EA says it can ‘no longer be a bystander’ to toxicity in online gaming

    
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Electronic Arts is continuing to promise to clean up its communities. In addition to changes to its EA Sports moderation policies and the release of a Positive Play charter, an interview with EA’s chief marketing officer Chris Bruzzo offers several words on how the company is reevaluating its influence, spurred by the greater formation of online communities during the coronavirus outbreak and protests for equality around the world:

“It’s become very clear that multiplayer games, big online communities, are now central to the majority of gaming experiences. This is no-longer an ancillary area. Which means, okay, we can no-longer be a bystander.”

On the subject of toxicity, Bryter, a mixed methodology market research agency, has shared the results of a sample of 2,006 gamers from the US and the UK completed in February 2020 that asked about their experiences with toxicity.

The survey found that 1 in 4 male and female gamers reported experiencing toxic behavior regularly, though the types of abuse differs between genders: 77% of males experience verbal abuse such as trash talk, messages that encourage suicide, rape threats against female family members, and racist and homophobic remarks, while 48% of female gamers are subject to sexually inappropriate abuse, including misogyny, accusations of getting help from partners, and being sent explicit content and rape threats that sometimes manifest in offline activity such as being contacted on their mobile phones.

Furthermore, Bryter’s findings reveal that 31% of males take the abuse in stride, while 1 in 4 females don’t reveal their gender while playing online, 28% avoid speaking in online multiplayer games for fear of negative reactions from male gamers, and 14% avoid online multiplayer games completely. Which is really not entirely news if anyone has been paying attention, but at least now there are data to back it up.

sources: GamesIndustry.biz, press release

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Gamewench

I’ve noticed it when I began gaming back in 1999 with Everquest. There is that crowd who say girls ( while I’m a full grown woman) don’t play online games. Also the sexual harassments when certain folk found out about my gender.
Cultures around the world have normalized abuse and act as though their opinion is the only one that counts.
I call b.s.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

“Hey, we’ve let people be absolute arses to one another forever! But now we’re gonna develop a social conscience because it’s what we see all the other companies doing…”

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Loyal Patron
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Neurotic

Exactly.

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HawkeWar

So dose this newfound morality include their developers?

I personally take offense when someone from EA’s collective says that White men are garbage people and should be taken off the planet.

Anywho…

I can see this being a handy tool to deplatform anyone they deem as a nuisance.

If they would use it for actual Racism, death threats etc I would be on board, but they will use it insomuch the same way Wizards Of The Coast uses their “code of conduct”

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Bruno Brito

So dose this newfound morality include their developers?

Considering they’re taking steps for that? Kinda. Check GreaterDivinity’s comment.

I personally take offense when someone from EA’s collective says that White men are garbage people and should be taken off the planet.

They didn’t say that. You did.

I can see this being a handy tool to deplatform anyone they deem as a nuisance.

Their games, their rules. That being said, we do live in a world with a lot of social networks. Don’t you think EA will be harshly cancelled after that happening?

If they would use it for actual Racism, death threats etc I would be on board, but they will use it insomuch the same way Wizards Of The Coast uses their “code of conduct”

1- How can you be so sure? And 2- How specifically?

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Robert Mann

Bystander? I thought they were part of the problem. Oh, wait, they ARE.

Come back with better P.R. lies EA, or better yet just shut up. You can either prove it through actions, or you can get nothing out of your B.S.

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Rndomuser

Another virtue signaling corporation, just like Bethesda and many others.

Fighting racism and toxicity is always important but this is what you, as a corporation, should be doing by default, without waiting for a specific moment to start doing it or announce that you are about to do it more harder because this is something that is currently very trendy to do.

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Travis In Canada

While I don’t support gaming toxicity I do find it amusing that EA thinks they can make a difference. As expected their PR people haven’t been listening to the gaming community the past few years and are so disconnected they don’t realize that 90% of gamers express toxic behavior at some point. Its human behavior in a competitive environment, you guys are literally selling the drugs while simultaneously trying to clean up the neighborhood.

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Bruno Brito

Uh…what?

Look, i get the point but there’s a huge difference between mere trashtalking and rampant toxicity, death threats, racism, prejudice and harassment.

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psytic

Theres trash talking and then theres people saying go kill yourself then sitting in spawn the rest of the match 5 min in when you forget to buy boots in dota 2. Happened to me my second game ever never touched it again. The later need disciplined. Valve and Riot need to get on this mobas are probably the most toxic games in the industry.

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Schmidt.Capela

AFAIK EA was the first MMO company ever to come to the realization that toxic players are bad for the bottom line, and thus that policing them improves the bottom line, back in the 90s; the devs championing for that achieved this result, and got management to authorize spending money combating toxicity (griefing) in UO, by changing the internal definition of “griefer” to a player who, by pushing other players away, causes the company to lose more potential revenue than what the griefer brings.

So, not exactly surprising. You want EA to do something, or back some cause, you just have to convince its upper management that doing so will improve the company’s bottom line. And right now, with a return to civility being seen as an important feature by a large — and apparently growing — part of the potential player base, making the case that fighting toxicity is good for the bottom line was never easier.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

EA is the first one needed to change

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

They can’t abide by toxicity in online gaming, while they themselves are toxic to the industry as a whole. Sounds legit.

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Tee Parsley

Yep. And Mr. Toxicity is their CEO. This is just their pro forma response.

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Jon Wax

Don’t fight racism

Fight racists