Survey finds high levels of harassment in multiplayer games, as well as white supremacist recruiting attempts

Why am I not surprised at League Of Legends being the worst? I mean it isn’t like Riot Games is a hotbed of toxic brogrammer assholes or anything? (narrator voice: It is). During my unemployed days I got an offer from a recruiter to work there as I guess a mod. He tried to upsell getting paid to play and I told him that working at the Safeway paid better as well was not known for the most toxic customers ever. Seriously $12/hr to ride herd on that group. I would have been handing out banhammers every damn second.

TF2 when I played regularly on the official servers was usually quiet and the Valve mods would beat down on the kids who found it was fun to type/shout awful things. The overall feeling on the Valve hosted servers is SHUT THE FUCK UP AND PLAY.

The commnunity servers were mostly hit with the mods there not putting with anything and very small miss of letting the kids be assholes on the mic.


Maybe it depends on your “traits” that they would want to harass you about; LGBTQ, black, hispanic, woman, muslim, jew, etc.

So the group a player belongs to determines the odds of getting harassed in any specific game.

I could be wrong though. I haven’t read the linked article yet because it’s quite long and I’m surprisingly busy for a Tuesday. Perhaps someone who has read the whole thing could weigh in on this apparent paradox?


Cory seems to have summarized it weirdly.

They appear to have polled positive experiences of specific types, making friends etc. Along with negative experiences of specific types, like racist harassment. No particular experience is exclusive of any other. And it wasn’t a simple poll of positive vs negative impressions of the game. But specific frequency of particular interactions in a particular game. So what you’re looking at is that some of the games where people are most likely to make a friend are also the games where people are most likely to be harassed. That sort of thing.


I quit LoL because of the toxicity. Make any small mistake, and it was basically guaranteed that someone on your team would start in on the abuse. And considering some of the longer matches could go for up to an hour and a half, and you were penalized if you left at any time, it meant you were basically locked in a room with a raging font of toxic racism and negativity.

The best games I had were the ones where I started the match by muting EVERYONE. Allies and opponents.

…and then I started getting vote-kicked from games for ignoring their messages.

I don’t regret leaving at all. Don’t know what it is about that game’s community, but it is the worst I’ve encountered.



To be fair harassing people in a single player game would be some psycho mantis level trolling


It could be partly that the positive and negative scores are for two different things, the positive was if the player had experience any positive interaction in the game (making a friend, getting helped by a stranger, etc.) and the negative is for severe harassment. I’ve seen both happen in the same match in Overwatch so it’s not a real surprise to me that it could rank high in both categories. And given team size and match length a really toxic player can ruin the day of about 5+ people every 10-15 minutes.

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Cory slightly misquoted the survey, the positive number was not for unlikely to be harassed but for good experiences. from the PDF emphasis mine:

The survey found that 88 percent of adults who play online multiplayer games in the US reported positive social experiences while playing games online. The most common experiences were making friends (51%) and helping other players (50%). The games in which players most reported positive social experiences were World of Warcraft(59%), Minecraft (55%), NBA 2k (51%), Overwatch (49%), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive(48%) and Fortnite (47%


I play Overwatch and I get harassed or see harassment somewhat regularly. It was worse when I played competitive and quick play but now I just play free for all deathmatch. Deathmatch is better since its no teams, just 8 people but I do encounter Jack assess though they’re easier to ignore since I don’t have to rely on them for teamwork.

Just last night I received a ton of hate messages from one person trying really hard to trigger me (I could see through what he was doing). On the plus side the rest of the server jumped in and gave me props for playing well so it’s not all bad.


Do they not have block feature in Overwatch? o_0

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Not really, you can add someone into a temporary “avoid player” list but it’s got very limited slots (I think it’s 5 or 7), and it’s not very easy to add people to it and it’s only active on that player soft-block for like 2 weeks.

There’s actually a legitimate reason for the limitation but I’ll have to explain later since I’m about to go in a meeting


Online games I’ve been harassed in:

… nope, list is too long. Basically all of them. Mostly for being female and not sexually available. The list includes such “violent” games as Catan, Yahoo Pool, and Words with Friends.


In Second Life, maybe. Uno, not so much.


Adding to my previous comment:

The player pool for competitive games in Overwatch specifically gets smaller and smaller the higher in skill and rank someone gets to. So having a feature that allows someone to block players from being in their games is limited and temporary because they’re trying to avoid having people abuse the system. Also allowing people to avoid a larger pool of players can also make matchmaking take longer and longer because there wouldn’t be as many people to play against.

It’s definitely far from perfect especially when it comes to playing with or against toxic players. Ultimately the best thing anyone can do is just report them to Blizzard, i have reported my fair share of assholes and have gotten confirmation that action was taken against them.


i’ve been playing WoW since TBC, and yep, i play solo these days because my guildies are all on hiatus. i also turned off the Trade and General chats, so i only see guild chat when that happens. the numbers cited in the study seem about right to me, though, in my experience. WoW’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still pretty toxic in the general chat screen… typical kids thinking they are being edgy… it’s best just to ignore them.


A slight derailment, but what do you WoW players think of the upcoming WoW Classic version of the game that’s coming out soon?


I have played WoW since release. I may try out classic since I will have access but it is not something I am eagerly anticipating.

I currently raid with an odd cross realm group and made a character on the server that some of them are on just for fun. I was amazed how many LGBTQ guilds there are on it.


cc @Franko

I personally think its a neat idea to try and bring subs back; but people will quickly realize the quality of life advances made post-Vanilla are really what helped make the game more fun long term. When they find leveling to be terrible, they have to run everywhere forever, corpse runs, no real economy to make money on so they are constantly gold-poor…yeah, it’s not the long term love-fest they think they are getting.

Additionally, classic will have the same issue all the latest xpacs have had…once you get to end game, what next? Players bitch and moan to no end because the next patch or raid content isn’t available soon enough now, what will they do when there is literally NO patch or new content ever coming?

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That’s my one long time gripe in Overwatch, there is literally no way to disable their general chat beyond manually typing /leavechannel and every time you finish a game it gets re-enabled automatically. When you load up the game it’s just always there basically and i’ve seen people say some really questionable things in the general chat, i don’t for the life of me understand why Blizzard hasn’t added a way to shut it off completely.


i didn’t play from the start, so honestly i don’t get the appeal. i think it’s largely nostalgia-based. it will be huge on launch, but i think like @anon61833566 says, once the reality of the lack of all the quality of life changes they’ve made to the game since then sinks in, the thrill of playing will be gone. and yeah, that “end game” conundrum, for sure. you can only run Blackwing Lair and Molten Core so many times…