Rocket League now auto-bans players using abusive words

Rocket League bans

Rocket League [official site] players will face automatic bans if they use certain words in chat under new anti-harassment rules introduced this week. Developer Psyonix has come up with a list of 20 words, including racial slurs, that players will be punished for using, and plan to expand the list in future.

Under the ‘Language Ban’ system, each word on the list (which is secret) will have a different threshold for punishment. Some you might get away with using once or twice, but you won’t be so lucky with others. And if you’re a repeat offender you’ll receive a permanent ban from the game. It’s all automated, and based on whether the words in question show up on in-game reports you make about other players (or other players make about you).

“As our community grows larger still, so too does the need to ensure that Rocket League is a consistently-safe, harassment-free place where players of all ages and backgrounds can come together and execute the sweetest of aerial goals and backflip saves” Psyonix said in this week’s announcement. They explained the banning:

“Each word has its own threshold, and once a threshold for any word has been reached, that player will be automatically subject to a ban. These bans will typically start at 24 hours, then escalate to 72 hours, one week, and finally, a permanent ban.

“Of the thousands of reports we receive every day, the majority are tied to in-game abuse and harassment — typically in the form of abusive language. This new Language Ban system will help us address reports quickly and precisely.”

I mean, it seems like a grand idea to me. There’s no reason anybody should be abusing other people in chat.

In other Rocket League news, the game’s trade-in system has been expanded, so now you can swap higher value items than you could before. Previously, you could trade five Uncommon and Rare items for one of higher quality – you can now do the same with Very Rare and Import quality goodies.

Five Very Rare drops will net you one Import Painted Body or Boost while trading in Import items will get you an Exotic wheel. Time to scrap that stockpile, then. the US East Coast regionals of the Universal Open Rocket League.

133 Comments

  1. mepto says:

    I want somebody to sue and win against companies that take your money and then “reserve” the right to lock you away from content you paid for. For a ban system to be morally ok, this needs to be communicated to the player in a very direct way and at least a part of his money needs to be reimbursed should you get banned.

    • Premium User Badge

      rootfs.ext2.gz says:

      If Rocket League was mainly a single player game, fine. But it’s a multiplayer based game which thrives on more people playing and enjoying the game.

      If less people are willing to play the game due to abuse, that is naturally in Rocket League’s and their customers interest to sort out the problem.

      If people are going out of their way to make the game less appealing for others, then I do not see why any game developer/publisher should cater to these people by doing nothing rather than taking action.

      • antszy says:

        Or they can stick it in the terms of service you agree to when you log on and/or you (or the hypothetical complainant) can just stop being dicks to people.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          Or, here’s an idea, the company that sold the product, can abide by the law, which beats their terms of service. I.e. I can’t legally sell you a thing, but make you sign to say once you’ve bought that thing, I can cripple it arbitarily, for reasons I get to decide and change in the future. The law protects you from that, they need to start abiding by the law.

          • SideWays408 says:

            Does Rocket League have a single player mode??

            Cause they definitely do have the right to block you from using their online services. You are not buying that. You are buying the game.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Most judges in most countries would laugh you out of court.

          • tranchera says:

            Or you could just stop calling people faggots.

            My uncle ends nearly every game he loses with “bunch of faggots” or “niggers” or whatever in chat. He’s been doing this for 2 years and just now got a 24 hour ban.

            It’s extremely easy not to get banned. And they reserve every right to kick you off the online play if you’re being a menace.

          • syndrome says:

            I don’t get your comments. Why can’t they simply ban your chatting capability? Turn your “offensive/abusive” remarks invisible?

            I find the fact, that some developer had to select and type in a list of words that is used by a program that constantly compares such words against some other words (which are typically socially-exploitative and sometimes ambiguous strings of similarly looking characters) highly paradoxical, discriminatory, and offensive to anyone’s freedom (what is offensive to developers, might not be offensive by consensus, or in some other language — which is ripe for selective bias and further discrimination down the line).

            Down with the censorship. Whoever get offended that easily that it ruins their “experience” should simply turn of the chat in a multiplayer, or likewise MANUALLY turn some kind of profanity-filter on.

            I will boycott this game from now on.

      • Retorrent says:

        It’s still their servers they have the right to allow and disallow anyone they want. When you buy the game you buy a client to use that server. The player does not own the servers in any way, shape or form.
        The company paid for the hardware its theirs to do what they want with it. The buyer only paid for the client if they so happen to get banned from the server they still own the copy that they paid for they just lose any access to the game servers.

        It’s really not that hard to not be a dick in a game and they even give people chances to correct their behavior. It’s not like someone gets perma banned on their first offense.

    • sandineyes says:

      That doesn’t make very much sense. If you paid to go to a classical music event or movie theater and began hooting and hollering, would you expect to be refunded if they kicked you out?

      I find it hard to accept that game developers should compensate people who engage in abusive behaviors that would get them kicked out of any public business or event.

      • mepto says:

        @sandineyes

        Inappropriate comparison. Using bad little words in a video game does not have a reasonable impact on the game itself, in an opera, concert or cinema it would.

        • bob22 says:

          Respectfully disagree. Please explain your cognitive dissonance.

          • Troubletcat says:

            Why do you think he’s experiencing cognitive dissonance? His position seems to be completely internally consistent.

