Valorant will soon record and evaluate voice comms as part of efforts to fight harassment and abuse

    
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If you play Valorant and are an unmitigated asshat to people over voice chat, believing you’re safe from being found out in player reports, then you’ll want to take heed to an update to the game’s privacy notice, which now allows the devs at Riot Games to “record and store, and reserve the right (but have no obligation) to monitor voice and text chat […] to help [Riot], among other things, address disruptive behavior, improve [its] services, enforce [its] rules and policies and Terms of Service, and foster a more positive gaming community for [its] players.”

The devs put together an announcement post and FAQ to explain the update to the terms, stating that the team would not be consistently listening in to voice chat, instead relying on the use of behavior systems for voice chat that are currently being developed. Beta testing of these systems is expected in North America first, with an announcement of how it will work before then.

The post further promised to only collect “the absolute minimum data” required in order to mitigate toxic and hostile behavior. “When we collect data, we’ll be transparent, we’ll keep it for only as long as is necessary, and we’ll protect it as if it were our own,” reads the post. “We know collecting voice data is a concern for many of you, but be assured that we would never ship anything if we weren’t comfortable having our own data treated the same way.”

As for those who don’t want their voice data gathered in this way, Valorant has a very simple solution for you: Turn off voice chat.

source: official site (1, 2) via Gamasutra
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SwordBreaker35

wow so my comment go reported and removed thanks to 1 sensitive little snow flake. This is what I’m saying these damn disgusting people they think they have the right to forbid who is allowed to talk or not just becuse they don´t agree with you or don´t like you saying Fuck or call them idiot´s when they behave like idiots.
Stop behaving like a idiot or ass hat and no one will call you that.

And this is what I will keep saying it. If can´t you handle it then leave don´t force censorship on people just becuse your a little special disgusting that don´t like people not agreeing with you or if you can´t stand people calling you and idiot when you behave like an idiot.

Companies should not have to censorship and police their game becuse these special needs people can´t handle shit them self take your own damn responsibilities and leave or behave like decent human being with common sense.

When it comes to games marketed for kids yes then companies should help and improve but not by listening in to conversation’s.

And if the game is rated PG 16 and up then do your damn job as a parent and don´t let them play it if they are under aged.

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SwordBreaker35

And yes if it is very heavy violation towards other people then it should be dealt with accordingly. But it should not go overboard that your not barely even allowed to speak becuse if some one does not agree with you or don´t like it when you say fuck you get banned.

There is something called going to far and this is going to far.

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styopa

As long as it’s clear from the outset “we are recording your in-game voicecomms” I couldn’t care less.

There are dozens of alternative voicecomm options if you and your friends/guild/whatever want to abuse each other with whatever language you like, privately. You just won’t be able to spew your bile on people who didn’t volunteer for it.

Seems like a win.

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

As long as it’s clear from the outset “we are recording your in-game voicecomms” I couldn’t care less.

I’m sure it will be very clearly spelled out in the EULA.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’ve never had much interest in Valorant, especially after seeing their insane weapon skin costs, and Riot isn’t exactly my favorite company in the first place. That being said, I find this an interesting situation as someone who has played a lot of online shooters/team games over the years.

One thing I really liked when TF2 was my main multiplayer shooter was that it was all hosted servers so if you had good admins, they would kick the people spamming mics with racist songs, or griefing, or what have you, would be handled pretty quickly if you found a good server.

I haven’t used open in voice chat in a game for years. It’s almost never anything useful like actual tactics anyway. I group up with friends for that. One of the first things I do in any online game with voice chat is to turn it off.

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Danny Smith

Setting aside how bloody stupid it is to see “i do nothing wrong, please spy on and record me constantly daddy riot, a subsidiary of the chinese conglomerate Tencent” which in the post facebook age isn’t that surprising since i don’t think most people have a concept of personal privacy anymore the idea this will ever stop riots userbase from being assholes is absurd.

The big thing i always think of with these things trying to police Y circa X year is how every year language professors need to update their list of slurs, hate slang and general swear words because language is more fluid than just about any other human construct. You can think you locked everything down like you are playing some game of mental rts but turns out you didn’t notice you signed up for whack a mole instead and new moles keep on a’poppin’.

Like the simplest example of why this stuff doesn’t work is when a gearbox employee was caught attempting to genuinely shill the first Borderlands on 4chan with concrete evidence. They discovered the term “viral marketing” and suddenly every positive comment had them jumping at shadows. So the admins say “okay the term viral marketing is banned”.

