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Parents Beware Of Blizzard’s Overwatch Game For In Game Chat For Children and Adults!

Overwatch played by over 33+ Million gamers worldwide has recently started coming under fire for its lack of control in blocking toxic and sometimes even downright disgusting/despicable/ and bullying behavior of its online forums and in-game chat.

Currently there have been thousands of complaints about how bad the game chat system has been through the freely provided forum found here:  Blizzard – Overwatch Online Community Forum .

One of the more disturbing posts that the overwatch forum team deleted, was when an overwatch forum member became concerned in game, when a group of people on his team started bullying another player and eventually told the kid to kill himself because he was bad at the game.

Yelling, screaming, and arguing is nothing new to the internet gaming communities and is pretty much par of the course when joining an online community the size of Overwatch.  But what really has its online users upset, is the lack of response from Blizzard’s team and overwatch developer Jeff Kaplan .  The deletion of posts trying to warn them about such behavior is rampant.  But Blizzard and Overwatch are doing nothing to curb it.  It is as if the company is thriving off of this type of game chat to keep the game alive.

Another huge issue they seem to ignore, is women’s complaints about sexual harassment from other players.   Hundreds of thousands of posts have been removed from the forums trying to warn Blizzards development team of Overwatch that they are feeling abused and mistreated by other players especially men.  Instead of addressing the concerns of not just 1 women but the hundreds and thousands of women that play they game.  Their response is to just delete the posts all together so they lead to a 404 page as if they never existed.  Completely ignoring an entire demographic that has in the past struggled to try to show themselves equal in the gaming community.  Here is an example of such an instance by the overwatch team which leads straight to a 404 page that once stood where a female group of players was tired of such abuse and tried to report it on the public forum.  Instead of being able to link to the post.  They deleted it and now redirects.


They were constantly being harassed by male players online constantly requesting to be their friends and asking them out on dates.

Through the utter silence/deletion/ and slowing growth of the game over the past year, players are starting to find themselves new places to play such as paladins and other games where online game chats are not as horrible as the game for overwatch?

So What Went Wrong?

They implemented poor reporting and never followed through fully on bans.  Obviously bans are bad for business so you will find these people back within a few days with no real damage done, besides a break from the game.  Essentially as the game grew and more money was pumped into the main holding company blizzard.  Overwatch relaxed it’s banning and actually removed the avoid list all together.  Which was intended for people to stay away from people that were either being harassing or bullying.  In some cases people have actually reported that other players “wished they could kill them” if the met them in real life.

Essentially Overwatch the Game bread itself the environment that exists today and blizzard has no word on how to handle it.  Or if they even want to handle it.  That is not to say other great people do not exists, but the type of people you want to avoid in real life are far more prevalent in the Overwatch game then they would ever be in the outside world.

Between the lack of follow through, inability to block players, and the ability for players to harass you constantly even when you are out of game has started to create fracturing in what should be a solid game for anyone to play.  In reality in game matches turn into all out assaults on each other 9 times out of 10.

I have personally have been witness to the this behavior in Overwatch.  I have actually heard other players start crying over the game chat and had to leave the match because it was too much to endure for them emotionally.

At what point does this type of game behavior the communities fault? When does blizzard step in and say, we understand there is an issue that needs to be addressed?  Currently Blizzards Silence in this matter means they completely support sexual harassment , bullying , and suicide encouragement in a generation where facebook live suicides are a real thing.  This type of hate speech is becoming a wildfire all across the internet and blizzard that the game of Overwatch or just pouring fuel to the fire.  Kids should not be subjected to this type of speech in a game rated for everyone.

I understand the MSRB can not rate “Online Interactions” but at some point you have to protect the children and even adults from the type of  speech from grown men and women in a game which carries cartoon characters and lives in a fantasy world.

Why Not Just Play Offline Or Create Your Own Server?

Blizzard or more specifically Overwatch does not allow for it’s game to be played offline.  Even non competitive and modes that are supposed to be fun requires a 24/7/365 live internet connection to even play the game.  You can’t even train with a character without being connected to a server with the game which is a article for another day, but there are some major issues with how the game can be played, by people that are intrigued by the game’s gameplay, but want to avoid their online community.

What other issues have caused for concern for in game chat and the online community?

  • Request For More LGBT Characters, are downvoted and the people requesting them are made fun of.  When it gets bad enough the post is deleted.
  • Request For More racially diverse characters, turns into bigotry and racial slurs towards the posters and is downvoted.

