Infinity Ward have announced a series of new measures and improvements that they will be making within Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to try and stamp out racism within the game’s player base. This will include adding further resources to monitor racist content, adding improved filters, and adding better in-game reporting systems for players to use.
— Infinity Ward (@InfinityWard) June 3, 2020
With so many video game companies speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter protests that are currently taking place in America and around the world, they now have to start backing up those words with actions. In the short term a number of companies that include EA and Ubisoft have made charitable donations, but that’s just a first step toward meaningful change within each organisation.
It has to also extend to the video games themselves, with some games a hotbed of racist and sexist abuse. Call of Duty has been notorious for this over the years, as it grabbed mainstream appeal just as online gaming boomed at the start of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, with players grabbing headsets to hurl abuse at one another.
While the situation has improved thanks to better reporting systems and chat filters, it’s good to see Infinity Ward taking this seriously and revising their existing policies and systems. As they state, they already have been banning thousands of users with “racist and hate-oriented names”, but will not look to add more resources to monitor this and hand out tougher bans. These moves include:
- Adding additional resources to monitor and ID racist content
- Adding additional in-game reporting systems to increase the number of bans by hour
- Adding filters and greater restrictions on name changes
- Evaluating in-game improvements to make it easier to report offenses
- Increasing permanent bans to root out repeat offenders
It’s good to see, and is hopefully the start of an industry-wide trend to make video games an increasingly inclusive place for everyone.