The Daily Grind: Do you see hate speech in your MMO?

    
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The other day one of our readers, Joe F., pointed us at a conversation between Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman and an ArcheAge customer who was banned. In the exchange, Hartsman said he reviewed the chat log that led to the ban, concluding, “In 2015, those two words aren’t ‘cussing.’ One is hate speech, the other racism. We wish you the best.”

Obviously, there are lots of kind players who exist together in peace in MMOs, but there are also bad eggs who do like to sling slurs against others out of anger or as part of their “gaming vocabulary.” In your MMOs, do you see much hate speech in chat and tells, or are most folks pretty much behaving themselves?

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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hatespeechaboundsinAA
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hatespeechaboundsinAA

Archeage has the single most hate-speech filled general chat I have ever seen online in any form – it so far exceeds legal definitions it’s literally impossible to keep count of the infractions. (because there are no in game GM’s or moderators to sort it out before it gets out off hand) It’s the norm on NA servers.  No matter how many times people are chat banned, they continue to play.  Reporting screenshots of some of the most vile and capricious things a human can say to another results in no action taken time and time again.  They may respond to a report here and there, but when given proof regularly, Trion falls flat on it’s face for any form of oversight and reaction. 

To be fair, Arechage is pretty tailored for those people though…it’s a game of 0 consequence for the worst of actions.  The worst of actions are rewarded, and the worst personality types find a home here.  Other games, other players, would shun most AA players from their online communities, but here, the most atrocious mentalities possible, rule all.  I firmly believe the above-referenced action of banning was no more than a publicity stunt or, at best, a case that was referred up the chain by a CSR that took it personally themselves.
The community in AA is wholly unavoidable.  You simply cannot experience most of the game without other players.  After 8 months playing, We’ve (my wife and I) found there are not enough decent folks in any one group to make it worth the time and effort anymore.  Far too many of them have left and the new players with friendly attitudes up and quit shortly after their start,.  We lost an entire guild off 100+ players to another server due to the rotten community on Aranzeb…but doubtful they’ll find much better on NA cluster.  

We’re leaving the game and Trion (all it’s games) behind.

Reader
Johnny

fag

Luzon
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Luzon

Remianen Veldan I agree that F2p alone does not make a game have more hate speech, but i do think a lot of the older games had better more tolerant communities because of the interdependence of players which tend to be weaker in f2p games (and modern MMOs as a whole) As a long time EQ player i would say that the VAST majority of the community (in the first half decades)much nicer than current games overall. I dont think your examples of hyper competitive guilds that fought over limited raiding resources is indicative of the EQ community. In fact i would say those were the exceptions to the norm in EQ. (unless your server was much different than the 2 i played on) Yes there was that occasional troll that trained people he didn’t like or was an all around ass, but overall i think most EQ players were encouraged to get along. Rant forums are also a bad example because they are MEANT to be places where people can say terrible things.

Luzon
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Luzon

This kind of thing happens in every online space but there are many factors that affect it. Social pressures in games are a big factor. In older games it was less common, partly because people were more innocent back then, but also because communities were smaller and more interdependent. In old games you tended to need to group up a LOT. If you gained a bad reputation it could actually affect your ability to progress and play unless you joined the guilds with bad reps that everyone else knew were a bunch of A-holes and didn’t associate with. Today this social pressure is nearly non-existent in modern games. You solo most everything and the things you cant solo you can use a random group finder which places you in a group with people you will never see again. All this makes it so being a jerk has few, if any, consequences. iIf you get some hate for being terrible all you have to do is move on to the next bunch of people who don’t know you. (of course F2P adds to this in some ways)’

One way to address this would be to refine the chat systems. Give players some power to make and moderate their own global chats. In this way everyone (including the A-holes) will have their own spaces and can build strong communities.

imperialpanda
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imperialpanda

Zebes imperialpanda  “Offense is something you feel not something that is given.” One of the few ideas I took away from the class. Part of our non-violent communications segment of the class I think.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Valcan321 ManastuUtakata Syntho  JimGriffiths 
The supposed stinginess of Scotsmen has been a source of humor since at +least+ the 19th century; it stopped carrying any sort of pejorative context a very long time ago.
The supposed greed (note difference — greed is considered a mortal sin, worthy of hell, in medieval Christianity) of jewish people has never had anything +but+ a pejorative context, throughout history, and even today.

Styopa
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Styopa

JimGriffiths ManastuUtakata carson63000 NomadMorlock I believe that’s called tapdancing.
To deploy what is widely recognized as a racist stereotype (re assuming someone’s spending/saving habits suggest they’re of Jewish descent is no less a racist stereotype than asserting they must be black because they like fried chicken and watermelon) is, ipso facto, archaic, racist and bigoted.  
(Forum-Knight Pro Tip: hauling out a dictionary definition to split hairs suggests to spectators that you’ve already lost the argument.  Try making your point another way.)
Now, you may well assert that you were “merely asking a question”, and that there was no ‘hatred’ involved.  That may well be so.  But my grandmother occasionally uses the N-word for black people, not out of ‘hatred’, but because she’s got dementia and occasionally thinks it’s 1920.  Her language is nevertheless racist, as recognized by sane, reasonably intelligent people in 2015.  
For you to assert that such language not being powered by hatred or intolerance is somehow therefore “ok” – is either apparently a staggering misunderstanding of idiom in the 21st century American vernacular or obviously disingenuous.  Pick one.

Valcan321
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Valcan321

ManastuUtakata Syntho  JimGriffiths

This is why.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

JimGriffiths ManastuUtakata carson63000 NomadMorlock 
Let me get this straight…so all your Jewish friends, supposed or otherwise, are standing behind you while you type, laughing at the comments posted here…I didn’t know humans where able to bend down so low to pull a Gnome’s leg. But if they are, you might want to get them to go on their own machines to /upvote your posts here, so it least it appears to have some assemblance of actuality. Even then, the circumstances on which you happen to find “all your friends who are Jewish” not offended by what you poated, doesn’t really add to your credibility or takes away from your bigoted laced OP. Therefore, it appears your audience here remains entirely unconvinced. /shrug

TiaNadiezja
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TiaNadiezja

JimGriffiths ManastuUtakata carson63000 NomadMorlock Ah, yes. The “I have X friends” defense. Because that’s ever a good sign.

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

BigMikeyOcho mysecretid TheChiHawk 
Reading what you wrote, Mike, I find your explanation makes good sense. Thanks.
I do wonder if, in some way, charging a fee is still something of an “idiot filter”, because people who pay to be in-game have consciously paid money to be there, which suggests they’re actually interested in, or curious about, the game itself to some degree — and haven’t just sort of landed there out of random boredom and a need to act the ass in front of witnesses — but I realize there’s no reliable way to detrmine if this is in any way true.
Also, you were citing WoW as the archetypal MMORPG example, but it got me idly wondering, tangentally, if WoW is ever a good “baseline sample” when one is talking about MMORPGs. The story of WoW’s rise, and its induction into general pop culture — I wonder if it’s diffiult to use WoW data as an indicator for the wider MMORPG genre any more because it’s become sort of an unique phenomenon unto itself?

I seem to be continuing to pose questions for which I have no answer. I think I’ll quit now while I’m ahead. :-)

Thanks for the well-considered response. Always appreciated.

Be well,