Is This Right?
Toxic gaming environments are bad. Most of us can agree on that, except for maybe the perpetrators. In order to keep players happy and provide a safe online experience for them, developers have to be creative in coming up with ways to combat online toxicity. Valorant developer Riot Games has come up with an outline of how they intend to root out disrespectful players and unwanted behavior, but the basic premise might make players uneasy. Plainly speaking, Riot Games is going to be recording the voice chat of offenders.
What does this mean for the everyday, nice, respectful Valorant player? Hopefully, not much. It is kind of unclear how this will be implemented, but Riot Games specifies that they will not be actively listening to you, but they be potentially listening to you. You know, kind of like the NSA. On one hand, voice chat is arguably the prime area of toxicity in most online games. Striking at the source makes sense. On the other hand, the scope and implementation of this measure is kind of confusing, at least to your ol’ pal Zane. Will players know when they are being recorded? Are these recordings secure? How does Riot Games determine what is and is not a target for recording? These are questions that come to mind that do not have answers.
If you want to opt out of this, Riot Games does have a suggestion, though not a very good one: turn off voice chat. This new measure will be part of an updated Privacy Notice and Terms of Service. This initiative is focused on Valorant, but all other Riot Games online games are subject to adopting this as well. Valorant is available for PC.
What is your take on this measure to combat toxic online behavior? Let us know in the comments below.