The war on toxicity: Overwatch League and Rainbow Six Siege crack down

    
19

Are studios starting to wake up and take action against particularly odious instances of gaming toxicity in their products? Blizzard, at least, is working to police its precious Overwatch League, which certainly does not need more controversy or bad publicity in its first season.

The studio levied a three-game suspension, a $2,000 fine, and revoked the streaming privileges of Philadelphia Fusion’s Josh “Eqo” Corona after Corona made a racist face on one of his streams. Blizzard is reported to have tight control over the League’s players with its code of conduct, in which it wrote that no player or team could bring the League or studio into “disrepute” with their actions. (This is not the first fine the League has issued.)

Speaking of disrepute, the League’s Boston Uprising went ahead and suspended Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez due to allegations that he, an adult, was pursuing a sexual relationship with a minor.

And just in the spirit of getting all of this ickiness out of the way, the devs behind Rainbow Six Siege wrote an article about how they are handling “toxicity management” with the online title. Techniques being applied include chat monitoring, a mute text chat function, chat filtering, and a way to track team killers.

Source: Kotaku, #2, Rainbow Six Siege. Thanks Iain!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

Holy hell is Sanchez stupid. Girl clearly was trying to set him up and screw him over. Still, as manipulative as the girl is, he is a grown adult and is not supposed to make these stupid mistakes. I mean really, would you trust an underage girl to keep your sexual relationship a secret and NOT totally fuck you over if things go south?

Reader
Bryan Gregory

Some of these players are not making the e-sports world look good. I’m grateful they are being punished and fined. Keep it up.

Although my new favorite phrase right now is “racist face.”

Reader
Sray

While I appreciate that these companies are finally taking action against this type of behavior, the question still remains: when are they going to start taking action to prevent this sort of thing from happening to begin with? Until they start with genuine outreach programs to help encourage/teach internet etiquette before players even reach their games, then all of this is kind of a waste of time.

Reader
Patreon Donor
TheDonDude

Punishment is not a bad deterrent in most cases. If others players realize that being toxic results in bans and fines, some will think twice.

Reader
Sray

Deterrence is fine, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of punishment. Fines and suspensions are all just lip service for publicity until they start getting out ahead of this sort of behaviour.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Preventin in this games is quite hard. I’m ok with remedies for now, since i don’t have much of a solution for it.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

I’m not sure that teaching common decency, combating racial stereotypes or male-privilege misogyny is on gaming studios. These would seem to be the responsibility of the society from which players come, recognizing that all games are international.

It’s up to RL society to set the standards for their members, including following the rule of law, policing their elected officials, and investigating corruption. Since some or none of these things are done in RL and, depending on where people are from, it could be just the opposite, where the rule of law is ignored, elected officials are allowed to lie and cheat, and corruption runs rampant, it’s really going a bit far to expect a gaming company to step up and teach gamers how to be responsible adults, especially when many of the notions (politeness, honest play) may be entirely foreign ideas or concepts of behavior that are roundly mocked and disregarded.

Setting down rules and enforcing them is significant step on the road and worth noting.

Reader
Sray

Actually, if we acknowledge the fact that game companies are part of our society, and, as you say, it is the part of society as a whole to correct this type of behavior; then educating the public as a whole on Internet etiquette is absolutely something that game companies should be doing. These companies are among those in the best position to actually do so: they have front row seats for what happens when these sorts of programs aren’t out there, and they have the resources to change that.

Furthermore, think about what outreach means: it’s not some community manager getting up behind a podium and preaching about how to behave; it’s taking your promotional budget, and using it to kill two birds with one stone by educating and advertising at the same time. It’s teaming up with YouTubers and Twitch streamers and offering incentives to those who promote good conduct/sportsmanship; it’s providing resources to Sesame Street to do episodes about how to behave online; it’s helping educators create in-school programs and learning materials for parents; it’s making your most prestigious e-sports league awards reflective of both excellence in game play and good sportsmanship/online behavior. And all of those things are made possible by generous grants from the “Activision-Blizzard Initiative for Online Safety”, “Riot Games Cares”, and generous viewers like you. (That last sentence was to show how “charity” and outreach programs can easily be used for product promotion while accomplishing something positive.)

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

As much as you want video gaming to be a cornerstone of society, it isn’t, and as was said, faulting it not producing education on populace about common and public decency is a fallacy.

