In online games, chatting is the root that has been passed down since the days of MUD, and it is also a communication tool that makes the game more interesting. In fact, in World of Warcraft, the unique game culture represented by ‘Wandangi’, which conveys New Year’s greetings in-game with other users on New Year’s Day, would not have been made without chatting.
However, on the other hand, the side effects of chatting are also large. This is because it is easy to generate noise in the process of human-to-human communication. From the point of view of gamers, it becomes a barrier to reluctance to play due to indiscriminate verbal abuse, and from the point of view of game companies, resources are consumed steadily, such as preparing a filtering system and deploying response personnel to prevent users from leaving due to chatting. In fact, if you look at the current state of sanctions against unmanned users of online games, ‘inappropriate chatting’ is the most frequently mentioned representative factor along with ‘using nuclear weapons’. Even if the conflict within the game moves into reality and gets bigger, the image of the game will also fall into hell.
In the meantime, games with no chat at all or with greatly reduced utilization are emerging, centering on games centered on overseas battles. Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legend supports a ‘ping system’ that can communicate in detail enough to replace chatting. Pokemon Unite, the recently released AOS game for Nintendo Switch/Mobile, has no chat in the normal game and only provides limited means of communication, such as a ping system or the ability to send a specified message.
League of Legends is also considering getting rid of chat, although it has been reduced to some regions, including Korea. Riot Games announced on the 13th that it will test removing the whole chat in Quick Match to prevent negative behavior during chatting. There are more negative interactions than positive interactions.” This is acknowledging that cancer is greater than name when full chat is allowed.
Although chatting, which was an essential element in the past, has been eliminated or drastically reduced, the games are well-received and well-received. The biggest advantage is that the risk of conflicts between users is low. Because there is no need to see inappropriate content or slander, there is less stress from people, which helps the game to continue in the long run. In fact, in the case of League of Legends, I did not want to feel tired from chatting even before disabling the entire chat, so there were many cases of playing games with ‘Mute all (/Mute all)’ that blocks all user chats at the beginning of the game and watching only pings.
However, there are also certain inconveniences that come from the lack of chatting. In fact, in games where team cooperation is important, external chat programs such as KakaoTalk chat room or Discord voice chat are often used for proper command or communication. In fact, there are many user comments requesting that in-game chat be added for closer team play
As such, the in-game chat system is clear and dark. The fact that games that have eliminated or minimized chatting are appearing one after another can be interpreted as one of the efforts to reduce this cancerous part as much as possible. No matter how much game companies use AI and strong sanctions to prevent unmanned behavior or verbal violence in chatting, it is difficult to find a clear solution, so they have blocked conversations that are not absolutely necessary.
However, these changes also differ depending on the game genre or culture. In fact, as a result of the coverage of Game Mecca, there are no active attempts or discussions about reducing or eliminating chatting in the domestic game industry. In particular, MMORPG, the main genre of the domestic game industry, often requires close communication, so chatting is essential, and it is not easy to find alternative means.
Although it is the same in Korea that many game companies are suffering from problems caused by inappropriate chatting, it is for this reason that it is structurally difficult to completely exclude or reduce chatting like some recent games. Currently, domestic game companies are focusing more on filtering inappropriate content, minimizing disputes between users, and supporting chatting faster and more conveniently.
However, solving problems in chat is a difficult problem to solve even if all advanced technologies are mobilized in 2021. If too much filtering is applied or if pre-blocking through artificial intelligence is strongly reflected, there may be cases where it is impossible to talk properly in the game or wrongly judging the context and erroneously sanctioning strict users. Therefore, minimizing the chatting itself as a countermeasure against the fact that inappropriate chatting is prevalent and side effects are increasing can be a solution. In fact, some domestic games and some modes are often playable without chatting. In the future, the time has come to seek an active solution so that chatting can be subtracted or minimized depending on the game, rather than as a basic element in Korea.