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Blizzard Introduce New Steps To Address Abuse And Toxicity

It's very encouraging to see Blizzard taking measures to improve their user experience. If you are affected by abuse or harassment when gaming online, use the links throughout this article to access our various support services.

Game developer Blizzard has announced a series of new measures to curb abuse on their popular game Overwatch. The measures not only bring in a range of penalties for offenders, but also challenge other negative behavioral traits that are making some gamers feel unwelcome. As the Blizzard team explains, toxicity in gaming is not just confined to players being abusive to each other.

“In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. If you see someone engaging in any of these types of behaviors, report them. Players in violation will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game as a result.”

Lylirra, Community Manager, Blizzard

The changes Blizzard have made focus not only on punishing players who breach the rules but also on rewarding players for positive gameplay and good behavior – making the choice clear for the community. This approach is part of a wider trend emerging within the gaming industry that focuses on creating more inclusive gaming experiences for everyone and steering players to positive behaviors.

“This approach is about gamers looking after their own environment. It enables communities to help shape their own space and develop a more positive culture for all players.”

Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder, The Cybersmile Foundation

The issue of community management and in-game behavior is not just confined to the game and players – a far wider audience has to be accounted for. With event audiences in the tens of millions, and with esports now starting to rival mainstream sporting events, the stakes are high. The growth of gaming requires the community to grow healthily – this is not lost on the events organizers or game developers who are continuing to invest in creating solutions to the problem of toxicity within gaming.

If you are affected by in-game abuse and bullying we can help! Visit our Gaming Support Center or see the different ways we can help you through our Total Access Support service. For further information about Cybersmile and our work, please explore the following suggestions.

Do you play Overwatch? Tweet us your thoughts about the announcement @CybersmileHQ.