Recently, the popular strategic first-person shooter VALORANT developed by Riot Games has recently received an update to its privacy agreement and terms of service. Due to harassment and other disruptive behavior, developers feel the need to intervene to ensure that players are respectful and inclusive. This is not the first time that the developers have attempted to improve the social aspect of their games. In February, efforts were made to penalize players who are “away from the keyboard” or AFK and not actively playing in games. These AFK detectors notified the game’s developers, and subsequently, players were warned or potentially penalized if the behavior continued. The most recent update most important difference is that in-game communications can be monitored for offensive or harmful rhetoric.
However, the notice informed players that due to privacy reasons they want to do their best to minimize the amount of voice chat data collected. So, recording of communications and monitoring them will only occur if players report offensive behavior such as hate speech or harassment. When this occurs, only relevant voice chat will be reviewed, and the developers promise to only keep the recordings as long as necessary to determine if the behavior is outside acceptable behavior. In the event players do not want their chat potentially monitored, they can simply opt-out of the voice chat feature in the game.
Developers noted that they wanted to create “an environment of respect, safety, and positivity for all players” and that they want “a more reliable method to prevent disruptive behavior in our voice comms services.”