The team at Virtex Stadium wants to take players beyond live event streams and deliver something more: 3D virtual stadiums where fans can experience the immersive, visceral thrill of watching the world’s greatest esports events in live 3D via virtual reality. They’ve recently hosted their first live event on Virtex Stadium, during which players were able to watch a special competition of Echo VR, the first game supported in the Stadium. Pretty neat, huh?!
After entering a virtual lobby, Virtex visitors are free to move into other areas, such as a lounge bar and main hall — relaxed virtual hangouts perfect for socializing that will soon also include games and interactivity. But the most exciting part of the experience is that unlike traditional streaming, esports fans can all experience the thrill of a live match together, at the same time.
Staying Safe in VR
Of course, like all large social gatherings (virtual or otherwise), social integration is an important part of the experience. And Virtex wants to deliver the best possible experience that allows fans of all ages and every walk of life to meet and socialize — bringing the thrill and excitement of watching games from a live stadium but ensuring it's a safe experience for everyone.
But VR, as a still (relatively) new platform for social interaction, is rife for exploitation. “I think [harassment] is an issue we have to take seriously in VR, especially if we want it to be a welcoming online space, a diverse online space,” said Daniel Castro, vice president at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, in a May 2022 article by CNN.
And according to an ADL research study, 86% of adults who play online multiplayer games in the US experience some form of harassment while playing games online, with 77% of players experiencing some form of severe harassment, including physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment.
So how do you keep the excitement, cheers, drama (and sometimes, heartache) of stadium-scale events, but close the door on toxic behavior that threatens to ruin the party?
By partnering with Modulate, Virtex will be integrating ToxMod — Modulate’s voice-native moderation software — which proactively identifies bad actors and allows Virtex’s team of moderators to quickly and efficiently handle them before they ruin the party.
How ToxMod works
Built on advanced machine learning technology and designed with player safety and privacy in mind, ToxMod triages voice chat to flag bad behavior, analyzes the nuances of each conversation to determine toxicity, and enables moderators to quickly respond to each incident by supplying relevant and accurate context.
Unlike legacy text transcription moderation, ToxMod isn’t just reliant on monitoring keywords or phrases. When a conversation is analyzed, ToxMod uses multiple criteria to determine whether an interaction is considered ‘toxic’, including emotional quality and contextual phrase detection. ToxMod listens not only to what is being said, but also how it is said and how other players respond to it.
This proactive approach will allow Virtex’s moderators to act swiftly without relying solely on player reports, which typically occur long after the damage is done and may already be spreading — if the reports happen at all.
The Modulate team is excited to be helping Virtex deliver amazing virtual events, unite fans all over the world, and make this groundbreaking technology safe, fun, and accessible for everyone.