My Thoughts

If in real life individuals can avoid these types of people through different mechanisms then blizzard should also implement features to allow children and adults to avoid what the community calls “toxic players“.  These types of mechanics should have been implemented from day one especially since you know your game will be played by all age groups.

At no point is it ever okay for a grown man to tell a child that they should ever just go kill themselves in a game because that adult is having a hard time in a video game with cartoons.  Some of this can be blamed on the individual, but it is also attributed to Overwatch and Blizzards inability to ensure the community that plays the game has the mechanisms in place to create a safe place to play the game.

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Parents Beware Of Blizzard's Overwatch Game For In Game Chat For Children and Adults!
One of the more disturbing posts that the overwatch forum team deleted, was when an overwatch forum member became concerned in game, when a group of people on his team started bullying another player and eventually told the kid to kill himself because he was bad at the game.
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July 13, 2017

As I was saying, have you ever been a part of the gaming community? This is nothing new. The game is rated T, so if you’re too young or can’t handle a little trash talk or you just can’t stand the way your being talked too… Then don’t play the game or buy it for your children. It is as simple as that. That is besides the point though as I personally have never seen a more friendly community then that of overwatch. I guess you never played call of duty or any other fps but this is just a matter of a single instanse and a single opinion. Honestly if your really that bad then turn the volume down on your tv. I personally have never been trash talked on the game or witnessed a severe case of this happening ever and that is coming from someone who actually games occasionally and witnesses this kind of “behavior” all the time. Please don’t hate on something you don’t have to participate in. And the LGTB/Interacial thing that was mention, is just downright wrong. I am interacial and have never once been insulted, and by the way have you heard the new character doomfish is black? Yeah along with another one of the released characters. There is also a straight up gorrila so if that’s not diverse enough for you I don’t know what else will be. Just stop hating on something you know nothing about. Also stop trying to tell parents to stay away from doing. ings with their kids and encourage their own decision making when it comes to what is and what is not right for their children. If they care, they will be around their children enough to know if something is bad for them. Take care grumpy.

July 13, 2017

Hello Michael, I really appreciate the passion and drive you have for the overwatch community and game as a whole, but I think you may have missed some valid points within the article initially. There are great instances of the community coming together around overwatch and creating awesome content, but that is not what is in question here. The article touches more about the posts regarding the in game experience reported by other players in blizzard’s own public online forum. And how the overwatch moderators are deleting these posts regarding these sensitive subjects making it look as though these problems don’t exist. All online games have a pretty toxic community, but for a game rated “teen” as you mentioned, it is actually the least controlled, when you have kids well under teen playing the game. In the instance where you have grown men 30-40 years old telling a young kid no older than 8-10 years old to kill themselves, you have to agree this is pretty concerning in any game, but overwatch has no system in place to ensure this player does not get matched up with these people again. This has nothing to do with what “I viewed” and more related to all the posts related to this type of toxicity in the voice/message game chat, posted by thousands upon thousands of overwatch players in their online forums. That does not include the un-official boards like reddit or 4chan, which have their own forums dedicated to Overwatch. In the other games you mentioned for example call of duty, they have a system in place that allows you to block players completely from ever match making with them ever again, or at minimum that person never being on your team again. Overwatch does not have such a system in place. There used to be an option only on pc to block players, but that was removed. As for the LGBT/Race topic, if you read all the forums related to the LGBT and the request for inclusion of other races, you would have a different feeling. But you can’t because blizzard constantly deletes these forums posts. One forum post was a black player complaining about all the “white” people calling him a “N****R” in chat and that there was no way to block them. So as you maybe right, not every game is filled with racial slurs, sexual advances, or the threat of being told to commit suicide. That does not mean it is not there, and blizzard at the moment does not allow you to stay away from these types of people. As for doomfist being black, this article was written well before Doomfist came out on the PTR or was even officially announced. As for being too young or “can’t handle it” every individual is different. This is like telling a baby to run because they have legs, it’s not a valid point, or does it help to solve the serious issue at hand. In summary you should have control over who you play with as you have control over the type of people you interact with in the real world. Some situations are unavoidable, but it is blizzard’s job to ensure every person no matter who they are, feels safe playing what should simply be a past time. No person should ever load up a game and be threatened, abused or mistreated, just because they are not as skilled as other players. It just common human decency.

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