Moderating Online Game Chat Rooms

November 4, 2017

Chat rooms have become one of the key features found in online games that connect communities and spread awareness. Here, players from different parts of the world will be able to communicate with other players of similar interest, share ideas, and form friendship circles. However, companies behind these games have found problems with players taking advantage of chat rooms for their benefit or just for agitating other players out of their amusement. There are also the concerns of dangers associated with chat rooms such as bullying or predatory behaviour.

 

 

Because of these arising problems, it is necessary for game companies to take chat room moderation seriously. Companies cannot merely rely on automated filtering to ensure accurate filtering. Moderators, game masters, or admins are an essential presence in chat rooms, keeping the chat room clean from inappropriate languages the automated filters might have missed. However, this is just the first line of defense.

 

Problems with Chat Rooms

Chat rooms allow players to be able to communicate with each other in real time. With hundreds of players interacting with different chat rooms, it is most likely that players will come across spammers, trolls, game selling, advertising spamming, cyber bullying, and even predatory behaviour, which has led chat rooms to be hostile and even seriously damage some companies and titles. They can be filled with insult trading, unnecessary links, and comments not related to the game, which becomes impossible for anyone to have real conversations. Another problem is that chat moderators are hard to find. It takes time and effort to build a relationship with someone who you could trust as a moderator for chat rooms.

 

Game Moderators

Game moderators exist to ensure that players who are engaged in the chat rooms follow the guidelines for chatting in the game. They can be real players offering their services to be a moderator for the game or an in-house or outsourced team of professional moderators using human and AI designed for your guidelines. Moderators can warn and ban players at their discretion. They can provide warnings to players that they can be banned permanently or temporarily in the future for committing another violation. Moderators can also delete and flag users who have gone against the rules.

 

However, moderators have to ensure that their basis for banning is justifiable, and they cannot simply ban and reprimand any player. The common topics game masters look out for are:

 

Legal liability

There are a lot of legal risks that any player engaged in a chat forum can be exposed to - fraud, identity theft, and also illegal selling of black market items which the game’s company could be liable for if overlooked.

 

Hostile conversations

There are sure to be trolls lurking around the chat rooms waiting to strike, and if not moderated, this can be sure to create a heated argument between players or worse. Moderators have to ensure their players remain civil to prevent players from leaving and returning to the chat room.

 

Off-topic conversations

Chat rooms exist for players to be able to connect and share what they all have in common, which is the game they are playing. But it is also common to see off-topic conversations in chat rooms. The moderator's job then is to guarantee that the discussion stays on track or related to the game and prevent it from becoming too personal.

 

Lastly, moderators will also be treated like ordinary players and can be reprimanded in cases that they have gone against the rules and to prevent abuse of power.

 

Final Thoughts

Even with automated moderation present in the chat, you cannot fully rely on software. It is still essential to have human moderators. Chat moderators ensure that the chat community remains positive to prevent players from leaving the chat or the game entirely, and help to create a positive user experience that encourages new user adoption, and user longevity.

 

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