'Overwatch 2' Will Record Everything Players Say
We previously covered how the developers of Predator: Hunting Grounds had to cut a feature that allowed the Predator to record and replay words spoken by other players to taunt them because that was illegal and the Predator cares a lot about human law. Overwatch 2, however, a game that's totally real and definitely not just the original Overwatch with a 2 at the end of the title, will record everything players say in an attempt to curb the game's unrelenting toxicity.
We still don't know whether Blizzard is doing this because they've found a legal way to implement player recording, or because they've been doing pretty well for themselves even when completely disregarding the law. What we know is that this new feature will record and analyze speech data, turn it into text, and then use special tools to identify and punish those harassing others. The idea is great, in theory, at least, but there are problems – and not just obvious ones.
Players are already raising the issue that corporations shouldn't be gathering data from players, but we got bad news: they probably already have more than they can store in terms of that. This criticism, when aimed solely at a better anti-toxicity system, inevitably ends up sounding a lot like an excuse to protect the poor toxicity that runs rampant inside this game.
The real problem here, the one that Blizzard better be aware of, is that this will inevitably inspire awful people who will trick players who don't have English as their first language to say things that sound a lot like illegal slurs and get them banned in the process. We have already seen those tactics used so well against Rainbow 6 Siege that the devs seemingly felt forced to reconsider their stance on toxicity and throw that system away.
Top Image: Activision Blizzard