You have to love online competitive gaming chat forums. After all, there is no medium more fun than playing with others online, while also hearing and reading about all the multitude of things they want to do to your mother. Unfortunately, the level of profanity found in many games chats is quite unacceptable, and with so many young people playing video games these days, not something that everyone should be exposed to. Though if they are playing an age-restricted game in the first place, it’s their own fault.
Valve is working on a way to curb this problem with a new profanity and slur filter to their chat system (as reported by The Verge). The new feature, which is currently in beta testing, filters a list of commonly used profanities along with various racial, ethnic, religious, and sexually offensive slurs, plus gives users the options of adding their own words or even uploading a full list of terms to block. The feature will then proceed to censor those phrases from all games that utilise its chat service.
The feature doesn’t actually block any of the profanity or obscene words but will simply prevent certain people from seeing them. Meaning that people who choose not to have these phrases censored will still see things normally. Valve has done this to ensure people can still chat with each other without feeling too censored, but at the same time if someone is trying to verbally abuse another, someone might be able to see it and report it.
It’s not perfect, with the company claiming it can only filter around 75% of common offensive or profane language, but Valve is hoping that it can expand the service further with the support of users and hopefully get better at finding all the varieties of profane words and the many colourful variants in which they are expressed.
It would be nice if people could communicate publicly in a way that is suitable for all ages, but gamers are going to want to express themselves and that will often mean utilising flowery language. Valve does not have any dates yet on when they plan to take this feature public, but it can be tried out in the Steam Labs feature found in your profile.
Last Updated: September 1, 2020