          • gwop_the_derailer says:

            Please explain why you think his position is completely internally consistent.

          • bob22 says:

            @troubletcat they accept that acting like a jackass can ruin people’s time but apparently not in video games because reasons.

          • Troubletcat says:

            “Abusing people in a real-life physical setting, such as in a theatre, has a much higher impact than abusing people anonymously over the internet.” seems to me to be totally consistent and not dissonant in any way.

            FWIW I’ve had people threaten to kill me, call me any abusive term they could think of, etc. etc. over the internet since I was a small child. Anyone who played online shooters and posted on forums in the mid/late 90s had similar experiences, whether they were a child or an adult at the time. My anecdotal experience is that this is not a big deal.

            If it happened in real-life, face to face with another person, then it IS a big deal. So I agree with the basic premise here.

            I don’t personally think that means it’s okay to be a dick to people online. But saying “Abusing online has less impact than it does in real-life” rings true to me. It’s certainly not logically inconsistent or disonant, even if you don’t agree.

        • kaliper says:

          How does that not have any reasonable affect in a game where it would in any other setting? There are still people on the other end listening to that garbage. Tbh you’re coming off as someone who really badly wants to use slurs and you’re mad that now it’s punishable.

        • Viral Frog says:

          I can see both sides of this. Both for or against. I sort of like the idea, but I don’t like the implementation described in the article.

          But I can’t help but wonder… who the fuck uses chat (in RL) outside of the preset commands anyway?

          Edit: This was supposed to be a response to the article at large. Not sure why it ended up under this one particular comment.

          • Nelyeth says:

            Surprisingly, lots of people use it. I’d say around 10 to 20% of the people I play against taunt or straight out harass my team. That said, if you’re friendly, the same percentage will usually start making jokes after a goal. The remaining majority is silent/only uses preset commands.

            So I’m happy they’ve implemented this, and I’m all for it. People who think they can get away with harassing others (and who enjoy it) simply because they won’t face consequences don’t deserve to play.

          • bob22 says:

            “who the fuck uses chat (in RL) outside of the preset commands anyway?”

            People that say things like ‘ez’ and complain about their own teammates. I think thats literally it. Which makes you wonder why they don’t just remove the freechat (something I’m generally in favour in in games because it’s always toxic and of little value). Besides if you’re typing during a game of RL then you’re not playing!

          • April March says:

            bob22 is on point with this one. It’s a three-on-three game with like five-minute matches; what do you need chat for?

          • Premium User Badge

            Seyda Neen says:

            Friendly socializing with the other team is what separates good matches from great matches. Don’t take away my chat because some sore losers use it to vent their frustration! There’s a lot of fun in talking during a game.

        • Sonntam says:

          Well, I agree, the comparison is badly chosen.

          Better example would be paying to participate in a soccer match with the enemy team calling you bad words throughout the game. That is not enjoyable to participate in, it ruins the entire atmosphere of the game and judges are very much in their right to suspend them from the game.

          Yes, those players paid to pay. But there is no doubt that there are rules about good sportsmanship and letting other people having fun. Meet up with your friends and call them cunts through the entire game, if you like. But as long as you are playing with strangers, pay them respect or get out.

        • Text_Fish says:

          The “impact on the game itself” is really more about the impact on players. Some players don’t want to be referred to with racially abusive language.

          Your comment is indicative of a general misunderstanding of the internet, because whilst you may think you’re talking to a computer, you’re actually talking to real people. TIL, eh.

      • bob22 says:

        Fantastic example and the refusal from people to understand this is eye opening. Guess who tends to be upset about bans like this?

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          Is it arseholes?

        • Sleepy Will says:

          I just want to, at this point point out the number of times bob22, the great crusader for stamping out abuse online, has used terms of abuse in this thread:

          1. jackass
          2. fuck
          3. asshole
          4. n bomb
          5. fag
          6. ming
          7. fag
          8. gay
          9. gay
          10. butt heads

          Now, obviously, Bob22 won’t mind being banned for using all those abusive terms, because remember, there is literally no reason for him to use an abusive term other than to abuse someone. Which clearly he has done 10 times in this thread, the machine says so.

          • YogSo says:

            Stop embarrassing yourself and, by extension, your parents and/or any other person who’s ever had anything to do with your education and kindly shut up already.

    • HoboDragon says:

      @mepto
      well, it is communicated, just not in detail, and why should it?
      that aside, there is a TOS and whatnot, sure, noone ever reads it, but before you buy, bla bla bla, and when it changes you (should) get update, bla bla bla, so in principle you know what you are getting into.
      While I see where this is coming from, it’s a bit like saying “But I bought this pistol, why do you arrest me and take it away for waving it around it public?”

    • kitten says:

      Indeed, why shouldn’t I be allowed to play music on my boombox in this movie theater? There are no signs saying “no portable stereo systems allowed”. I paid for my ticket, same as everybody else, and I want to watch the movie with my own soundtrack. Eject me from the premises and I will sue!

    • grve says:

      Most EULAs these days pretty much say you don’t own the game and they can take it away whenever they want. Yay!

      • mepto says:

        @grve
        Good thing then that my law trumps made-up lease contracts that are unreasonable to expect people to read through.

