly, since ‘it works’ after several hundred tries for guys, they just stick with it.

Yes, there’s toxicity all over. This wasn’t denying that. Online, it won’t stop until theres consequences for behavior. The only reason people don’t treat each other like poo constantly out and about is that they will either get a fist to the nose, or get arrested for harming others.

Sadly, this basically means we need some sort of online identification and policing. Which is the last thing I want from a freedom to play and do what I want perspective… but the entire idea of law and order is to stop this kinda crud.

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starbuck1771

((Deleted by mod. Please review the commenting code.))

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Cinaminson

/facepalm. Wow… really? Maybe people just shouldn’t treat others like shit? Ever consider that? Maybe making rape threats isn’t a good thing, maybe people shouldn’t do that. Maybe we should attempt to make the world suck a little less?

/sigh. I hope someday you actually listen to that.

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starbuck1771

I would love to live in a perfect world too but unlike some I live in the real world. These problems have existed since the beginning of time and do you think it will change any time soon just because feeling are hurt over the internet? The problem is there are always going to be people who treat others like crap it’s human nature and it happens IRL all the time.

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Cinaminson

Yeah, we should fight against it IRL too. I do in fact live in the real world. That’s why I spoke up.

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starbuck1771

The problem is how do you fight it? You can’t tell people what to think. You make something Taboo you usually hurt your own cause because it makes people want it more. The only real solution is to ignore assholes.

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Cinaminson

Ha! That’s irony right there.

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camren_rooke

This is satire…right?

RIGHT?

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Tobasco da Gama

Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

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starbuck1771

Confusing right?

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Robert Mann

The harassers don’t care that somebody speaks up. That’s not going to change them. They have to have skin in the game for it to matter… AKA, not be shielded from the consequences by nobody knowing who they really are.

That’s the entire reason why punishment and reform are associated with crime. People don’t get better, or stop doing things, because somebody says “That’s wrong.” In most cases, they KNOW that it is wrong. It has to hurt, and they have to get a lot of help with the underlying causes of the behavior, in order to stop.

Sadly, our society doesn’t take the issues of bad behavior and mental health seriously. In the few nations that do, repeat offenses are very low, compared to everywhere else.

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starbuck1771

How will knowing who someone is change anything? You’re just swapping one target for another. Everyone has skin your either thick skinned or thin skinned. The thick are those who have the fortitude to handle all the bull, the thin are the group who the ones who get emotional which are usually the ones with the mental health issues if you read the gamer commits suicide stories and the such. However there are bad behavior and mental issues on all sides including yours. If you want to know how just ask.

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styopa

As far as misogyny: c’mon kids. This isn’t rocket science at all.

The point of shit-talking (I’m not saying it’s ok, I’m explaining the mechanism) is to get under the target’s skin. So the more upset one gets, the more articles about the ‘tragedy’ of online misogyny, etc, etc, waah waah the worse it gets because you’re proving it works.

As an aside, shit-talking has been a thing in competitive games, forever. Pro basketball? Baseball? You’d apparently weep openly at the sorts of things said between football linemen before the snap? (I can’t even remember all the terrible things I’ve heard about/done to my mother/wife/gf/daughters…)

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting code.))

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Utakata

“Let’s remember: women have *insisted* that they be included without reservation and treated like men for (at least) decades.”

What drivel. Insisting on being treated like men does not equate in being treated like crap whatsoever. As I pretty sure most guys don’t want to e treated like crap either.

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Tobasco da Gama

^ part of the problem

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

So much satire…

Is is satire?

RIGHT?

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Louie

This is some next-level false equivalence. The entire point is that women receive this type of behavior way more often than men do under the same circumstances, and it’s almost always way more sexual in nature. You say that creating a discussion and shaming people that behave this way is “proving it works,” so your solution would just be to not talk about it at all and let them get a free pass? How is that any better, if not infinitely worse?

You’re also painting this behavior as 100% of the time being “haha I’m trying to troll them/general video game shit-talking” when what we’re talking about for a lot of these cases is just straight-up harassment heavily rooted in misogyny and wouldn’t have happened otherwise (or at least not to the same degree) had they been men.

And your last comment, you’re pinning this on women being too sensitive to play multiplayer video games (in a broad, sweeping generalization) rather than seeing it as men mistreating women in a space that’s been heavily dominated by men numbers-wise for a long time. You really think it’s the woman’s fault in a situation like that? That they should just grow thicker skin 100% of the time? Gimme a break.

