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Over 30 companies, including Riot and Blizzard, join forces to fight toxic online behavior

By midian182 · 31 replies
Mar 22, 2018
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  1. It’s a sad fact that when playing an online game, be it League of Legends, Overwatch, or Call of Duty, toxicity and harassment aren’t just likely, they’re expected. To try and combat the problem, over 30 different gaming companies have come together to form the Fair Play Alliance.

    In addition to game makers such as Riot, Blizzard, and Epic, other members of the coalition include streaming platform Twitch, Intel, Xbox, and Unity Technologies. According to its mission statement, the group aims to “provide an open forum for the games industry to collaborate on research and best practices that encourage fair play and healthy communities in online gaming.”

    Riot senior technical designer Kimberly Voll told Kotaku that the Alliance wanted to create a consistent set of behavior standards between companies and investigate the underlying issues behind toxic online behavior.

    The Fair Play Alliance’s first action was a day-long summit at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) yesterday, where the members discussed research, issues, and what they’ve learned during their years dealing with toxicity.

    The group’s work is still in the very early stages. Right now, it’s more about sharing resources and focusing on what classifies as poor online behavior; there’s a fine line between trash talking people and actual abuse.

    Many people avoid online multiplayer titles purely because of their toxic communities. While the Fair Play Alliance is unlikely to eliminate the problem entirely, its formation is a welcome step toward addressing the issue and could ultimately help improve the reputation of online gaming.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2018
  2. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Maniac Posts: 263   +108

    I can't be the only one that isn't concerned by this? Jerk players are always around, whatever happened to just ignoring them? Maybe I am missing something here.

    Jerk players have always just been background noise for me as far back as the mid-nineties. Like I said maybe I am missing something here and the harassment is continuing off game as well?
    yRaz likes this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,699   +1,943

    As many of you know, going online.amd.acting like a "toxic person" is my favorite part of the internet. If I can't tell someone I hope their dog gets cancer the what's the point?
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,860   +3,308

    For the adults and the strong, Jerk players are just an annoyance, but the young & timid it can be devastating. The gaming sites and companies have clearly put profits ahead of everything else. They have the power to put a stop to it but refuse because it could hurt sales. People act like that because they think they can hide their true identity but if they were exposed to the public, had their actions documented and forced to answer for their behavior, we would see a less. As with many things, it comes down to peer pressure and when their peers start dumping them, the urge to be accepted can be very strong. AND if they refuse to reform, they continued to be banned, shunned, and are gone .....
  5. The snowflake population has exploded in recent years. In fact, there are so many daycare-raised soy formula babies on popular titles these days you can’t even get a kill without hurting someone’s feelings.

    Hell, even on steam, just telling someone to “git gud” is grounds for triggering.
    Boilerhog146 and SirChocula like this.
  6. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 199   +127

    I'll be honest. I don't use in-game audio anymore unless it's with my friends. I'm good enough that my actions will let my team know where an enemy is. That's just how it has to be until you *******s (you know who you are) grow up and act right.
    astralcyborg and Whitefyre like this.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,035   +1,443

    This is the reason my online play is very limited. I play computer games for relaxation and recreation. Not to hear some 13-year old use his new-found swear words on me. And it's not just teens, I've encountered some "adults" (usually in their early 20's) who are happy to either play the griefer or to give you grief because you aren't playing their version of the perfect game. I can only chalk these types up to being losers whose Mommy didn't give them enough attention in real life who now play the bully online due to the anonymity.

    I think Uncle Al has it right - you take away the anonymity and the jerk/grief players will pretty much disappear.
    Boilerhog146 and astralcyborg like this.
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,719   +1,135

    Sure, it's easy to ignore, when they cost you half an hour or more of your shot game time because they like to play online team games but then they do whatever the duck they want or be afk and bashing constantly or intentionally feeding enemy teams, or alienating the whole team, yeah well that's a bit tougher to simply /ignore. If you could simply disconnect or kick them that could be easier to handle.

    For me, I have so little time to play games anymore that someone ruining that half or complete hour of the day instead of enjoying it is a ducking waste of time that in the end it pisses me off because instead of having a good time in that short time frame, I have to deal with a 10yr old... not playing those games anymore though.
  9. tbjamies

    tbjamies TS Rookie

    What changed is the fact that its basically every person from the new generations and its going to be a real-world problem. Anyone 30+ needed to develop their social skills IRL, then we applied them with their digital citizenship. You cannot ignore every other player. Its so common now, back in the day it happened. Jerks will always be jerks. It has evolved into making online games a 50-50 chance of making your gaming experience bad, or making it good. Pushing many of the hardcore gamer's to single-player games especially, we just do not want to deal with it.
  10. Cubi Dorf

