Toxicity in Online Gaming and How to Curb it

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You’ve probably encountered online toxicity at some point or another. Perhaps you’ve wondered, “How could someone say that?” – after all, most people wouldn’t say such things to you in person. But online gaming makes this toxicity pervasive. Game developers can use AI to predict a match’s toxicity and improve their tools to counter it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some ways to fight this problem.

Griefing in online competitive games

What is griefing in online gaming? Griefing is a term used in multiplayer video games to describe the act of annoying or harassing other players. It is usually done to lower the competitive rank of someone else. In extreme cases, it is also meant to ruin the game for the players’ teammates. The definition of griefing varies from game to game. For example, in Overwatch, players may throw to lower others’ chances of winning.

In some games, griefing is considered a legitimate form of self-aggrandizement. While some gamers act like chimpanzees, there are many instances in which grieving can be an entirely acceptable form of self-aggrandizement. However, it is essential to remember that online gaming should be a limited and fun activity. It should not be a call to attention in the real world and should not detract from the victim’s experience.

Griefing origin in online gaming

While griefing in online gaming is an unfortunate reality, it has become a defining feature of the online gaming community. It began when Ultima Online, a multiplayer first-person shooter game, first gained widespread popularity in the mid-1990s. The game’s popularity helped establish the term “griefer,” a famous moniker for people engaging in bad-faith behavior in the game. In the early 2000s, this sour trend became a common annoyance in online gaming.

There are several forms of griefing, including team-killing and blocking. Some players even engage in social engineering in their griefing activities, such as making a social engine or using annoying sounds. But despite their good intentions, the act of griefing in online gaming can lead to negative consequences. While there are many types of grieving, the most common type involves the deliberate use of game mechanics to harass and annoy other players.


Aggroing is another method of griefing. Repeating repeatedly killing your teammate in an online game may result in harassment. In a multiplayer environment, “griefers” may interfere with other people’s goals by constantly killing them or interfering with their building activities. Furthermore, they may destroy the works of other players.

AI model predicts if a match is toxic.

A new study has developed an AI model that predicts whether a game match is toxic. Its accuracy rate is 86 percent. Other similar models have achieved 95.7 percent. It is not entirely clear whether this model will help to prevent toxic games. However, it will provide a valuable tool to human moderators. It could help filter out language that is harmful to other players. The AI model may prevent toxic games and improve gaming environments.

Several issues are entangled in defining toxicity in online gaming. For example, a new term that was once benign could suddenly be deemed inappropriate, or an existing term may be given a negative meaning. In other words, the term can be considered ‘toxic’ in one game but not in another. This AI model must balance the freedom of speech and the need to protect the community.

Toxic communities and their behavior in online gaming affect the quality of gameplay. While toxicity does not directly affect players’ lives, it is detrimental to the environment. Toxic behavior can cause psychological harm to players. AI models will help make gaming environments safer for everyone. And it will not be long until AI-based systems can predict whether a game is toxic.

However, tackling online toxicity is far more complex than analyzing tabular data. The presence of bias is difficult to categorize since the occurrence of online toxicity differs from one context to another. 

Additionally, there is no representative hate speech corpus for machine learning. The language is nuanced, and a subtle change in the order of words or punctuation can make the difference between a benign and toxic comment.

Rainbow Six Siege auto-bans players who pass toxic comments in chat

The Rainbow Six Siege has integrated an AI tool into its game to identify toxic comments from an individual. The game will recognize it, and based on the severity of harmful words, the game will automatically suspend them without other players reporting them. In today’s age, more and more competitive online games are implementing AI models to predict whether the chat box or voice chat is toxic; this new technology will hopefully curb Online Toxicity in gaming.

Toxicity is a dark side of online gaming.

Toxic behavior in online gaming is detrimental to both gamers and the game community. Not only does it impact the game’s enjoyment, but it also has negative consequences for game developers. According to a study by Unity, nearly half of players have experienced toxic behavior at one time or another. Two-thirds would stop playing a game if someone were to be abusive. Ninety percent of respondents agree that there should be better solutions to enforce in-game codes of conduct.

Toxic gamers can affect players’ lives. While toxic behavior can be distracting for the players and their communities, it can also be detrimental to the game’s bottom line. A Michigan State University study found that nearly two-thirds of multiplayer gamers report encountering toxic behavior at one point or another in the game. Many of these players stop playing a game due to toxic interactions. However, this finding is based on in-game reporting, which may not tell the whole toxicity story.

Game developers can improve tools to combat toxicity in online gaming.

To help combat toxicity in online gaming, game developers should strive to keep their communities safe. Many reports of online harassment and abuse are average people having a bad day or playing the wrong game. Gaming companies should focus on reforming players and teaching them right from wrong, and a reportable incident should be investigated as soon as possible. Different types of toxicity can be defined differently, so game developers should consider the nature of their communities before developing new tools.