        • April March says:

          Bad thing that said contracts will usually also force you to waive your rights to go to a court of law and solve it through an arbitration court that happens to be paid by the company.

        • twist3dimages says:

          Too bad you agreed to the terms. You have no wiggle room rofl

    • bob22 says:

      Believe it or not but the games company with lawyers probably knows a bit more about this than a random internet commenter.

      What exactly would they be suing for anyway, the right to be an asshole?

    • freedomispopular says:

      They’re still welcome to play singleplayer. But if they want to be part of a public community they should be expected to behave as such.

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        MajorLag says:

        On the one hand, I agree with that, but on the other, is it even possible to play Rocket League on servers other than the official ones? If not, then poster kind of has a point and I think the solution is to let asshats play on asshat servers run by other asshats.

        • Troubletcat says:

          I think that’s always the best solution. Lock toxic jerks in a close chamber with the other toxic jerks. Let them keep playing the game they paid for, but don’t let the community of people who are capable of being civil be exposed to their toxicity.

        • bob22 says:

          Well as just pointed out there’s single player. They’re free to play and insult the AI all they like.

    • Sleepy Will says:

      I’ve got to say, I am inclined (on the face of it) to agree with mepto – and bear in mind, Sir “You sound like you just want to use racist slurs”, I’ve spent most of my life on the end of racist slurs, and have constantly fought the fight online against it.

      The problem I have is that this is an automated system. A player can get banned with no human oversight. I don’t think mepto has a problem with the idea that if you’ve been “shouting and hollering at a concert, you will get kicked out”, I think he – and I have a problem with firstly that sometimes there is a good reason to disturb a concert. Now, I am a man who listens to a great deal of different music. I listen to Dr Dre, and he uses a certain word a great deal. He is empowered by using that word, and I think we can all agree, members of the LGetc community also get a free pass on certain words that if I said them would be reprehensible. You may not agree with that, but it’s how our society works right now, and your personal opinion is irrelevant. People get to use slurs you can’t when they have been oppressed by those slurs for the express reason to stop them being slurs for future generations. Again, it is understandable that if you can’t see the colour or know the sexuality or whatever of the person, then that right to use the slur goes away – but, some people who are accepted to use those slurs sometimes do so accidently. Should that mistake cost them their account? That’s not only a financial cost, it’s a time cost.

      As ever with these automated systems, they are too gameable, which means they have to hide the workings. Some words are instant bans, some words give you two or three goes. Some words are on the list, some aren’t. How quickly is this list updated. where are they focusing, the number of words they have reported on their list don’t even cover racism adequately. So we know for sure this is not going to protect anyone from anything.

      Whats key for me, is this is a real punishment for – what can be a crime, or a civil offence – without independant oversight. There is a reason you cannot just go take money from your neighbour because he used a racist slur at you, but you have to seek compensation through the correct channels. Those channels are set up to ensure fairness. Yet this is what the team is doing, and worse, with _no_ human oversight. What happens if you are removed from the movie theatre, but it was the guy next to you causing the disturbance? You need to be able to tell a human – hey, ask anyone around me, it was him. What if you made a typo, what if you used the word in a different context – Some words, fair enough there is no other use, but others have different uses – different languages may have the word as a normal word – or of course many are easy to typo.

      I would support the system if it worked as the devs want it to. It feels too much like a cost cutting exercise, and it’s not the company itself that suffers, but the consumers, and that sucks. With any automated system, right now, the tech isn’t there to replace a human, so there will be false flags. Many of the worst people will carry one being terrible and many people who shouldn’t get banned will. And that’s the problem. That’s why I can’t be happy about this. The real solution is to dip into their profits, hire more community staff. But why would they when they can put a flawed system in place and let the “political correctness gone mad” brigade shout any dissenting voices down as racist.

      • Sleepy Will says:

        It’s worth pointing out, a much more palatable version of this is to merely ban the player from using chat. Or just ban that specific comment.

      • bob22 says:

        tldr man

        Honestly all this hand wringing – I fail to see who could possibly ‘worry’ about auto bans other than people that know they will struggle to not litter the chat with offensive language. It doesn’t matter what the context is – it’s a car football in game chat system, not Twitter, if you’re dropping n bombs or calling people fags it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation or the colour of your skin is, you’re making things unpleasant for everybody else.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          Thankyou for literally just proving my point. To millions of customers for this game “fag” means cigarette.

          BRB, AFK for a minute, off out for a fag.

          Banned.

          Human oversight would know the difference, be able to google “fag” and see that in their second largest market, this word does not mean the same as in the US. A robot can’t.

          • bob22 says:

            Bonus! People that spend their game time informing a random group of people that they smoke are also removed from the player pool.

            I am British by the way, and the idea that banning the word fag would result in ‘millions’ of people being incorrectly removed from the game is utterly absurd.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            There _will_ be false flags – that’s a given, no matter how you police it. There _will_ be far less with a human system than a robot. If you disagree, then we have no further business talking, I think you’re too much of an idiot to be worth it.

            So it comes down to, why are you protecting a company’s decision to increase their bottom line knowing that their profiteering is getting players who have done nothing wrong banned from the game?

