As the popularity of online gaming increases, so too does the number of nefarious players that prefer to be vitriolic and dampen everyone else's fun. Fortunately, when this happens to a game as popular as Overwatch, which is run by a company that cares a lot about everyone's experience with the game, the situation isn't as bad as it could be.
Toxicity in Overwatch is nothing new, and unfortunately, it simply comes with the territory. Game lead Jeff Kaplan has detailed the issue before. But don't fret -- it's not as though he's sitting around, doing nothing and simply talking about the problem. If you're the victim of some abuse, though, it may feel like things haven't changed fast enough.
As time has passed, the number of folks reporting others through the game has risen, but that alone isn't enough to take care of malicious players, quickly and decisively. Blizzard has decided to become a little more proactive as a result. In a new YouTube update to players, Kaplan covers a variety of topics, but he wastes no time addressing the elephant in the room.
Blizzard is under no impression that its job is done in fighting toxicity, but Kaplan has said that major improvements have been made recently. To improve things further, he said that the company has begun scouring social media to spot toxic players even before they're reported. In particular, YouTube is mentioned, but it seems likely Twitch would be on the radar as well.
Attention seeking, mean-spirited streamers who choose to broadcast their vulgarity or attempts to troll online could very well reveal themselves to Blizzard and allow the company to take swift action. If more companies took Blizzard's lead and did the same type of policing (and we'd imagine there may be some we won't know about), online games like Overwatch could have a much more vibrant community.
Perhaps in time, this issue could become something that artificial intelligence could handle. In some cases, AI may seem a little scary, but if it could be used to combat toxicity online (assuming it was accurate, of course), few would complain about the results.