How Valve’s Reporting System Undermines The Safety of Women

Ok. I have been playing rocket league for a months now and there is a learning curve. It’s easy to spot a rookie and a semipro, even if they hide their level by how they play. Using turbo indiscriminately, standing under the ball, hitting the ball in the wrong direction, bumping teammates, etc. However there’s something weird, usually the ones doing all the shit talking, putting others down, calling teammates “garbage” and escalating things are rookies and semi-pros. Not all of them but there’s a fair chance that if someone is attacking others, it’s an angry, frustrated low level player. Whether this is actually a thing or if this is just my mind trying to find patterns where there aren’t any, that’s another story.

The fact is that I am a guy and I myself have experienced all kinds of insults, sexist threats,racism, threats of violence, threats of rape, harrassment in competitive games, so i know it’s real and you can find it anywhere: rocket league, halo, dayz, call of duty, bomberman(!!), etc, etc. However in my many years of playing video games online I have only reported one particularly toxic player who was not only tampering with the game using mods, but also sent a flurry of private messages when called out. I reported the guy not out of fear of anything he could do but because he was disruptive in a way that couldn’t be worked around.

Anti-harrassment measures can backfire and be missused too., as you can see in this example:

While hoping for a society where respect, equality and all that stuff is the norm is definitely NOT pointless, expecting others to join that crusade while they are engaging in a casual or ranked match of whatever is kind of silly. Gaming is a hobby full of escapists and people who are just playing a game, not in it to make social commentary. It’s not an issue to me, mute and ignore works fine. Reporting and expecting a response? well… when there is money involved and you are making a report to valve (about issues with your account, charges to your card, etc) sometimes it takes from 10 days to months. I somehow doubt it’s disregard for the matter but actually a logistics issue. Steam support must get a ton of daily tickets just on technical issues alone, account thefts, tampering, abuse, etc.

You say this is not a matter we should laugh off like immature children yet at the same time your suggestion of more policing and safe spaces (!) is sort of infantilizing for issues that can easily be handled by the mechanisms already in place.

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