          • Sleepy Will says:

            OK, I see, you’re the chat police, players can’t socialise there because bob doesn’t like it. Congrats bob, you and your daily mail attitude “won”.

          • bob22 says:

            Daily Mail attitude? I’m not even sure what that means but it’s way off the mark I can assure you.

            And yes, in the context of an in game chat system that is only useful for quick strategic outbursts I think it should be heavily policed – because unfortunately our hobby is filled to the brim with people that struggle to not insult even their own teammates.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            If you don’t know what it means, how can you know it’s way off the mark?

          • April March says:

            Honestly, if you’re telling people on RL you’re going out for a fag, you should be banned for going AFK.

          • Faxmachinen says:

            I was going to post about how automatic banning systems are not great (or in some cases simply amazing), but your arguments and examples are so absurd that you’ve actually convinced me of the opposite.

        • bob22 says:

          Plus choosing a limited set of words just makes sense here. You could never build a complete list, but by letting people know there is a mystery list you immediately put people off acing that way in the first place. Why risk saying your bad word if you don’t know it’s on the list? And I’m sure as people work out what they can say (because there are people that seem to care more about insulting people than actually laying the game) those words will be added, and the next time they use them they’ll get banned too, and it’ll be an unpleasant surprise.

          I like this more and more!

          • Sleepy Will says:

            So basically, alt-right facist techniques becoming mainstream, normalised and inconsistant application of rules being defended by the public.

            This world is going to the dogs. Enjoy trump while you can, the pendulum is swinging hard the other way friend, and you are going to be wiped out by the political correctness you despise so much.

          • bob22 says:

            Dude what are you smoking!? Can I have some?

            This is not a government mandated naughty list. It’s a chat system in a video game – get some perspective. You’re clearly VERY worried about not being able to say naughty words in Rocket League, and I for one am glad about it.

            And I don’t despise ‘political correctness’, I do despise the term though. I tend to just say ‘considerate of others’. But if you’re the kind of person that thinks that ‘politcal correctness has gone mad’ then it’s of no surprise whatsoever that you have an issue with this new rule, but it IS surprising that you called me a Daily Mail commenter (projection?)

          • Sleepy Will says:

            I don’t play multiplayer games, or rocket league. So, you see, your assumtion that the only people who object to this want to be abusive online is false. My steam profile name, for your fact checking by the way is sheng_ji, knock yourself out.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            OK, now clearly you’re “smoking something”

            I’m advocating that we don’t unilaterally ban people from a product they purchased with an automated system. That is the very definition of being politically correct. You are advocating for the system, which can only mean that you feel my political correctness, or whatever term you prefer, is so out of line with reality, that I will cause damage with it – i.e. I think you are the “political correctness gone mad brigade” because what you are arguing for is a system with 0 compassion, 0 tolerence for mistakes and 0 chance for reform. It’s a punishment meted out without recourse or appeal, and that it never going to be the side of right.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            My apologies, my login is sheng_ji – my profile is sleepywill

      • freedomispopular says:

        Actually what the article doesn’t really make clear is that the offending player has to be reported first. It’s not just a blanket auto-ban any time a certain word is detected. When a report is sent, it includes a full copy of the chat log, and if it includes a word on the list, the reported player gets a ban. If you’re playing with friends or friendly randoms, you could say whatever you want, and as long as no one reports it, you’re good.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          As I’ve said below, you’ve just highlighted that this unreliable system is abusable by the real bad eggs. Still not a fan of automation where human oversight is necessary

    • vast_anusse103 says:

      So it’s a hidden list of banned words that depends on the over-sensitivity of random people. Therefore I assume that “gay” is banned due to its current usage rather than its actual meaning, or possibly both or neither: so what we’re really being banned for is our understanding or lack thereof of current vernacular? A parallel to this is the fact that “you” is currently banned on the Asia server of World of Tanks, despite the fact it’s written in English. All media will go this way if you stay passive and pander to the immature vocal majority. This is why we’re going extinct. In the meantime, all I can hope is that you all frig the cuntsplice, stay gay and continue to have fun.

      • bob22 says:

        I’m sure all the gay people will be really upset that they can’t talk about their gayness in the in game Rocket League chat system. Because that’s something they totally do.

        Also ‘vocal majority’? Otherwise known as consensus, or democracy. And yes in this case it probably is the majority, even if you meant to type minority.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          Otherwise known as a bullys charter – because the loudest group is very rarely the largest group bob.

        • Cederic says:

          Nonetheless, you could get banned for, “That win was so jolly we’re going to go and dance the Gay Gordon before the next match!”

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          I mean… my roommates and I all play games together, and we’re all gay and use offensive gay terms at one another constantly in a jovial/endearing way. It happens. We tend to use Discord to do it, but not everybody does.

    • Vandelay says:

      I do often find it quite amusing that whenever stories like this pop up people are quick to dismiss anyone that even dares to take a second to say “is this right?”

      I certainly applaud any company that takes action to attempt to improve the player experience, but I also see this as another aspect of the games as service culture, a part of modern gaming that I think many here would agree is not overly welcome. The fact that developer/publisher can remove our access to a game on a whim is one that I would think we would want to be weary of, no matter the stated motivation. It also worth considering the slippery slope problem, were being happy with something like this could very easily lead to developers/publisher deciding on all sorts of things that they would deem unwanted.

