The gaming world includes a broad spectrum of people. Many of them are wonderful, too. They're just fellow fans who enjoy a game and would to discuss it with other like-minded folks on the internet. However, as is always the case, there are a few who spoil the fun for the rest of us, giving everyone a bad name.
Ranking Toxic Communities (Gaming World)
Toxicity has been an issue on the internet since it first came into being. Online gaming, due to its competitive nature, only makes things worse. Which gaming communities are the worst in this regard, though? That's what Clutch aimed to find out through their study.
To conduct this study, they used IBM's Toxic Comment Classifier. This is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that categorises words under six different categories. These are “toxic”, “severe toxic”, “obscene”, “threat”, “insult” and “identity hate”.
So, Clutch used this tool to scan through the comments on the top 100 gaming subreddits. It shouldn't come as a surprise, but many of the games that feature near the top of the list have a competitive edge to them. However, some results are a bit surprising.
Competitive Games Quite Common (Gaming World)
Right at the top of the list as the most toxic subreddits was the game Payday: The Heist. While not an out-and-out multiplayer game, it does feature co-op elements that allow players to conduct heists together. The other names on the list are the usual suspects, including Call Of Duty titles such as Modern Warfare and Black Ops 4.
DotA 2, Rust, Battlefield, Mortal Kombat, League Of Legends and Mount and Blade are some of the other names on the list. Perhaps the most interesting one on the list is an indie game, The Binding Of Isaac. This subreddit, in particular, was one where identity hate was prevalent.
The Pitfalls Of This AI
This AI isn't a perfect tool to judge toxicity, though. While the AI successfully detects the usage of offensive language, it doesn't yet understand the context in which these words may have been used.
For example, in Payday: The Heist, this AI marked the phrase “Like a Fu**ing Sputnik” as a toxic comment. However, players of the game will know that “Like a Fu**ing Sputnik” is the name of an achievement in it.
This is just one of the many mistakes that this AI may have made, but that doesn't mean toxicity is absent from these communities. It will simply take a more sophisticated system to properly recognise it.