Overwatch Toxicity

Nicole Duffett, Staff Writer

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Overwatch is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game in a first person perspective. The game has a wide array of characters the players can choose to play as, ranging from tanks, healers, and attack heroes. The game has managed to attain over 40 million players, as of May of 2018. However, what always seems to come along with such a gigantic player base is toxicity.

Toxicity has been a major issue in the game since its release, though that is to be expected with a massive online multiplayer game. Toxicity can come in many forms, such as insults, slurs, or even purposely sabotaging a match within the game.

The Overwatch developers have been trying to fix this problem. For starters, they do have an endorsement system, which gives the players the ability to “endorse,” or technically approve of another player’s behavior during a match. The endorsements a player can give out are shot caller, which states that a player did a good job at leading their team, good teammate, which states that another teammate was helpful and communicative in a match, and sportsmanship, which says that a teammate was positive as well as respectful in a match. Another factor of this system is that players cannot endorse their in-game friends. The issue with this system is that endorsements can be given out willy-nilly. One can randomly give another player an endorsement they may not have deserved. On top of that, many players simply ignore the endorsements another player or themselves may have. There isn’t exactly a consequence or prize for a player if they don’t receive endorsements, so the endorsements don’t have a huge impact on the game’s players.

The Overwatch developers have also implemented a reporting system, in which a player can report another teammate they deemed toxic. A player can put in reports for cheating, griefing /inactivity, abusive chat, spam, or an offensive battletag. These reports can lead to a player getting their account banned or suspended. Unfortunately, this system can sometimes be abused, as some players falsely report others.

In short, the Overwatch developers have come up with a few ways to deal with their toxic players. This is vital for the game as time goes on. Even if a game is fun, it can be brushed aside by many who simply don’t want to deal with its poor player base. Who would want to play a multiplayer video game whose player base is dominated by those who are consistently rude and disrespectful to others?


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