Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot more “Great ult!” and “Thanks for switching!” in Overwatch than “Get wrecked, you useless piece of s***.” After toxicity in Overwatch’s competitive mode reached critical saturation last season, this season, which began September 1st, has felt markedly more positive.
Overwatch has serious issues with toxic players, and in recent months, those problems only seem to have gotten worse. Blizzard swears up and down that it’s working to improve player behavior, but according to game director Jeff Kaplan, those efforts are taking a direct toll on other aspects of the game’s development.
Earlier this week Kotaku UK ran an article from Charleyy Hodson about the sexual harassment she recently faced on Twitch while livestreaming in the site’s IRL category. Everyone seems to agree there’s a problem, but it’s not so easy to find consensus on how platforms like Twitch should be tackling it. Given the focus…
Blizzard announced increased penalties for toxic Overwatch players yesterday, effective immediately. Kotaku has reported that Overwatch’s previous reporting system was toothless, which may have inspired the game’s recent toxicity epidemic. We’re monitoring to see whether Blizzard will take real action.
Call of Duty commentator Jack Campbell left his esports career behind last month in the wake of the internet’s response to leaked screencaps that implied he had a foot fetish. In his goodbye video, Campbell explained, “This has now affected my personal life, my family, and me personally… It’s too much for me now, and…
“I think we’d do better with a healer,” I suggested to my Overwatch team earlier this week. We were in the spawn room defending the Temple of Anubis and, without a healer, we would quickly forfeit the objective. Not even the slightest pause passed before a teammate told me that, instead, “What we need is another man.”
On Sunday night, Call of Duty commentator Jack Campbell announced his departure from the esports scene and his plan to deactivate his Twitter account. Campbell’s love life has become a topic de rigeur for Call of Duty fans in the past month, in spite of Campbell’s attempts to stave off fans’ speculation. The situation…
When a player reports an abusive teammate in Overwatch, the most common response is rarely fear, regret, or even an apology. It’s “go ahead!” Overwatch’s reporting system is opaque, like any game’s, but word on the street is that it’s toothless.
Trash talking is divisive among gamers. If you go too far, you run the risk of sending your friend home crying and never again playing another round of Mario Party against them. Or, if you’re conflict-averse, a few unsavory words over Madden could make you think worse of your good buddy. Some stand by trash talk as a…
Twitch broadcaster IronPhoenix87 was streaming Call of Duty on the PS4 for a few viewers late December when he was suddenly pummeled by dozens of random messages. “I have have hacked your twitch beware,” they read, over and over. “Spam by https://spampsn.com - - -.” IronPhoenix87 was playing an open game and doesn’t…
The Internet is not always a kind place, especially when you’re a public figure.
Over the last few months, several women have reported facing or witnessing sexual harassment online in VR. Most recently, author Jordan Belamire explained on Medium last week that the avatar of someone she didn’t know virtually groped her in the online mulitplayer game QuiVR. Yesterday, QuiVR’s developers responded by…
The twisting controversies about the translation of Nintendo games, harassment, and the firing of one of its employees got even messier this week.
Nintendo employee Alison Rapp, who’s been a target of harassment over censorship controversies in recent months, said on Twitter that she has been fired. “Today, the decision was made,” she wrote. “I am no longer a good, safe representative of Nintendo, and my employment has been terminated.”
Gaming’s culture war hasn’t ended. It’s still roiling, with new fights, new targets, new depths of ugliness, but also many of the same tactics.
It's Monday, March 2nd, the first day of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and I can't help but notice a common refrain: "I'm already tired."
Harassment and abuse have been constant problems for people who use Twitter, but the company itself has remained largely silent on the matter. A new leaked internal memo indicates that may be about to change, and Twitter might finally do something to combat trolls.
Nicole Jacobs writes over on Bleeding Cool about the issue of harassment (and inadequate policies) at conventions. It's required reading, if only so you can see Hollaback Philly's anti-harassment cards.
If you've spent much time online—playing games, talking on social media, using message boards—chances are you've gotten some abuse. Someone's called you a fag, or a dumb bitch, or suggested they might find out where you live and skullfuck you to death.