PlayerUnknown: Violent Words Have Consequences, Even While Role-Playing

The banning of one of the game's most popular streamers prompts a surprisingly personal story from the designer of gaming's current phenomenon.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

What a stand up guy. PUBG could EASILY be one of the most toxic games communities so I’m glad there’s a guy who comes from those communities, understands them and what they need, and has his head on straight enough to banter, but with necessary restrain and adherence to the rules.

10/10, more gamedevs like this please.


This guy made a game about killing people for sport, a game that defualts with voice chat on for everyone, not your team, everyone so people can shout abuse at each other. There isn’t a game that goes by without someone screaming different racist slurs in the lobby and the devs have done nothing to combat it. This guy thinks that an in character joke about roudhouse kicks on Twitter is too far because it might trigger someone? I feel this is extremely hypocritical. Why is he being praised? His community is a toxic mess and they don’t even disable voice chat by defualt…

Good point on the voice chat for sure BUT you are getting some side-eye for that trigger on quotes friendo


I think the word “trigger” have gotten to the point that it’s a word used to insult people rather than talk about triggers. My intention wasn’t to say that triggering isn’t a real thing, it is. Don’t know why I thought putting it in quotes would convey that though… I’ll change it.


Ah ok. See I get that and usually agree, but I honestly think PlayerUnknown used it correctly there! Frankly a first with gamedevs for me! But you are right, we should measure the cookies we give him.


The point about voice chat is good though. It’s pretty vile, I think the least they could do is disable it by default, if they aren’t going to staff up a moderation team (which is understandable, given their size).

The lead developer saying something like this on Twitter is a way of combating that mentality, whether you think it’s effective or not, and it’s a fucking godsend after several years of having to read what the other dude behind one of the biggest games thinks about the world.


I get that, PlayerUnknown seems like a nice person and what he said isn’t wrong, so we should applaud it I guess. But I think it would be more effective if he said something about his own game and how they will do something about it. Instead he brought up an absurd joke that was made in character about roudhouse kicks as an example of how we should think about what we expose others to. I just can’t take him seriously when at the same time there are hundreds of PUBG lobbies with teenage boys shouting racist slurs at people for “fun”. His game is exposing millions of people (I guess?) to racism and abuse because of design choices he made.

I don’t disagree with your point, but this is the case for every single multiplayer game with voice chat.

And the joke wasn’t about roundhouse kicks. It was a joke about kicking the lead developer of the game in the chest. It also barely functions as a joke, so it’s a thoroughly fine line.

Edit: I should be clear, I also want them to disable voice chat by default. No one is served by its current state, except the assholes.


One thing that stuck out to me is that neither of the other two streamers said anything as it happened and then just continued the game afterwards. Didn’t tell Doc what he did was wrong or bad, or even offer an apology to the gunned down player. Even worse, I went back about a minute from Anthonys perspective and you can see that extra teammate sharing loot with him just before all this happened.

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I just wanted to throw out here that I enjoyed Klepek’s writeup of the incident and also the kind of discussion here at discourse dot zone. I, uhhh, made the mistake of attempting to read Kotaku comments for about 10 seconds before I bounced off that shit hard.

I increasingly don’t get the internet (particularly the comments section of anything, anywhere). On the other hand, I like that I feel interested by the kinds of discussion I see here. Anyway that’s me having nothing real to contribute and saying thanks!


How do you begin to moderate voice chat in a game that has millions of players where each round starts with a 100 shoulder to shoulder in a plane at the start of a round? It doesn’t even show you who’s talking making it even harder.

Voice chat is a problem but it’s a very hard problem to solve through moderators. I agree changing voice to off by default would be the easiest solution with the user being warned through popup when they turn it on.


I really think that devs should think twice before even including voice chat in games, let alone a global channel anywhere.


I was assuming that it would be done via a user-report system and moderators would review voice chat logs. Like a user could hit a report button and for that match it would save the voicechat logs for review? I don’t know if anyone in other games moderates voicechat though. It certainly doesn’t seem easy.

I’ve only played a bit of PUBG so I’m not sure how all the systems work, but can you hear nearby players in-game (i.e. once you get on the island) if they say something on comms? Otherwise having open comms in the lobby stage seems incredibly superfluous and something that they might as well remove. It would likely be in the devs best interest to first survey whether most players use PUBG comms or a 3rd-party system like Discord/TS/Vent.

Some other games have an auto-silence function after a set number of reports (Heroes of the Storm being the one I play), but it gets abused for many, with even the kindest streamers getting trolled.

My main concern would be just the file size but I would have to wonder if communication recording legal issues come into play as well. Either way just not having it on by default seems like the obvious solution seeing as everyone always tells new new players to just mute it as soon as they get in.

Yes, it’s distance based so if you sneak up to a house and over hear someone talking you can use it to get the jump on them. Although I’m not sure why anyone actually uses the all chat when you can set it to group only or just not use it all and use something better like Discord. We have one brave soul in our group that keeps it on just on the off chance they do hear someone talking once the match actually starts.

I think my first time ever seeing this streamer featured him screaming lazy, racist dad jokes into the camera. Fingers crossed that this encourages him to tone it down, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

(And Patrick, if you’re reading this – my condolences for your mentions)


Not including voice chat at all is really the only effective way to curb toxic behavior among players. Most people probably use Discord or Skype while they play, so I think the need for it has diminished really. People are going to act like assholes when provided with anonymity and an audience, and there’s no amount of moderation that could put an end to all the shittiness.

With stuff like Facebook or Twitch, anonymity isn’t really the case, but you’ll still find plenty of toxic individuals. I’m increasingly convinced that certain behaviour is just characteristic of us.