Valorant tries to look for solutions to in-game harassment, but change is in our hands.
Don’t pretend to be shocked. It is not necessary. The worst thing within the video game industry is not high ping or cheating; is the toxic environment we have to live in. The following clip from Greenly, the League of Legends UX Designer, just reminds us what some individuals have to deal with every day.
As soon as this was published, more women from the company added their experiences, and on Twitter, Anna “SuperCakes” Donlon, Valorant’s executive producer, promised significant changes to Valorant to lessen harassment and make it a safer environment for women.
However, the key is not simply in making changes to the game. We still have a chance of building a better community with small actions online.
- Don’t feed the trolls: Pretty obvious but not always easy. Bullies are like dogs; they will do anything for a cookie. If you laugh at their jokes or remain silent, they feel accepted and even powerful.
- Face them: We know it can be hard, but if you hear something that you know is wrong, like in Greenly´s video, please speak up. This way, the victim does not feel lonely, and the bully gets no reward. When playing with randoms, maybe it is easier to tell someone to shut up, but if you catch one of your friends doing these kinds of things, you should say the same to them, too.
- Report them: It is true that community standards on most of social media are not always fair, but if you report toxic behavior to the moderators, you are taking a step towards a harassment-free environment.
- Listen: So simple and so complicated at the same time. As men, sometimes it is hard to imagine what it means to be mistreated, misunderstood or underestimated by default in this industry. If you know a friend of yours who has suffered or is suffering some kind of violence (yes, in the end, it is violence) be supportive and listen; don’t stick to the old “just mute them, sis.”
- Analyze yourself: This is the hardest part but the most important. No one is perfect, and it is not easy to realize that there may be a problem where everything was once normal. For example, I grew up staying up all night playing video games with my buddies, and it was way before high school when I knew girls inside the scene. I realized how wrong things are, not only in the video game community but in society in general. Don’t use expressions like “being a pussy”, “fag”, or “bitch”.
That’s it. I know most of you are already aware of this, but until we no longer have to see scenes like this, we have a lot of work to do. To summarize: take care of each other, because video games mean teamwork. Whether we are planting the spike, defusing a bomb, or escorting the payload, we are in this together.