June 21, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

No one should have to “put on a thicker skin”: Valorant studio vows to impose harsh penalties for harassment

Riot Games has committed to a series of new measures to reduce harassment and hate speech in the valorant community. in a video titled 'Keeping our community healthy // Developer updates' Anna Donlon, head of the studio, spoke with Xitter to describe the new measures for the competition. SPF. Below is a graphic detailing the changes, which include new penalties such as hardware bans for violators, and an expanded feature for the game's voice evaluation technology, which monitors chat for bad behavior. “If you want to make evil statements under the guise of 'chat (naughty word SEO doesn't like to be in the first paragraph),' you are not welcome here,” writes the official Valorant account.

A graphic detailing the measures Riot is taking to reduce harassment in FPS Valorant
Image credit: riot games

“Player behavior is a complex problem space,” Donlon said. Sometimes solutions have to be “painfully manual.” “Sometimes technology, which has the potential to change the rules of the game, takes longer than desired.” He reiterated that offending members of the community are a minority, but added that “unfortunately, there are still people in this world who want to take their insecurity, or their bad day, or their hatred, or whatever, to some stranger through from your computer. screen.”

“In almost every case, someone gets hurt in the process of upgrading these systems,” Donlon continued. Earlier this month, streamer Taylor Morgan went viral with the following post.

In the accompanying video, Morgan shared footage of a broadcast in which he was subjected to sexual harassment and verbal abuse by another player. “I know you hear us,” Morgan wrote. “I know you see us. If this goes unpunished, I will take it as an active act on your part that you don't give a damn about the women and minorities who play your game, and I will join together to boycott it.”

It would seem that Riot was paying attention. “When you tell someone to 'just mute communications' to avoid harassment, you're basically putting the harassed person in a position to not communicate,” Donlon said. “Compromise how they want to play the game to please you.”

“Competitive games should have room for jokes. We believe this, and I understand the fear that we sanitize games by 'over-addressing' these issues,” Donlon continued. “We have no interest in doing that. But we do believe that a person should not be in a position to 'grow a thicker skin' or any other unhelpful suggestion that has been thrown around just to avoid threats of violence or literal hate speech.” Cheap talk, of course, but it's encouraging to see a studio react so quickly to something that's making Valorant a worse place for so many. The riots themselves were the subject of accusations and lawsuits related to an abusive work culture a few years ago, and I've been careful to position themselves as if they had learned from experience.

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