How to Prevent Political Trolls From Spoiling Your Games
Is it me, or has politics taken over almost every video game with a chat component? Even when Election Day is officially over (even if we don’t quite know who our next president will be), I doubt I have seen the latest TRUMP 2020, MAGA, or worse, in the Orgrimmar World of Warcraft (or Barrens) chat. And I’m not the only player dealing with this:
The list goes on. And while the best advice I can give for dealing with toxic political conversation in games is “just ignore it,” it’s not always the easiest solution. If, for example, you are playing an MMO where most of the information about what you are doing ends up in the same window used for chat, it will be harder to ignore whoever tells you what the horror is [insert political affiliation here] You. If text or voice chat makes up a large part of the experience – for example, in a team game – you can put yourself at a disadvantage if you try to disconnect.
What should a person do? You have several options.
Look for plugins that can remove politics from your chat
This tip mainly applies to multiplayer games that support plugins and add-ons. For example, in World of Warcraft, you can find add-ons that give you a global ignore list. Add the annoying person to the list and you won’t see him on any of your viola. You can even set an automatic timer for when that person is removed from the specified list if you only want to block them temporarily. And of course, you can create your own chat filters – whether you’re targeting political trolls or just annoying people trying to sell gold.
Hide chat (or hide trolls)
If your game prevents you from messing with messages in your chat service or automatically deleting them, you can probably at leasthide the chat so that it doesn’t appear all the time in front of your eyes. Some games will even save the box , but delete everyone else’s messages; you will get any important information about the game you are playing, but no one will bother you. If you play an MMO, chances are good that you can leave certain public channels and stick to safer conditions – like guild chat – if you don’t want everyone’s opinion getting in the way of your game.
Likewise, make sure you are using the most recent versions of the games you are playing and check the patch notes to see if any new features have been added that you can then use to block trolls. In the case of Among Us , for example, a recent update supposedly makes it harder for people to spam political bullshit in chat. The game will soon launch a moderation and reporting system that should hopefully cut back on the SUS’s political nonsense.
Avoid voice chat (if you can)
I’ve never played Fortnite withvoice chat enabled because I don’t need anyone else to tell me how terrible I am at it. The same is true for any first person shooter. Partly because I suck, and partly because I don’t need 14-year-olds yelling all kinds of racist bullshit at me because they are bragging about their giggling friends (or thousands of Twitch fans).
I am not saying that you cannot deal with yourself online. But if you don’t want people todirect the bullshit in your direction, just search in the game settings and see if you canturn off voice chat . I bet you’ll feel a lot better when it’s quieter.
Don’t be afraid to be a drug addict
I am 100% to blame for this. When I see horrible comments in the online chat of a game, I usually just shrug and go about my business. I never stop and think, “Hey, I could report this asshole, and maybe enough messages like that will convince the game overlords to do something about it.”
Nobody likes drugs. But also nobody likes chat trolls. Don’t give someone up for doing something stupid, like blowing up every player with TRUMP 2020. If they do it once and they choose it from their system, of course. Whatever. Save your messages for people who are overly obscene and / or rude, or just don’t stop. You are not reporting them because you have been offended. We can all deal with obscene words. You report them because they are a combination of an asshole, not a smartass, and spam.
Do not worry. You will sleep well at night because your account in the game will remain active. Watching many years of effort, achievement, and / or witty online addressing a person are thrown away by chatting is a reward in itself.
Chat somewhere else like Discord
If you absolutely need to use the chat feature while playing, think of a completely different service — one where you or the moderator sets the rules, rather than a company that might not be overly interested in fighting spam.
In other words, switch to Discord . You can overlay an in-game overlay on what you play, giving you great real-time chat that isn’t tied to the game itself. You even get voice chat. It won’t let you chat with the people you play with, unless you are playing with your guild and chatting through Discord, but that’s something. If or when in-game chat moderation does not help you, move to a different location.