    Cubi Dorf TS Booster Posts: 119   +48

    Trash talks is when you tell other team they are not as good as your team. If you tell your own team members they are bad then it not trash talking. Trash talks is only psychological way to gain advantage. All other insult are just being mean. Also some community bad to female players, not related to game performance. Then avoiding those games.
  11. cdxpwj

    cdxpwj TS Rookie

    Yes jerk players have always been around but I think (and hope) the point here is to take out toxic players which does more than just trash talk. For example, tell people to "go kill yourself" is something I'd say that has crossed the line of trash talk and I have seen this been tossed out more frequent these days in game chat. In reality, it IS hard to define and that's where I HOPE they will have a good system in place to define/deal with these no-so-easily to define circumstances.
  12. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,757   +1,265

    Trash talking in game is something I don't consider toxic, but they might do. It is part of the game like it is everywhere where there's competition. People who get offended by it shouldn't play online games in the first place. Also if someone is really **** and is wasting everyones time why wouldn't he be called ****? Is it toxic being **** at the game also?
    SirChocula likes this.
  13. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 344   +94

    You sound very butt-hurt over this.
  14. No. Sometimes ridicule is just that.

    Besides, I play in moderated servers. The creation of a snowflake alliance doesn’t impact me.
  15. Anisara

    Anisara TS Rookie

    I miss being able to block someone and straight up never having to deal with them again.

    What happened to... oh you wanna be a jerk, we won't make them play with you. Block means block not mute them but still match you with them.

    Riot won't do that because their numbers would tank before rising. That game in the very beginning was awesome. Now every other game is a smartarse with a keyboard and an attention seeking mental complex.

    Blocking people leaves it in the hands of the players if they do not want to deal with them, resulting in longer que and possibly less skilled people on their team if you are a jerk. The block is immediately active no extra staff required. Players dont have to deal with jerks for long and 0 anxiety over getting placed with them again.

    (ps dont apply the block to ranked its just like a game mode, competitive can be excluded for the one complaining about being blocked bc maybe they are too good to get matched with. The argument is stupid. If the block keeps someone off your team and they are good you wouldn't block because that would only put you up against them)

    Win all the way around.
  16. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Maniac Posts: 263   +108

    Indeed. we always kind of self-moderated and it seemed to work well.
    SirChocula likes this.
  17. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,350   +400

    I play a game called Chivalry Medieval Warfare, it has the best community of any game iv ever played in my 35 years. It also has a votekick system, while some games like Dota would really have a problem with votekick. Games like COD would really benefit from this to weed out the super trolls.
  18. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    Ah yes...the snowflake generation who can't use the "mute" button and let it go. Everything "offends" someone...their precious feelings must be preserved prior to everything else.
    Impudicus and erickmendes like this.
  19. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 530   +229

    Nonethless, there's 'Chilvary' on it's title lol

    But seriously, I don't use in-game voice, I play Heroes of the Storm, there's enough toxicity to kill an elephant. I don't believe the industry will ever be able to do any better about this matter.
  20. Toxic culture creating toxic people, some of whom are gamers
    Impudicus likes this.
  21. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,719   +1,135

    Play a one hour team based game with a toxic player, sure you can mute but the team will be handicapped because they are a) feeding b) afking c) alienating your team and making it less effective.

    Your comment is quite toxic btw, you are basically insulting anyone who has ever had a bad gaming experience and don't want to have more of those because for some reason you think "mute" will make everything better, all of this without adding anything constructive to the topic.

    It's not about preserving precious feelings, it's about rooting out the elements that make a game that should be enjoyable a bad experience just because a behindorifice feels like it (Kind of like your post :)).
  22. sgoodwin

    sgoodwin TS Rookie

    Ahaha... I turned off multiplayer chat whilst playing Counter-Strike more than 15 years ago and have never had any urge to turn it back on. Children should be seen and not heard.
    Impudicus likes this.
  23. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    Your comment lost all credibility with me when you used "toxic". Some people will be douches, get over it. You speak as though I've never had a bad game with trolls. I've played plenty of MOBAs and class based shooterse to know how crappy it is but I don't need to whine about the experience. Enjoy your gaming speech censorship, because that's what it really is in the long run. Myself and others actually realize this is a horrible slippery path we're going down. Extra brownie points for your passive aggressiveness!
  24. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,719   +1,135

    You made a post in a Forum to insult everyone who believes toxicity is a thing that should be rooted out of games, without adding anything even closely on-topic into the conversation, how was your post any different from toxic behaviour (Bashing for the sake of bashing)?
  25. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    My apologies if I hurt your feelings, they are very important after all. I'll just go "mute" myself now and hopefully you won't need therapy to overcome this traumatic event.

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