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Cinaminson

Uh, no. “Well that’s the way it always has been!” is not a valid argument. Sexism is not okay. Not in any form. It isn’t inclusive or “just the way things are”. That is a really closed minded way to look at the world. We should be facing this and trying to change things. Not saying “Oh it’s fine! It’s just locker room boy talk!” That is wrong. I really hope you see that someday.

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Sray

Are you serious? Is this actually serious? There’s a big difference between saying outrageous shit your opponent’s mother to piss them off, and threatening to rape them. A functional human being should know exactly where the line is between “your mama so fat…” jokes and telling your oppenent in graphic anatomical detail how your going to sexually violate them.

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styopa

If you think the stuff said on the NFL playing field is of the caliber of “your momma is so fat” then no, you really have no IDEA how graphic and terrible the things said are. Telling an opponent how meticulously you’re going to sexually violate them IS one of the subjects used (given the constrained brevity of the conversation), actually.

(FWIW I talked to an ancient dude that played pro football in the 50s; this sort of stuff was no different at all.)

The point is to get into your opponent’s head. If you can piss him (or her) off, all the better. Nobody performs better when angry. Nobody.

And for all the people claiming this is ‘sexism’ take a deep breath, and see if you can understand: the reason it’s sexual comments is because it specifically WORKS against women. It gets them particularly upset. If the person had a known vulnerability to chopping up kittens THAT is what the comments would be about. It isn’t really sexism as much as using the right tool for the job. That’s why with guy-guy shit talk, it’s often about mothers…it’s the one thing many guys really care about.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting code.))

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Sray

Actually, professional athletes are regularly fined thousands of dollars (sometimes tens of thousands) for those types of comments both on and off the field. It is unacceptable behavior in the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, and virtually every other major league sport you can name. Threatening to rape and/or murder another human being is unacceptable under circumstance.

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Terren Bruce

The difference is those men know they’re not going to be raped by their fellow NFL players while the female players in a video game do have to worry about being raped or in some cases may have actually experienced it. It’s not the same thing at all. That you can’t see that speaks more to your mindset than that of the “delicate snowflakes”.

Also if your life is so sad that the outcome of a single match of Overwatch is worth this sort of thing then that also speaks more of you than it does of the “snowflakes”.

I get that you’re desperate to convince us this isn’t sexist, because that means you’d have to re-evaluate yourself. I totally get it. You see that from sexists and racists all the time. It’s quite common. Sometimes you can actually hear the pleading in their tone as if to say “please accept me as normal”.

It’s not normal. It’s something that comes from vile, horrible people with small lives and small minds who are desperately insecure about something.

You know it’s wrong deep down. If your gamer ID was your real name you’d never stoop to such tactics. And that’s the real test of your convictions right there.

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Cinaminson

…I really don’t want to respond to most of this because yikes. But I just want to say one thing.

Do these NFL players say these things to their teammates on the line? Are they trying to get into their teammate’s heads? Because the things in the video are being said by her team to her, and not being said by her opponents.

what-4
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what-4

Well, no shit. Immature kids are savages with poor social skills, coupled with anonymity and you get vulgarity and toxicity. You cant fix it, because its a human issue. You cant change the human condition. I recommend, sadly, that girls keep quite, and find communities within their chosen game that are populated with mature people. My old WoW guild had a number of females, never once were they harassed, as the guild was populated with mature people.

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Angel

That’s BS you can change it by teaching male children how to behave around the opposite sex.

what-4
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what-4

Again I disagree. Kids of both sexes are taught to be nice and respectful, there are no schools teaching the behavior exampled here. Its just general assholery, because people are generally assholes.

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Robert Mann

Actually, Angel has a point… but it needs more than just one person as a role model usually. There’s a ton of the other behavior in our society, and it is somewhat glamorized, so working against it takes a lot of effort from several people that those youths respect.

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Cinaminson

I just wanted to point out that is a bit damaging to say all harassers are “kids”. They aren’t. A lot are adults. Immature, yes. But very much adults.

what-4
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what-4

If you cannot speak and treat others with respect, you have the social skills of a child, ergo, “kid” applies.

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Robert Mann

It could well be that What-4 uses a similar standard as me, where I will simply not consider those people adults for having been around for 18+X number of years. I tend to avoid ‘kid’ for children, but I have no problem associating immature people who should be adults with baby goats… except for that the goats are usually more capable.

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Cinaminson

I get that, but I feel like it is harmful as well.

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Robert Mann

If a person has problems they need help for, and are willing to seek that help, then they are not immature. I see no other situation where this applies and would be harmful to anything but the ego of the person who is an immature jerk.

what-4
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what-4

Harmful how?

