Player Toxicity

This isn’t exactly a hot take, discussions of players getting angry, nasty and just generally unpleasant to play with is nothing new. But I’d love to have a conversation about what is being done about that.

This came up for me last night when I found myself in a group of players using the n word, shouting “sieg heil” and generally being pretty next level awful.

I left the group and blocked them but really that felt like a band aid solution. Which made me wonder: why are these folks not warned and then banned from playing? I’ve heard arguments that that mechanic would be abused to punish people unfairly but that seems like something that moderators or admin would solve, just like any other platform does.

Not allowing straight up neonazi hate speech seems like a pretty low bar to clear, and it’s really disappointing to feel like people can spew that stuff with impunity without anyone stepping in.

I reported them but I don’t even know if those get followed up on. The whole experience left me feeling pretty bad about playing a game I genuinely love.

What do you think can be done to decrease the bizarrely high level of aggression in this game?


If you were in a group, then no it’s “fine.”

In game with random people though? That’s where you report them.

I don’t think there’s a solid answer because there’s always going to be toxicity. One of the problems I see with Overwatch is that it’s a really fun game that you get nothing out of. The skins are cool and all, but if a person catches a ban, oh well just make a new account right? I don’t think there’s really anything in the game to help players take it with any level of seriousness.

Creating a more “unique” experience might help. I could be banned right now from Ovevrwatch and be meh about it. What did I lose? A few hours that I spent having fun. Worth. However, I’d be devastated if my accounts on other games were banned. I guess what I’m going for is something worth holding on to.

Just the salt from the others in my topic

I like how you think its salt and that it belongs in a thread about toxicity.

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To OP:

There are three things you can do

  1. Report them. Which you did. Once these folks get a sufficient number of reports, they will receive an automated ban. Likely they will continue spewing neo n@zi stuff in the next game, and the game after that, and so on; and those unlucky enough to have them on their team will also report them. These reports will add up.

  2. Record the game as evidence. Media file attached to a report probably wont be reviewed, as Blizzard generally does not investigate individual reports, but this can change at any time. And your media file will be ready for them when they are ready for it

  3. Support ticket
    This is you opening a ticket with support to specifically tell them there are neo n@zis spewing their hate in the game chat. Best to attach the media file if you have it to the support ticket submission. It is far more likely this will be looked at by a real human being, but no guarentee if any further investigation will occur.

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Having moderators or admin would be expensive.

They might be able to at some point in the future get some voice recognition for future detection but, I’m not sure that’s available yet with sufficient reliability and low enough processing/storage cost.

Tweak endorsements a bit try to cut down on the spamming and separate good play from good behavior.

Add functionality to have enforcement staff literally drop in on a match. You wouldn’t be able to deal with even a small fraction that way but, it’d potentially scare people into behaving and not falsely reporting if on rare occasions judgement came immediately and publicly.

Remove lootboxes from the arcade and remove golden items from competitive play. It brings in people that don’t want to play the modes and they aren’t going to be happy and it can make other player’s gameplay worse.

Survey the population of the game and attempt to find patterns. If the population is high enough, you might try occasionally using them to provide better matches and to deal with problems more quickly.

Try to balance the publicity in such a way that it is not mostly going to people that behave poorly or have done so in the past.

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You can say stuff in america without any consequences. If you would do this in Germany you could be put behind bars. So this ppl are not aware of this being a problem.

Thanks for this really thoroughly explored response! I appreciate that you considered what influences people’s behavior.

I have to admit I can’t wrap my head around why people get so angry when their team loses or under performs. To me overwatch is a a recreational activity that I do for pleasure when I don’t want to work anymore. Getting angry about losing diminishes that enjoyment. Being angry feels awful! It is in MY best interest to laugh it off when I lose!

The angry responses seem so counter-intuitive to the idea of playing a game to have fun. But I want to be empathetic and try to understand why people feel so upset, and I want to be part of any change that could shift that atmosphere in a healthier direction.

Posts like yours explore what might be making people feel like they need to get angry when playing a team game. I’d love to take a deeper dive into that.

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