If you enjoy multiplayer games, then you’ve most likely had at least one negative experience in an online match. Maybe one of your teammates decides to throw the match out of frustration, or a player is harassing other players through the chat. Players like this ruin the fun that comes with video games, and one game company has a new tactic to regulate player behavior.
Blizzard is now monitoring sites like YouTube for any unsportsmanlike behavior in Overwatch. In a recent developer update, Overwatch lead designer Jeff Kaplan said:
“We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube, for example and look for incidents of very toxic behavior and track down the accounts that are participating and action them often times before anyone’s even reported them.”
Overwatch has had a problem with player behavior ever since it was released back in 2016. Back then the system to report players had little effect on preventing such behavior, so last year Blizzard revised how they handle reported players. The company believes their players deserve a safe and fun environment and has stated they “take toxicity seriously and take appropriate steps to monitor and we validate claims regardless of how it is brought to our attention.” Kaplan stated that incidents of abuse and harassment have dropped 17 percent, and more players have begun utilizing the ability to report unruly players.
If a huge video game company like Blizzard is using this new tactic to combat toxic gamers, should other gaming companies follow suit? Overwatch isn’t the only game that has issues with player behavior. Games like Rainbow Six Siege and Call of Duty: World War II have a very passionate community, and players tend to experience some bad apples in online matches.
Some people might feel that Blizzard is stepping over their boundaries of what a game company is allowed to do, but then again, YouTube is a public site that anyone can access. Other gamers might agree that developers should be more involved in the process of moderating online matches because it’s the developer’s responsibility to do so. However you feel about this, one thing is for sure. Any competitive online game is bound to reel in some toxic players who don’t understand that video games are purely for fun.
Do you think more game developers should monitor YouTube for toxic behavior? What games do you think have the most toxic players? Let us know in the comments below!