Within 2 days “Bacterial Marketing” and later just “Bacterials” completely replaced it but the meaning was exactly the same. Its the same everywhere. From Jeff Kaplans “Tig’ole Bitties” username to Asmongolds “what a blanking andy” people will change language online constantly to give different ways to express the same meanings. Fighting that by assuming its static and that people dont specifically make up terms to get around people cracking down on them is trying to fight an element of human nature. Trying to fight that is like trying to put out a volcano with your piss to be crude.

all to say nothing of none english stuff. The Japanese word for “run away/back up” is “Nigero” which shockingly shows up a lot in multiplayer pvp games and you really think every spoken language is going to be given equal time in this? or just the linga franca and everything else is false flagging events they wont give two shits about? We’ve already seen with Apex Legends that the answer is a hard “go fuck yourself, learn english or be silent”.

Y’know. To create a kinder, less toxic community. somehow.

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Bruno Brito

The n-word is a word that generated while we still treated black people as slaves and “marked by Caine”. It literally is hundreds of years old.

Yes, language is a construct. Yet, it shapes slowly on a continental scale than you postulate. All the other bridges are to be crossed when we get there, but the n-word, the f-word and such, are words that for long plagued the lexicon and i see no issue policing their usage, specially on games where the playerbase tends to go full batshit on each other with minimal freedom.

PS: considering that Snowden happened, your point about Tencent is waaaay weaker.

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Brinto Sfj

I am really worried at how many people are in support of legalized corporate stalking. This is really scary.

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traja

The only realistic way I can think of that this can come to haunt TOS abiding players is if there is a major data breach. Those do happen and one of these days it probably will happen to some company where their recordings get downloaded by a hacker. The hackers will then look for any sensitive information that can be used for blackmail. Such as events happening in the background when a child is playing the game.

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Arktouros

I think it’s an interesting concept but man I just do not trust any tech company with any kind of personal data. We’ve just seen too many scenarios where we find out later it was improperly handled or misused in some way to be reassured that they’re being responsible.

I don’t play Valorant, and generally am not overtly toxic enough to be caught by any mechanisms, but if a game I did play enabled a feature like this I’d be more inclined to opt out of voice comms entirely and be less coordinated and less cooperative. Like I can already throw assholes on mute, I don’t need to also be recorded to make sure I’m toeing the line and not being an asshole myself.

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Jon Wax

Uh…. seems like in an attempt to capture abuse they are going to potentially be in possession of personal info that falls outside of the realm of the abuse? The small print covers the gamer but all it could take is one parent to bring a suit on the basis of eavesdropping or whatever the clause is that requires 2 party consent to record stuff like this. I’m no specialist in bird law but this seems shaky

Anything in the bg would still be private no?

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Rndomuser

There will be a notification that by using voice chat you agree that it can be recorded and sent to Riot. Sony also did something like this last year with party chat on Playstation, it is perfectly fine from legal point of view.

Details on new voice chat functionality coming to PS5

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Jon Wax

Yeah I’m hip. But does tos cover recording people in the bg? I’m assuming they are blanket recording a bunch of folks and checking content later?

So say some kids dad isa teacher having a discussion on the phone about kids at school. If the recording picks up the dad too, not sure how kids tos agreement would be held to father’s private conversation.

Im all for smashing dipshits were it’s due but this vibes like it’s gonna be back in the news later for unexpected or unintended reasons

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Rndomuser

This does not cover the recording of other people in background such as people not playing the game but just being in same room with their voice being recorded. Those people whose voice was recorded in this way where they could not see the warning about game recording their voice can definitely sue the company and can win but it is highly unlikely they will do that so company like Sony is not worried about that.

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Giggilybits

Remember when they first had voice come out for the original Counterstrike. Had a couple of dudes from what I am assuming is a strong New York accent brutally go after me you know calling me the F word and the like. Never used voice comms in game since. I figured if this is what its going to be like might as well not use it.

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Rndomuser

Good. Hopefully more games will follow the same thing. I don’t really care if anyone records what I say or type in games as long as this will reduce all toxicity in those games. Especially stuff like this:

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Giggilybits

Brutal. Wouldn’t talk to someone like that out on the street, the only reason they talk like this is anonymity.

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Jon Wax

I mean, at least be creative. These kids level of shit talk borders on an edgy incel first timer bombing at open mic night at the local comedy club