      Personally, I don’t see any need for these bans to be permanent. A week to a month long ban would surely be plenty of a deterrent for people to keep their language in check. Or, as Bob22 suggests, just remove the chat feature entirely. I don’t know about Rocket League, but most games I play no one really ever uses it, no matter how team orientated the game is. Of those that do, the vast majority you would rather not talk to.

    • Text_Fish says:

      Uhmm…

      If you go to the cinema and start calling the person next to you a “filthy n*gger c*nt” the ushers aren’t going to refund your ticket when they kick you out. A video game is no different. If you’re old enough to part with money, you’re old enough to take responsibility for your actions.

  2. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Good stuff. If someone is physically incapable of preventing themselves from typing slurs in chat, I certainly don’t want to be playing with them.

    And, yeah, it’s a multiplayer game. Part of what Psyonix is selling to people is their community. Makes perfect sense that they want to keep that community a welcoming place.

  3. irreverent_fool says:

    I agree it’s ok to ban someone for repeated bad behavior and harassment, up to tell people they can’t say certain words or they will be banned and then to tell them they can’t know what those words are is just asinine. Can I call someone a butthead? Is it only racial slurs?

    Use the current report and review process.

    “It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word, which is simply the opposite of some other word?”

    • bob22 says:

      Honestly why does it matter? It sounds like you want to know the limit of how much you can offend people.

      The point is that you shouldn’t be. Don’t use racial slurs and don’t call people butt heads.

      You’re not going to be banned for saying ‘good game thanks everyone’ so maybe try something like that?

      • Troubletcat says:

        Are you certain you won’t be banned for that? What if somebody takes it as being sarcastic?

        I’m being facetious, but it seriously is important to have the lines clearly defined.

        Accepting a certain degree of rudeness is necessary if you want to have any level of freedom of expression. If you don’t want that you may as well remove the chat function from the game. If you’re going to doll out harsh punishments for people crossing a certain line of politeness, you should be clear about where that line is.

        • Sin Vega says:

          If you tell people on the internet the exact words they can’t use, they will just continue being abusive shits but switch a few letters around or whatever. It would completely defeat the point.

          This has nothing to do with “freedom of expression”. It’s a game about car football for christ’s sake. Go and write a poem, nobody will stop you.

          • Someoldguy says:

            If it’s an automated system then letter switching is going to defeat it anyway.

        • bob22 says:

          It’s not only facetious it’s a straw man argument.

          And no – there is absolutely NO expectation of freedom of expression, it’s not a street corner it’s an in game chat system. However I do agree that it could just be removed entirely, I’d have never included it in the first place.

          • Troubletcat says:

            I don’t think you know what a straw man argument is and I don’t think you know what cognitive dissonance is, either. Don’t use terms you don’t understand to try and sound smart, it tends to backfire.

      • Cederic says:

        Having played a game where ‘damn’ was banned and you could get kicked for living in Scunthorpe I’ve seen these things go bad.

        Plus, I swear. I swear at home, down the pub, at work and I sure as fuck swear online. It’s just words, get over it.

    • vast_anusse103 says:

      No one wants to get your point. They’ve possibly seen the movie but they can’t read as there are too many scary words in that ancient decadent pamphlet.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Rocket League now auto-bans players using abusive words

    I was hoping it banned using abusive words: “You’re f’ing out of here, asshole.”

    The article’s URL lacks that ambiguity.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    The question is whether it’s at all context dependent. For instance, if someone said “it is absolutely not okay to call someone an X” in response to someone calling someone X, would the system ban both players?

  6. Baines says:

    I mean, it seems like a grand idea to me.

    You’ve never seen systems like this fail? Keeping the list of bannable words secret, using automated enforcement, and even applying variable punishment? This is a recipe ripe for valid user complaints.

  7. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I don’t have the full list for you, but here are the first seven.

  8. dccarles says:

    I, for one, applaud this initiative. While I don’t think it will cut down on abusive language in the slightest, at least it will force abusive players to use workarounds or become more creative in their invective.

    In that spirit, I offer these terms of disapprobation for use by anyone who sees the need:

    * scrotum-tightener
    * vegesexual
    * spork-phallused
    * cheese weasel
    * hose monkey
    * volefondler
    * excrement milkshake
    * unopened pistachio
    * the human equivalent of a paper cut
    * ambulatory genital wart

    • Cederic says:

      Well, yes. I’m not going to stop giving abuse to people that feel they’re hilarious with their “What a save”, I’ll just be more oblique about it.

      Which I tend to do anyway, except when you’ve got three seconds to kick-off and need to finish an insult.

  9. Sin Vega says:

    A few people missing the point that the list doesn’t have to be exhaustive or even very strict. The point is that even a very short list of words would very quickly get the worst people banned, improving the experience for everyone. Just the knowledge that being a total arsehole isn’t allowed will make people more aware of their behaviour, a stark contrast to the vast majority of online games.

    It’s a good thing and more devs should have the integrity and self respect to do it.

    • bob22 says:

      This right here.

    • keefybabe says:

      Absolutely. Also there are other things that I simply don’t type into my computer like, say, format c:

      If you type the thing a bad thing happens. Don’t type it.

