Mordhau: Racism and sexism run rampant

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The online medieval brawler Mordhau has come under fire due to a community that’s largely been left unchecked and unmoderated by the game’s developer.

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Look, it’s no secret that every online game will have some part of the community that just “doesn’t get why all games have to be so PC, broooooooooo”. Racism, sexism and just general bigotry are unfortunately all too common in the online space of video games, largely because the original demographic that invested so much of their time in the subculture was predominantly white men who weren’t exactly moderated on how they behaved around strangers, using the anonymity that is the Internet as a curtain to hide behind. Fortunately, most developers and publishers do their best to keep these kinds of users in check which is sadly not the case for one of 2019’s break-out hits Mordhau.

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Mordhau is unfortunately littered with offensive language in both the game and the official forums used by the game’s community. PC Gamer notes in their report on the issue that players often use slurs like “f**got” when referring to the homosexual community and often describes their playable characters as “n**ggas”, citing the title of one of the oldest and most utilised threads in the game’s official forum.  Andrew Geach, speaking on behalf of the Mordhau team, has stated that, “the title (of the forum post) itself, we as a team don’t find it racist or offensive, and considering the thread’s content, we find it even less so. We do understand however that some people may interpret it as being racist or inappropriate if taken out of context”.

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Many players are taking issue with the developer’s hands-off approach to community management. One need only glance through the Mordhau subreddit to find dozens of posts complaining about the offensive nature of the in-game chat. Geach has stated that any player caught spewing offensive or bigoted phrases is “pretty much banned on the spot” which sounds good until you realise that the game doesn’t have a report option, meaning players have to screenshot any offensive material, send it to the developers via Discord and hope that someone takes notice. Over 300 players have been banned for using offensive slurs, but when the game has sold over a million copies, that’s a tear drop in an ocean.

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Even though Mordhau does have a very small development team, community management is perhaps one of the most important aspects of running a successful online and having sold as many copies as they have, it seems reasonable to expect resources to be placed in that specific division of the development team. The full report can be read here.

Last Updated: July 2, 2019

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