STICLI Games is the developer of Airport Master on Steam, a $15 airport simulator that by all accounts seems to be a decent game that merely suffers from a bad user interface. The developer, however, seems intent on driving their reputation directly into the river by coming right off the starting line with toxic behavior, an illegitimate end user license agreement, and enforcing trademarks that it very likely does not own. Since we live in a world where shady, toxic indie Steam developers waste no time perjuring themselves (because filing a false DMCA is committing perjury, a very real crime) by striking critical videos, banning people who post critical reviews, and threatening critics with everything from legal action to revoking their access to the game because they had the gall to complain on or off of the forums. But STICLI Games has taken it a step further. Imagine, as a non-business owner, what you would do to stop criticism of your game. You write it into the rules, right? While … [Read more...] about STICLI Games: Toxic Developer With Invalid EULA
Hi-Rez Studios has brought out the mighty ban hammer and is actively cracking down on toxic SMITE players. According to a recent developer update, the studio has taken action against over 2,000 players on all platforms because of allegedly toxic in-game behavior. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands more have faced the studios wrath in Season 5 alone. “Over 20,000 players have been suspended or banned in SMITE during Season 5 so far. However, this latest action today represents a ramp-up in our suspension activities, especially on Xbox and PS4, where our tools and processes have improved the most. One of our top priorities is making sure the player experience is positive and fun, and we’ve done major work recently to help us handle in game toxicity. We’ve been working hard to improve our machine learning tools to better identify players that have shown trends of negative behavior, as well as ramp up the efforts of our internal team at Hi-Rez that checks … [Read more...] about Hi-Rez Takes Action Against Over 20k Toxic SMITE Players
Over the holidays, I bumped into some great video material from author and YouTuber Caleb Ross that seems particularly useful for online gamers in particular. After all, if you want to fight toxicity, within or without you, you need to understand why people act awful online in the first place. “Why do some players turn into angry trolls the moment other players are introduced?” the first video asks. “Let’s turn to player psychology to find out why Online Me is such a piece of shit!” Yes, that was a joke. The answer is basically “deindividuation” – that’s when your identity fades a bit in a group, leading to reductions in “social accountability” and “self-monitoring.” In other words, we feel more anonymous within the group, and we know there aren’t going to be consequences for being a turd. Compounding the problem is the fact the the people in the group are transient, so you rarely have to deal with the … [Read more...] about For Science: The psychology of online gaming toxicity, fanpersonism, and gamer identity
Are studios starting to wake up and take action against particularly odious instances of gaming toxicity in their products? Blizzard, at least, is working to police its precious Overwatch League, which certainly does not need more controversy or bad publicity in its first season. The studio levied a three-game suspension, a $2,000 fine, and revoked the streaming privileges of Philadelphia Fusion’s Josh “Eqo” Corona after Corona made a racist face on one of his streams. Blizzard is reported to have tight control over the League’s players with its code of conduct, in which it wrote that no player or team could bring the League or studio into “disrepute” with their actions. (This is not the first fine the League has issued.) Speaking of disrepute, the League’s Boston Uprising went ahead and suspended Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez due to allegations that he, an adult, was pursuing a sexual relationship with a minor. And just … [Read more...] about The war on toxicity: Overwatch League and Rainbow Six Siege crack down
Video games are something that all ages enjoy. Now, there are games that are certainly only for adults, and there are games that are really only for kids, but the point is, they all enjoy playing games. And when there’s a game that both kids and adults can enjoy, it’s natural for them to have fun together with it. But, that also means that one can influence the other in negative ways, such is the case with Overwatch. For an issue with toxicity seems to be spreading. Redditor Feline_Lunacy notes that during a game, they played a child who upon beating them said “you guys are crap.” Certainly not something you’d want to hear from an apparent 11-year-old boy. But this does outline a problem with toxicity in the game. For Overwatch has one of the most toxic gaming communities out there today, and because of that, it’s not hard to believe that the words of the adults are influencing the words of the children. Now, sure, it’s also possible to think … [Read more...] about Does Toxicity In Overwatch Spread From Adults To Kids?