    • TeePee says:

      I think there’s another point in here that people seem to be missing(quoted from the article):

      ” It’s all automated, and based on whether the words in question show up on in-game reports you make about other players (or other players make about you).”

      I’m reading that as the system will only act if someone makes a report. Big brotherbot isn’t going to be sitting there watching every single game waiting for someone to call someone else a poopyhead (I can only imagine the server overheads that would cause) – it just scans all reports submitted.

      Sure, it’s still open to some mild abuse (eg the aforementioned ‘out for a fag’) if someone sees a word used in a different context and submits a report out of spite/trolling, but it does eliminate some of the more ridiculous strawmen I’ve seen flying around.

      • Nogo says:

        And I’m guessing there’s a fair amount of leeway in there as well. They said they used to do this all manually and it consisted of the bulk of their work. Seems like they have a good handle on exactly how many steps you have to cross before they act.

        I feel like the people getting the auto-boot are the kind of people that show up in the report queue repeatedly, consistently and for incredibly similar messages. The kind of shit where you’re like “this is so blatant I could automate it!” Like the guy upthread who said his uncle ends every game with highly pleasant, congratulatory words of encouragement for people of all creeds.

    • Aetylus says:

      Indeed, good on Psyonix… though a sad indictment of the rest of the industry that we need to congratulate a company for say “If you are mean to other people I won’t let you play my game.” That is literally the basic level of social interaction we expect of three year olds… yet online gaming seems to have failed at it.

  10. edwardoka says:

    This list presumably doesn’t include sarcastic use of “What a save! What a save! What a save!” for when you whiff what should have been an easy save. First against the wall, that lot.

    Not that I’d hit any of them with my terrible aim…

  11. HumpX says:

    what a generation of of oversensitive mewling little babies we’ve become. People losing jobs, standing in their community, reputation…..all over “language”.

    It makes me physically ill.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      that point at which hyper-masculinity is indistinguishable from “mewling little babies”

      • Nogo says:

        It’s always fun when I’m not really sure who a comment describes. Like, I have a good idea which ‘side’ this guy is on, but it sure describes more than just one group that’s deeply concerned about where language is headed.

      • pepperfez says:

        Fun fact: That point is all the points!

    • Faxanadu says:

      A ban in a videogame might be okay. Because who cares. I said “might” because some people will probably abuse it.

      But it’s a legit concern. Put a dark joke on twitter and you can really lose your job, if someone wants you to. Your life can be ruined. It’s messed up, and as such should always be a valid concern when we start talking about banning words.

      P.S. Dumbest idea ever -> making the n-word in real life a word you shouldn’t say. Only made it 10 times more potent than it was. Oh boy do people enjoy it now.

      • Rindan says:

        No one is stopping you from using racial slurs. You can still do it, people will just correctly decide that you are an asshole when you do. I’m sorry this upsets you.

  12. freedomispopular says:

    Repeating a reply I made to someone: What the article doesn’t make clear is that the offending player has to get reported first. They’re not just handing out auto-bans when the system detects a word on the list. When a player gets reported, a full copy of the chat log is attached, and that’s where the auto-ban takes place.

    • TeePee says:

      Damn you, sir! I literally just made the same point.

      Still, hi5 for reading the article. :)

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Oh good, so not only is it a system that can’t check the context of the usage of the words in question “I live in Scunthorpe”, but it’s abusable by the real bad people.

      Spendid, you actually made it sound 10 times worse.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Who are ‘the real bad people’? Are they an underground hip-hop group from the early 90s?

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Yes. I, for one, frequently engage in rational discussions about the history of racial slurs which would necessitate my contextually appropriate usage of such language in the chat box of Rocket League. Indubitably.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Why are you assuming the bot was written in 1995 and can’t determine the context of the adjacent characters?

        • Archonsod says:

          I’ve yet to see a profanity filter that can tell the difference between ass and assist, let alone determine whether the term was used as an insult or in conversation regarding members of the equine family.

    • Niko says:

      Now that is a good idea.

  13. Freud says:

    When dyslexia becomes useful.

  14. Dogshevik says:

    Asstards.

  15. evilgenius says:

    I’m against automatic banning of people who use abusive language.
    There is this thing called a mute button, it works really well. And it doesn’t limit anyones freedoms. it is fantastic.

    Automatic bans will only lead to a darker future. Bans should be atleast controlled by a set of human eyes.

    oh and if it is about writen abuse, a profanity filter works wonders. (with an option to disable it)

    • Niko says:

      Ah, the classic “if you don’t want to get insulted, cover your ears” from the creators of “if you don’t want to get robbed, don’t carry valuables” and other pearls of wisdom.

      P.S. I don’t know for sure, but Rocket League player base is probably large, so one set of eyes certainly shouldn’t be enough.

      • TeePee says:

        So much this.

        The onus shouldn’t be on the ‘victim’ to take steps not to be insulted, it should be on people who apparently can’t restrain themselves from being asshats to other people over a text box.

        Psyonix are trying new things to try and stem the toxic side of the gaming community, and that should be applauded. Who knows, this experiment may not work out, but hell, if it manages to get at least a couple of the worst offenders, it’s at least done some good.

  16. Cim says:

    The only thing this will lead to is more misspelled and creative new insults.