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Cinaminson

Because ageism is a thing. Also, implying the only “kids” are acting immature like this is implying that adults are not guilty of it.

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Alex Malone

Being a dickhead is not part of the human condition and can absolutely be solved. It just can’t be solved overnight, nor can it be solved by a single game or a single company.

It needs to be solved at a societal level which is why it’s a problem. It may take decades or centuries to solve it, but we’re already moving in the right direction in general.

However, if every time one of those minority dickheads started verbally abusing someone, both the victim and everyone else stood up against the dickhead, that dickhead would very quickly move on. Bullies (which is what they are) only get away with it because people don’t stand up to them.

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Robert Mann

Sadly, online they don’t get to deal with a dozen people ready to shove a fist down their eyeball when they really cross the line, and since they don’t feel any consequences there’s no reason to stop or to seek help changing their behavior.

That, and there are people who cling to those who abuse them, which is another problem that enables these behaviors and makes them harder to correct. :(

what-4
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what-4

I simply disagree, people are assholes in general. Its only the fear of repercussions that keeps us in check. A fear removed in online games.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

Sad little fuckers.
I’d like to see more people call them out on their behaviour, remaining silent is a form of approval in this sort of situation and that’s the last thing these wannabe hard guys need.

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nobleeinherjar

I’ve shared this story before but it bears repeating. I met two female friends on FFXI some years back and we also found out we all had Xbox 360s and started playing games together there, too. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been truly harassed in a video game beyond the obvious bit of trollery that I would just ignore.

I can’t remember the circumstance for how it came up, but both friends sent screenshots of message that men took time out of their day to write to them, and they were some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read. All because they were female. For that reason alone, they got sent more hate and vitriol than I ever did for the exact same things (like beating someone in a match or whatever).

I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. But I’ll never forget that moment as the time I learned about the true horrors women face.

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TheDonDude

I have not listened to this because I still have a love for life (and because I’m at work), but are Blizzard’s anti-toxicity efforts helping at all?

Given that there will probably never be a 100% solution, have they at least managed to lower it?

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kgptzac

Not 100% solution, but default voice chat being off, and gameplay doesn’t heavily punish those who don’t voice chat in a random queue, would be a good start.

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Tobasco da Gama

The only solution is the one we used to have in the old days: toss matchmaking out the window and instead require everyone to play on dedicated servers where admins are present to monitor chat and issue bans.

If people want to set up their own private servers where they can be as shitty as their shitty little hearts desire, then fine, but those servers should be things that people have to specifically go and seek out.

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BDJ

This worked in BF4. I joined a clan on one of the most popular locker servers. They weren’t GMs , but the clans admins. They regulated hardcore on shit heads. Its really the only way.

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Jeremy

That was hard to listen to. Grow up, dorks. Holy shit.

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Ittybumpkin

Any time I have said something to someone who is being toxic to someone else, it has just led to them being even more toxic. Just asking someone to cut it out and they will turn the toxicity onto you and will usually just escalate what they are doing. It just seems to make the situation worse, so I do not bother saying anything anymore. I just report and mute them.

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Robert Mann

Yep, unless they know that somebody is going to beat the snot out of them, or that they will be arrested for the behavior, they won’t change. Making that a reality is… another issue entirely.

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TomTurtle

I’ve had similar experiences and acted the same. There really isn’t one right way to respond to these situations. I’ll usually shy from conflict, but when I have spoken up, I try to expect nothing to change from the person being toxic. I feel that at least I spoke up and even that little bit can add to people’s experiences for change, or so I hope.

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Tobasco da Gama

I think that responding at least once, just to make it clear that the behaviour is not approved of, is very important, because that’s how community standards are set. But it doesn’t solve anything by itself because it doesn’t cost the troll anything to just hammer away at a shitlord soundboard or whatever. So that can be the first line of defence, but there also needs to be a mechanism for actively removing people from a game and banning them if necessary.

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Hirku

Agreed. This behavior is disgusting, but the idea of “we have to police ourselves” or “we have to stand up and fight” is pointless. It will not work, there is no reasoning with or shaming these folks. The best thing that players can do to try and change things while keeping their sanity is to report and block. And what the developers have to do is make those reporting tools as easy to find and use as possible, and then they have to respond swiftly and harshly to those reports.

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Robert Mann

Aye, bans for being a terrible person online are under-utilized.

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Hirku

I bet a steady stream of permanent bans would do wonders, but scumbags spend money too and businesses sure do like that money.

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