There are many reasons why some people won't play online games. One of them is the rising toxicity and harassment often found in those environments. I personally know people who stopped playing their favorite games because they just couldn't stand the constant harassment and name calling they would be exposed to at every game session they were on. We're talking about racial slurs, misogyny, xenophobia and all sort of bad interactions with strangers who choose to show you their worst side just because they can.
As gaming becomes more and more part of our everyday online lives, they're reaching an ever-growing diverse audience, according to researchers. A study indicates that 41% of American adults have experienced some sort of online harassment and 66% have, at least, witnessed it once in their lives.
Sometimes, when this discussion emerges in gaming related forums, facebook groups or Twitter, a common argument that goes along with the thread is that "it is what it is because this is how the internet works. There's no way around it and you should just stop complaining already. That's victim mentality". Once we elaborate on that thought and start unpacking it, the only possible conclusion is that "you'd better become resilient and face everything that comes your way otherwise you're not gonna be strong enough for the next big storm".
That's not a joke. I've witnessed a habitual harasser in a facebook group stating something along those lines after being collectively confronted by the majority who got tired of his attitude towards some members. On that occasion, he suggested that anyone should feel free to say whatever they wanted for keeping the group's freedom of speech intact, and if someone felt hurt, they should take it as a lesson, after all, the world is a jungle out there and you've gotta man up. In other words, he's simply saying that he'd rather invest his social interaction energy into teaching people how the world sucks, by contributing to make it worse, than to use it for fostering a more welcoming community. He forgot he once made a choice and he now sees it as a consequence of a natural logic. That's quite convenient.
Although not all forms of harassment come from that twisted view of reality, trolls exist and are keeping people away from online gaming. For a business, that's money thrown out of the window. Maybe that's what's driving Ubisoft's recent decision to automatically ban players who use certain words in Rainbow Six's chat channels. Or it could be they're just trying to make things right, hopefully.
This is a tweet from Rainbow Six's twitter account:
We have added additional accounts and updates to the boosted player ban wave.
— Rainbow Six Siege (@Rainbow6Game) July 16, 2018
The tweet reads:
We have added additional accounts and updates to the boosted player ban wave. Please find the exact details in our post here > https://t.co/1jIHmds8Wt
Anyway, let's do the math: how many more players are likely to play Rainbow Six now that Ubisoft is cracking down on the trolls? We still don't know but as a strategic business-oriented decision, Ubisoft must know what it does and they're certainly counting on a good outcome from this decision.
Of course, they're facing some resistance:
— Isaac Hruby (@IsaacHruby) July 19, 2018
So far, players can be banned from 2 to 15 days or forever due to abusive speech, especially homophobic and racial slurs. Apparently, it all depends on the severity and the frequency of an offense.