[Update 1/29/2018:] The Overwatch Twitter account clarified that they aren’t targeting comments on YouTube videos specifically but rather “toxic players” making comments and behaving in a “toxic” manner in clips shared on social media. The account addressed a response from YouTuber SidAlpha who addressed the company about the issue.
I think you misunderstood Jeff’s comments. We don’t target social media comments themselves. We target players who are being toxic in game clips which are posted on social media sites.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 29, 2018
Users were quick to ask what they meant by “toxic”, and the account clarified with the following.
“In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing.” https://t.co/48WX3IQhYi
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 29, 2018
[Original article:] After focusing heavily on promoting multiculturalism, turning their main character gay, blaming anti-SJW behavior for holding up content development, banning players that only played a straight white male character, and dumping hundreds of millions into e-sports, Blizzard has now finally taken the next step in shrinking their own community by scouring social media and YouTube to track down users who make “toxic” comments on videos and taking action against their Overwatch account.
I know, I know… it reads like some sort of parody based on a mock manual imitating George Orwell’s 1984. But I assure you, it’s not parody and it’s unfortunately not satire.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan updated the community with a new developer video log, which you can check out below.
In the video at the 2:40 mark, Kaplan reveals that they are banning Overwatch players based on the comments they make on YouTube videos and social media services. Kaplan states…
“We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube, for example, and look for incidents of very toxic behavior and track down the accounts that are participating in those and action them, oftentimes before anybody’s even reported them or they’ve shown up in any other place. That’s just one example of us being proactive that I think is going to make a big difference over time.”
So now if you voice your opinion about something you don’t like about Overwatch, or do it in a way that Blizzard feels is “toxic”, you can be banned from the game. Worse yet, even if no one reports you, you could end getting banned because Blizzard came across a “toxic” comment you made on YouTube. This means you either need to stop making anti-SJW comments on social media and YouTube, or you run the risk of kissing your Overwatch account goodbye.
Funnily enough, even the super-progressive community on Polygon felt as if this was an overstep, with user AmiralPatate cautioning others about the potential harms this system could do, writing…
“I have to admit, I don’t like toxicity as much as the next guy, but seeing a company hunting people down on social media doesn’t really fill me with joy.”
Kaplan also circled back around to the incident involving one-tricking a single hero. At the 9:30 mark in the video above, Kaplan actually discourages players from only maining a single hero, telling them it could ruin their experience and the experience of others, stating…
“Now Overwatch was designed as a game for you to pick different heroes. We allow for hero changes to happen all the time. We designed the game so there was nothing blocking you from having access to all 21 heroes when the game released – and now we’re up to 26 heroes – and we strongly encourage players to at least have a small hero pool of heroes you can switch around and play.
“Now I know the culture of maining and the culture of one-tricking has become very popular in our community, and you just need to know that if you’re only going to play one or two heroes, you’re going to have a hard time sometimes, because your hero might not be relevant in all situations all the time. And this isn’t our goal. Our goal is to have heroes all have a place in the game but not necessarily wholly and solely all the time by themselves. I believe super highly skilled players can pull off something like that, occasionally but just be careful you might be damaging the experience for yourself, and you might be risking the experience for your teammates.”
This is in response to players who hammered Blizzard for banning a player for only playing as Torbjorn. He’s one of the top players in Overwatch for the character, but was banned for only playing as Torbjorn. Essentially they’re punishing players for not picking from their pool of multicultural characters. If you’re not okay with that? Banned.
This is literally Blizzard attempting to force their millions of players into embracing their sociopolitical agendas whether their player base likes it or not. And even more than that, if you attempt to rebel by voicing your opinion about it on YouTube videos or social media, you could find yourself being banned from Overwatch.
(Main image courtesy of Snoopsahoy)