Infinity Ward Is Finally Tackling The Culture Of Racism And Hate-Speech Present In The Online Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Community

Infinity Ward Is Finally Tackling The Culture Of Racism And Hate-Speech Present In The Online Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Community
Credit: PlayStation

Following recent events across the US, with riots sparked due to police brutality and the expansion of the BLM movement, video games and their communities are not without their spotlight moment.

Call of Duty multiplayer is a notoriously toxic environment. Ever since two anonymous players were allowed to shout at each other over their headsets, racism, hate and homophobia have been a part of the Call of Duty experience.

Having played quite a lot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare over the last year, I can tell you that the community is at its worst state in all the 15-odd years of being able to play these games online.

Despite the info that Infinity Ward have been placing blanket bans on those reported for hate speech, you don’t need to wander far into the multiplayer experience to come across frequent examples of quite horrible behaviour.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare allows for more frequent name changes as your in-game account is linked to a separate Activision account rather than a gamertag on Xbox or PlayStation. This has seen a rise of hateful names across the console communities like never before.

In response to a growing backlash from the community, Infinity Ward has vowed to do more to tackle the hate found across in-game voice chat, player’s names, and a more efficient ban system to quell repeat offenders.

They’re improving the system which automatically detects names with hate speech found in them, something that should really have been in the game since launch. Some names are prohibited, but it’s quite simple to get around the name filters.

Infinity Ward is also looking to improve the in-game report and ban system. It is currently possible to report players through Activision or on the respective platform, but it will take a coming together of developers to make sure the system is effective.

With the new system, you will be able to report players from inside Modern Warfare, and IW is upping the monitoring of the system to increase bans hour by hour. Bans for repeat offenders will be more severe.

Overall, although these changes are positive for the community, it has taken Infinity Ward many years to address the culture of racism and hate-speech found quite casually in the multiplayer Call of Duty experience.

Simple measures put in place as a reaction to national outcry do not earn Infinity Ward or Activision particularly high points, but it is still good to see some changes made to monitor the community of millions of players.