  17. mpk says:

    The best insult I ever had against me in Rocket League was when someone called me and my teammates “D-pad arseholes” cos we only used the canned responses.

    I am totally behind this decision. The toxic behaviour of other players helped ruin MOBAs for me (along with, it must be said, my lack of desire to learn the ins and outs of ever single character in the game, along with the best-case min-max builds for each).

    Having someone say – after coming from 2-0 down to beat them 5-2 in a ranked 1v1 – that I’m a “FUCKING LITTLE FAGGOT” does not make me want to continue playing the game. I’m all for removing chat entirely, and leaving it purely to the innocuous canned comments.

    In this day and age of easy voice comms, the vast majority of people will be on closed channels with friends and teammates. If they want to be dicks in earshot of each other, that’s fine. Just leave me out of it.

  18. gunny1993 says:

    I prefer my method of letting 2 insults (To the enemy or me) slide, then throwing the game and just repeatedly ramming into my team (Doubles, competitive or not).

    • Funnybear says:

      ever stopped to think why you’re being insulted rather than throwing the game and not learning?

      • gunny1993 says:

        People like that aren’t good enough at the game to understand their own, or my flaws; they have nothing to give, they are worthless, less than worthless.

  19. Jayseki says:

    I’m all for this, but I do wonder if the banned word list should be secret. I mean, we all assume that the list is rational, which it probably is, but there could be some unintended side effect (what if a$$ is on the list and it ignores surrounding words, thus banning you for saying “nice assist” too often)

  20. Funnybear says:

    I had to register to wade into this debate.

    First Admition, I use bad words in RL. As a 40 year old man, who gets home from an 80 hour week and wants to kick back and try and play a team game with some randoms online (yes, I know, Opening myself to a whole world of hurt) surely I hold the right to use certain terms against people if they are within context? Surely I can refer to someone as a Ball chasing C*** if that’s exactly what they are? I enjoy RL. And I enjoy the games when two people understand that it’s a team game and they play accordingly, I would like to commend those people. There ain’t no button for that. But as we all know, RL is laced with C***’s. I know I shouldn’t call them that as they are mostly under the age of consent, but still, I don’t know that. And in my world, in a safety critical industry, being a C*** is a very bad thing. So it’s part of my vernacular, rightly or wrongly. Of course I temper my language when speaking to my mother, but when playing a team game with someone who is a ball chasing Mofo, then why the hell shouldn’t I express that? Automated systems are not contextual. They will only focus on any report given on the words that are on the black list, what they won’t do is look at the escalation of language from ‘Dude, please don’t ball chase, I’m trying to play with you here.’ To ‘FFS Dude, Stop playing like a C***’. And there in, the 40 year old who pays the bills then gets a ban. Maybe I should know better, but then ont he other hand, why should I? I don’t know who’s on the other end of that sentence.

    Gamers are getting old now. Us grown ups would like to play the games we’ve paid for and whilst I do feel a little guilty occasionally when I realise I’m playing with a six year old (How else can I phrase that without it sounding awful?)but still, they are on a RANKED COMPETATIVE gaming platform that people (me) can get a little competitive about.

    They made the game. We play the game. We BOUGHT the game. Some of us even understand the game but don’t have enough friends . . . . . . . To get together and play a ‘kids’ game online to alleviate the ‘randoms’. Do I not have a certain freedom of expression to use whilst getting worked up about someone who doesn’t actually get that 2v2 RL isn’t about glory shots, ego aerials and ball chasing? Do I not have a right here? Why do I not, as someone who has purchased the game, have a certain (not unlimited, I bet ‘cancer’ is not on the list and that is a word I will never use as an insult. But how many of us have seen that used as against someone? And it’s something I find completely reprehensible as a term of online abuse. One strike, you’re out.) vocabulary that I can use in times of complete annoyance? If those little scrubs got out into the real world and behaved like they did in that five minute segment they would be bounced out, beheaded, dressed down and basically told to pick up their things and find other employment.

    I know the irony here, I’m 40, passionate about gaming, but why can’t I rise above it. But again, why should I? I’ve paid haven’t I? More than some of those kids have. Who’s parents are supplementing their sleep deprived child’s gaming habit.

    Competitive RL is just that, competitive. And in anything competitive you will get language that wouldn’t be appropriate in a court of law to use an example. Are the programmers specifically appalled by the language? I doubt that, they are probably also fellow 20, 30, 40 somethings who are just making as much money as they can before they die. So who’s up in arms. What is the demographic for rocket league? Is 90% under 18’s? If it is, then I need to find another game before I get a knock on the door. But I don’t think it is. I think it’s a reasonable split, from under 18’s to over 18’s. So maybe the trick then, is to have an over 18’s server. Somewhere that you can say C*** in the true spirit it’s meant, and all you get is a smart reply rather than a ban.

    Surely the emphasis should be not on banning certain words, but banning certain behaviours. Or rather separating the children from the adults (Sic) Let children be children, and let adults actually get on with playing the game. And developers realising where the money actually comes from, oh yea, that would be working grown ups pandering to their every gaming whim and down trodden parents of demanding brats. We rule dudes, we rule.

    • mpk says:

      The thing is, if I’m playing 5-a-sides IRL, and my mate calls me a “ball chasing c***”, then I’ll say something back of a similiar vein. We’re mates, that stuff happens.

