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?
Games alone won’t make the world better. They won’t even make gamers better. We publish some articles that certainly seem pretty pro-games, but we’re very upfront about the catches. One big one is on us, the players, and how we game. However, game designers can do a lot to help us. “But that’s hard, expensive, and/or boring!” some of you may be thinking. And yeah, sometimes that’s true. But for both indies and AAA companies, not only are there organizations able to help, but there’s the potential for government aid in unlikely places. Games for good isn’t just a pipe dream, either. Some of the most (deservedly) vilified gaming communities have not only helped with their time but their wallets as well. Even before going to GDC this year we knew this, but a few panels I watched really helped it click. The concept of player power for good I’ve mentioned how despite the fact that we have evidence that play helps … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: Games can help humanity, be profitable, and get support from gamers
It’s no surprise that Ready Player One was constantly being referenced at GDC 2018, especially in VR, AR, and MMO panels. It’s not just because of the movie’s release but because the tech involved is seeing a surge of interest. That doesn’t mean we’re on the cusp, in my opinion, but it may be a thing we should start talking about. And talking about it we did. As Bill Roper of Improbable and SpatialOS recently told me, “The next generation of online games isn’t going to behave like current-generation MMOs. […] We don’t know what a billion-person game might look like, but it’s likely to include a wide variety of playstyles, to reflect the diversity of its playerbase.” Even if you’re a cynic and don’t think SpatialOS will play any part of this future, Roper’s very much on the mark: Billion-person gaming isn’t going to be like our current MMOs. Roper moderated a panel on the topic, … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: Ready Player One Now, billion person gaming, and mitigating abuse
Toxicity in online gaming just keeps popping up – specifically as it pertains to chat and commenting. MOP reader Tanek pointed us to a thread about Standing Stone Games, which is apparently blocking specific words in LOTRO’s chat, including supposedly “political” words, leading some players to demand the company publish the full list to prove to said players they’re not “biased” (not gonna happen). Reader Stephen then linked us to the amusing story of a Norwegian site that’s developed a WordPress plugin that requires people to take a quiz on an article’s contents before being allowed to comment. Finally, there’s Saga of Lucimia, which this week spent its Monday dev blog discussing the Fair Play Alliance and its own home-grown play nice policy – and the fact that it will take a zero-tolerance, insta-ban approach to dealing with racism (we’ll assume other bigotry too). All of these are approaches to handling … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Are blacklists, quizzes, and threats effective at reducing text toxicity in MMOs?
Forget group-kicks: If you’re a tool in Sea of Thieves, your own shipmates might just opt to stuff you in the brig – “a holding cell located on the bottom of the ship that disruptive players can be sent to after a democratic vote is held by their shipmates,” explains Polygon in a piece last week. The idea is to give toxic or obnoxious players a chance to apologize or shape up, even roleplay their way out of the situation they created. This kind of penalty isn’t entirely new to MMOs, whether we’re talking jail in Ultima Online or Age of Wushu, but it’s certainly creative, right? At least as long as the majority of your ship isn’t toxic and you’re the one being shoved into a cell. What’s the most creative in-game way you’ve seen an online game studio thwart toxicity? Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What’s the most creative way MMOs thwart toxicity?