Picture this: you’re having the time of your life playing Zenith, the thrilling anime- and JRPG-inspired virtual reality MMO. You’re exploring the lush fantasy world, meeting new players, and taking on exciting quests.
But suddenly, as you’re making your way through a dungeon, your party encounters a group of players shouting insults, making fun of others, and generally causing a scene. It’s clear this is their thing, and they’re here in the game to make your experience worse.
Your first reaction is shock: "We’re all here to have fun. What is wrong with these people?" But after a moment, you remember: this is nothing new. You’ve experienced this all before. Almost every multiplayer game seems to have this problem – since the days you first picked up a controller.
You have a few choices: do you take time out of your game to manually fill out a player report? Do you ignore them and let them find another party to grief? Do you remove yourself from the immersion of the game or disable audio altogether?
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be this way. You shouldn’t have to make those compromises when playing your favorite game. And now that developers Ramen VR will be employing ToxMod’s proactive voice moderation tools in Zenith, you won’t need to.
In the hypothetical situation above, with ToxMod in place, your experience would have been much different. That toxic group of players you ran into would have been identified by the system’s advanced machine learning models, which are able to distinguish between the friendly banter you may have within your party from truly harmful behavior, and may have been either banned, muted, or warned before you ever encountered them.
You don’t need to avoid engaging in voice chat or worry about filing a player report. The team at Ramen VR no longer needs to rely on players to identify bad actors, and they can operate much more efficiently with the full context surrounding any toxic activity. It’s a win for everyone.
This is our mission: make online games more enjoyable by protecting the community from toxicity and creating safe, inclusive spaces for everyone. We feel particularly passionate about reducing toxicity in virtual reality experiences like Zenith. Why is that?
- VR is immersive. In traditional games, you’re looking at a screen some distance away and your audio might be either via your speakers or through headphones. In virtual reality experiences, your senses are generally surrounded: the only thing you see is the visuals in your headset, and in most cases you’re listening via integrated headphones.
- “Personal space” exists in VR. There’s something visceral about someone else entering your immediate vicinity in virtual reality that doesn’t apply to experiences with traditional screens – you really do get the feeling like someone is violating your personal space, especially when engaging in harassment or bullying.
- Voice chat is the only option in VR. Unlike the majority of “two-dimensional” PC or console games, which have options for communicating via text, there’s no keyboard in virtual reality. To engage with other players, you need to use voice chat. Avoiding voice communications is much more detrimental to your experience when you have no other options.
Modulate is here to make a difference in the games industry and beyond. We’re excited to work with the team behind Zenith to reduce toxicity and empower their community team to moderate more efficiently.