      IRL, if someone on the opposite team calls me that, especially if it’s someone I don’t know – who isn’t a friend, and hasn’t earned the right to be abusive to me in a way I’ll laugh off, cos mates amirite – that’s a different story, and inevitably someone is going to get a two footed slide tackle from behind that I swear was an accident, honest.

      If you want to call someone a c*** while playing Rocket League, then fine. Do so to yourself, in your own head, whatever. But doing it in game is the very behaviour that this ban is trying to stop, and there’s absolutely no need for it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Seyda Neen says:

      40 years old and trying to justify verbal abuse as an adult behavior.

    • Rindan says:

      When I hear some loser babbling incoherent curses into mic and trash talking with words that are going to get you banned, my first thought isn’t “Oh boy! I am playing with a fellow adult!”

      I’m an adult. Do you know what I stopped doing after becoming an adult? Acting like a child while playing online video games. Maybe you should learn how to play video games like an adult? Playing like an adult doesn’t involve verbal abuse. I find it laughable that you think playground trash talk is “adult talk”, while wanting to play a team sport without some idiot yelling abuses at you apparently makes you a child.

      If you are really a 40 year old man, grow up. If you are a 14 year old child upset that they are taking away your playground trash talking, you will (hopefully) understand why people find you annoying and mute you when you are older.

      • Funnybear says:

        I think you misunderstand what I was trying to say. To use the aforementioned word is not my first port of call, trust me as a 40 year old man child, I am capable of moderating my behaviour. What I was trying to get at is my escalating responses to playstyles that I think quite fairly can be described as ‘playing like a c***’. We have all been there, watching the puppy’s running around chasing the ball, maybe you are one of them, I don’t know. Maybe I have even called you said word in the past, it’s vernacular, it’s contextually appropriate and there is a reason I use it. Maybe rather than getting upset with the perceived insult, think about why the insult came about in the first place. If your team mate has repeatedly questioned your playstyle before getting so frustrated at watching you throw the match, then why is it the frustrated user that gets penalised and not you for selfish game play?

        Look don’t get me wrong I do understand the concept of ‘it’s only a game mate, chill’ but that’s what casual is for. Ranked is by it’s nature competative, and certain allowances (fine line here I know) should be made or accommodations saught. Maybe sign a disclaimer before joining ranked or something. I never use language like that in casual As it is just that, casual. But I am sorry, ranked is a different ball game and should be treated as such.

        • Rindan says:

          If your team mate has repeatedly questioned your playstyle before getting so frustrated at watching you throw the match, then why is it the frustrated user that gets penalised and not you for selfish game play?

          Ahh cool. You are that dumb asshole. You are the dumb asshole who thinks that the people the same rank as you don’t know how to play the game, and you are the dumb fuck who thinks it can be fixed by being a shit head to people.

          You are wrong. You are shitty at the team games you play. You are shitty because tilting assholes like you are what inspires other people throw. No one in the history of a team game has taken a bunch of abuse by some loser at the same rank and then played better. You are trying to justify acting like an annoying asshole by claiming it somehow improves team performance. It doesn’t. You make your team worse.

          I hate having losers like you on my team because you inevitably start trashing on someone (who is the same rank as you), and not only do I have to hear it, but your stupid assholeness breaks down team cohesion and makes ME lose rank.

          Learn to play better. Step 1 is to grow up and play like an adult. Only children think that childish trash talk is “playing like an adult”.

  21. onearmedbandit says:

    I’m all for cutting down on abusive language and behaviours in RL – it is one of the primary things that spoils enjoyment of the game (the other is lag. I wish Psyonix would do something about that, but I doubt they’ll be acquiring Sky anytime soon…)

    Anyway, my concern about auto-bans is that it may not function quite as intended and people may get mistakenly banned. Is there any kind of context recognition? I don’t know what’s on their list, but there are very few words that are always offensive, whatever the context. Friends may call each other names in a way that is not intended to be truly offensive. Also, people may make a swear simply as a typo or Freudian slip (e.g. “cant” is only 1 letter away from a word that’s likely on the list).

    Will there be some kind of appeals system?

    Sorry if any of this has already been raised, I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments.

    • pepperfez says:

      Sidney Morgenbesser shares your concerns.

    • Marr says:

      False positives and the almost certain under-staffing or non-existence of the human appeals process are a constant concern with these efforts, also they tend to impose specifically American values onto their global audience. Common example: These systems often consider words like ‘Hell’ and ‘Damn’ to be offensive, where in the UK that’s a child-safe alternative to swearing.

  22. Karma says:

    I just got banned for saying the word Fuck ingame just once…
    My team wasn’t rotating at all and i told them we are losing becaus of them, so they had to fuck off or start rotating, i instantly get banned for 24hours… What dafuq happened with this game? whats offensive to other players to say they have to rotate or fuck off? just a normal option if you ask me, i guess these low ranked faggots are the hell of this game, just got out of gold 1 made it to gold 3 div 4, now deranked back to gold 2… i don’t mind losing in gold 3 games becaus my team tryed whatever they can but the other team had more luck/skill then us. but when your team doesn’t understand then game then its hard to get out of something

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