To reiterate, outside of a very narrow market, video games aren’t education tools. Video games are largely about adults making products to entertain other adults. What you are suggesting is precisely handling out podiums to certain actors that should be coming from parents, schools, and public education.

Reader
Sray

We expect them to enforce society’s standards, thus expecting them to educate is part of that right: prevention is as much a part of enforcement as punishment; and education is the best form of prevention. I have every right to fault them for not doing enough to prevent terrible behavior before it happens. I can applaud their efforts in punishment while.pointing out their failures in prevention, and that is what I’m doing.

Additionally, at no point did I say that they are solely responsible for the behavior of society. However, they are responsible for contributing to the educational efforts of the whole of society in regards to online behavior; and at this moment I believe they are not living up to that part of their responsibility.

Reader
Bryan Gregory

I’m not sure that teaching common decency, combating racial stereotypes or male-privilege misogyny is on gaming studios.

I disagree, but only half way, because I think it’s sad that they have to in the first place. It sure would be nice if they could just focus on making great games. But if for example, the NFL had as much toxicity within it as the internet does, I’d certainly hold them accountable in putting forth effort to both punish AND prevent.

But I’m also of the belief that many game companies aren’t even doing their job of simply PUNISHING in the first place, so I think we need to work on that part too.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

If you mean NFL players, they’re paid employees and they have rules and regs set down by the NFL they are supposed to follow, just like any other employee does.

If you mean the fans, there is broad, wide toxicity among NFL fans and sports fans in general. In my opinion, this is where competition in gaming gets its horrid demeanor–directly from sporting fans.

And while the NFL does punish its players for violating its rules, you’d have to be in their stadium being a complete jerk to get either arrested or thrown out. In most cases, drink is involved.

But why in the world does a for-profit organization need to school it’s customers in behavior? Most people know very well the lines of decency and when they are crossed.

Reader
Bryan Gregory

It’s sad that they have to, but they do. I find myself frequently disciplining or educating people online because their parents failed to or whatever reason. Who else is going to do it? Honestly I feel it’s anyone’s responsibility. But many people just respond to toxicity with more toxicity, even if they’re a “mature adult.”

I think much of this drive against toxicity is not only coming from players but developers as well (maybe even more so). Developers are constantly trashed on their own forums, have their families harassed, told to kill themselves, etc. and if I had to deal with that shit on a daily basis I’d probably prompt my company to start SOME sort of fight against it too, wouldn’t you? Companies are trying to do more to care for their employees and players. If you were part of a company and had coworkers who were your friends and people you cared about, people you respected and knew were good people, and those people were harassed and treated poorly by your customers on a DAILY basis, but discipline such as muting, suspending, and banning did not have enough of an effect, wouldn’t you try something different, like maybe education instead? Or are you saying it isn’t the company’s responsibility to protect their employees (and customers!)? And if not, then who’s is it?

Perhaps you should ask the companies themselves why they are needing to school their customers in behavior, because it is clearly and rapidly becoming a reality, like it or not. Hopefully for the better.

Reader
rafael12104

From the linked article he seems to have gotten the message. He wrote a letter apologizing and donated another 3k to the Anti-Defamation League.

I’m a bit jaded, and while I do believe his apology, I’m quite sure that when he realized is pro-gaming gravy train was in jeopardy he realized how truly sorry he was.

BTW, the linked article indicates the fine was $3000. Not sure who is right MOP, just pointing out an inconsistency.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Also, revoking the streaming rights for 10 weeks was done by the player’s team, not by Blizzard.

Worth noting that the event that led to all those punishments happened in a stream that wasn’t related to the team or the League; Blizzard is mandating that players, to remain in the League, need to be on their best behavior whenever they interact with the game or its players. This isn’t criticism, mind; I fully support this kind of scrutiny on the behavior of professional players.

Reader
Randy Savage

War on drugs… war on terror… war on toxicity? Maybe we need a war on “war on” titles.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Maybe. It’s working, tho.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

The only “war on” that was completely successful was the war on Carthage, not because the Romans won, but because they sowed the fields with salt, making Carthage uninhabitable. Otherwise, wars just push grievances and issues down the road.

Reader
McGuffn

Rome did have awful environmental policy. Didn’t even have a superfund to clean that up.