Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

April 25, 2012 -

The latest episode of the ultra popular web show Extra Credits (Season 4, Ep. 11) tackles the very thorny issue of online harassment in games. Anyone that has played a game online via their PC, Xbox 360, PS3, etc., has run into some (basically) anonymous individual who seems to have no control over what they say. They call you every name in the book for little or no reason. This episode of the show explores what can be done about it and why some of the usual excuses for allowing such behavior no longer work.

You can find the latest episode on Penny Arcade TV and a lengthy discussion from EC fans in their forums. They also offer a link to Microsoft's Xbox Live email support page where you can ask the company to provide more tools to deal with bullying, misogyny and hate speech that occurs in its gaming community.


Comments

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

Freedom of speech means coming into contact with those whose opinion and speech you find insulting. It is par for the course and the best thing you can do is simply mute and then block the player if you don't like them. That is as far as it should be taken. Cursing, Misogyny (and again I find Misandry omitted like always), Bigotry, and plain ol' rudeness are just as much a part of the world as kindness and helpfulness. If you can't deal with it in an anonymous setting then I have to question your social survival skills on the whole.

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Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

Why not just segregate the smack-talkers from everybody else?  Just have a smack-talking option in your profile that you can opt into, and then you can be matched with like-minded folk, say whatever the hell you want about each other, and no crying to the mods about it from anybody.  For the people who have not opted in, bring the hammer down on people being asshats (or force them into the smack-talk group).  Sounds easy enough.

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

Isn't that what the "Underground" option is for? XBL allows you to chose what type of player you are when you start a profile is it is supposed to match you with like minded people. Doesn't really work.

I know a few players who would like an Adults only option just to get away from kids and teens. Some of them are great kids, but the vast majority are annoying

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

The problem is that that option is basically cosmetic and they don't actually enforce any of it.

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

My usual rants about the non-enforcement of XBL's harassment policy aside... some of those examples shown in just the first minute of the episode alone were pretty damn messed up. Yet, if they were reported, I still seriously doubt any punishment befell the offenders.

Edit: The first suggestion, auto-muting persons who are typically muted at a significantly higher rate than others, is actually not bad of an idea.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

I totally agree.  That would help out so much in multiplayer.

Also, they made an interesting point about how women are cancelling their gold accounts because of the hostility in online games.  I'm kind of shocked M$ didn't follow the money and realize that this is costing them quite a bit of revenue.

Re: Extra Credits Tackles Harassment in Online Games

It's probably not making enough of a dent.

 
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