Video Game Voice Chat Is So Toxic, Two Black Gamers Are Taking On The Issue Themselves

Racism and bigotry in certain online gaming spaces have become so synonymous with the culture, most players have just accepted the toxicity as part of the experience. For example, people who play Call of Duty today and use voice chat are generally split into two camps: those willing to put up with an endless stream of racist and sexist comments from random people on the internet, and those who avoid online lobbies altogether in favor of using voice chat alternatives like Discord to speak to their friends.

But Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, founder of “Melanin Gamers,” believes racism, sexism, and homophobia only persists in online games because there hasn’t been a serious industry-wide effort to actually try and address the problem.

“It’s easier to report a cheater than to report someone saying something sexist or racist towards you,” Annabel told Waypoint. “It’s proof that so much of the issue can be solved by the industry actually saying ‘yeah, this is a problem that we have to start facing.’”

So instead of waiting and hoping big publishers like Activision will finally do something about it, she, along with her brother Alan, have decided to take the lead themselves with “The Watch,” an online initiative asking players to record and submit instances of online racism. They hope this more grassroots approach will be a more effective way to report racism, starting with one of the more toxic online communities online today, Call Of Duty.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/88qgd4/video-game-voice-chat-is-so-toxic-two-black-gamers-are-taking-on-the-issue-themselves
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I would really like to see them go after Valve on this. Valve does the absolute bare minimum when it comes to racism and hate speech on Steam and in it’s games. The idea that they implemented a personal word ban list that users can control is on the surface good but at it’s core is a washing of their hands of accountability.

TF2 and CSGO let you rename your weapons. Guess what words are not auto filtered out for some reason? Guess how often forced name changes are done on these items? This is minimum effort level moderation and a billion dollar company can’t find it in themselves to make sure people can’t name their AWP a racial slur.

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