Even cozy games can get toxic

Former professional esports player Dennis Fong He founded GGWP in 2022, more than a year before companies like Microsoft and Google debuted their natural language search engines and the AI ​​revolution officially swept the world. GGWP is an AI-powered moderation system that identifies and takes action against in-game harassment and hate speech, and after two years on the scene, it’s now integrated into titles at over 25 studios.

Fong may be a veteran of the Doom and Quake esports scenes, but he’s interested in protecting players from abuse in every genre, especially as social features become easier to implement for studios of all sizes. GGWP is alive in that game company’s social adventure title Sky: Children of Lightmeditation program TRIPP VRan MMO aimed at kids Toontown Rewrittenfirst person MOBA PredecessorFatshark’s action shooter Warhammer 40,000: Darktidemetaverse platform Sandboxand it strengthens Unity’s anti-abuse toolset.

These are not gritty military sims or gritty competitive franchises like Counter-Strike or League of Legends, where you can expect emotional outbursts and heightened toxicity. According to Fong, a third of games using GGWP are cooperative and PvE experiences rather than competitive PvP settings. It turns out that casual games also need moderation.

“Casual games tend to see more chat activity than competitive games, so naturally there are more chat-related events than games,” Fong said. “That said, users are smart and always find new ways to use it after a player makes a mistake to turn something that’s meant to be positive, like the ‘thank you’ emoticon, into something negative. We help companies understand what’s going on and then implement tools to curb that behavior.”

GGWP’s Commonwealth partnership is particularly noteworthy for its potential scale alone. GGWP, Unity’s Secure Text and Safe Voice products, including its Vivox voice chat system, which is integrated into the uDash dashboard. Unity developers can enable GGWP in their games with one click and manage billing through existing Unity partnerships.

Outside of Unity, it only takes a few lines of code to enable GGWP in a game. There is a free tier that allows studios to test the system and a self-service portal for the truly independent developer. Aside from special contracts for larger titles, GGWP payments are based on the volume of API calls a game makes.

“There are companies that do some of what we do, but we are the only comprehensive platform for positive play,” Fong said.

In-game moderation is a big problem for any game with a social feature, and the bigger the audience, the more it can be squeezed. A studio executive told Fong in 2022 that their game had reportedly received more than 200 million player submissions in just one year, a volume spread across popular online titles. During the research phase, Fong found that most AAA studios address only 0.1 percent of all reports they receive each year, and some have anti-toxicity teams of fewer than 10 people.

GGWP exists because most gaming companies, even the biggest ones, are terrible at managing their sites. In many games, pressing the “report” button feels like sending a strongly worded letter to an incinerator inside a black hole. Here it is Here’s how Fong described it To Engadget in 2022:

“I won’t name names, but some of the biggest games in the world were, you know, honestly, it’s not going anywhere. It goes to an inbox that no one sees. You feel it as a player, don’t you? “You feel hopeless because you say that I reported the same person 15 times and nothing happened.”

GGWP has successfully blocked hundreds of millions of abusive messages and is used to protect billions of user interactions every month. Games using the system have seen a 65 percent reduction in toxic behavior and a 15 percent improvement in player retention — meaning GGWP prevents aggression in the first place, helping players feel comfortable enough to return.

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