It feels like such an old stereotype now, but angry people playing games and hurling abuse at other players has almost become synonymous with online gaming. It’s probably a big part of the reason why many games are now rather silent when I go to play them with regular matchmaking.
Ubisoft are trying to crack down on this kind of abusive behaviour in Rainbow Six Siege on PC with an automated system coming into effect next week. It will ban players for using racial and homophobic slurs and hate speech in game. As outlined in their Code of Conduct, you can be banned for “Any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden.”
A sliding scale of punishment will see people banned for 2, 7, 15 days or permanently, depending on the severity and repeat offences that are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If someone does get banned, everyone else will have the tiny little joy of seeing “Username has been banned for toxicity.” pop up in the game’s messages.
It’s a baby step in the right direction, thanks to a number of caveats to this system. For one thing, it can seemingly only be applied to text chat in game, as that can be logged and voice chat is not and would require voice recognition software. It will also still have to live alongside the current system of having players manually report those who abuse. Also, this is for PC only, with consoles held to Microsoft and Sony’s own code of conduct and player reporting system.
The community team have also reassured players that this is only targeting abuse, so foul mouthed language is fine. “That isn’t what we’re looking to crack down on, as that isn’t toxic or even negative language,” Ubi-Zoro said, “We’re really focusing on slurs, homophobic language, and similarly offensive toxicity.”
And in a top slap down, when one person asked “Can we appeal this police-state, facist new rule?” its_Epi replied, “Sure. You can play pretty much any other game.”