Sports Gamers Online

Racism Plaguing MLB The Show?

It seems inappropriate and often racially charged content is all too common in MLB The Show. Toxicity in online communities is nothing new, and that’s a problem. However, many users do what they can by reporting issues as they come. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prove justice has been served.

SDS Ignores Inappropriate MLB The Show Content?

A post regarding this issue surfaced several two days ago; however, this is not the first time it has come up. Most occurrences end up on reddit or in the community forums as a way to raise awareness. Besides the reporting inappropriate content, these post share a very important similarity. They all seem to end with the user merely hoping the offender gets banned or suffers some other punishment.

Reddit user, TheChevyChaser, submitted the post that originally tipped us (SGO) off. Chaser posted his take on incident of him reporting another user within the Diamond Dynasty mode from MLB The Show. Chaser describes how he encountered a created player named ‘Jamal Coon’. Team name “Master of Monkeys”. Uniforms are all white, presumably a nod to the KKK.

mlbtheshowracismIn his post, Chevy also comments that he hopes everyone is reporting similar content. However, not everyone agreed. Some users played devil’s advocate saying “Your actually helping create more of this by posting it. This isn’t actual racism, its a kid trying to be funny by pushing buttons.” Others broke the conversation into tangents, bringing Chaser’s own character into question.

Constant Need for Action

We looked into the situation themselves. In a matter of minutes, many of them who own MLB The Show found several cases of not just racially inappropriate content, but religious as well. If we can find them so can other players. The problems get worse when you understand you don’t have to be the age of an average gamer (18-35) to play an MLB game. ESRB rated the game E for everyone and I personally know several fairly young people who enjoy baseball and video games.

MLB The ShowOutside of reporting cases, some users have contacted SDS directly in hopes of getting justice. Most responses fall within “the appropriate action has been taken,” but seem to offer very little else. Furthermore, some users have reported that they were told it was flat out not in their jurisdiction. To be fair, cases like they tend to surround some sort of abuse that took place within the PSN side of things, but came shortly after engaging toxic players in MLB The Show.

To SDS’s defense, there are cases reporting justice being handed out. Some of their employees have even commented encouraging players to continue using the correct reporting system. Other advice has even pointed players to proper reporting channels during cases that fall out of their control.

Unfortunately, the outcry seems to be from what feels like a lack of active banning from SDS. Giving players the option to report is great, but they should not be charged with the task of cleaning up the community. Admittedly, I do not the extent in which San Diego Studio actively combs their online modes for inappropriate content. Offering some transparency to that process may be beneficial and likely encouraging to those seeking solutions.

My Take?

Albeit unacceptable, it’s just safer to play offline. The world can be a hateful place. It gets worse when users can hide behind a screen name. However, there other steps SIE San Diego Studio could take. Better filtering of inappropriate language is certainly one of them. WWE Games actively filter online content by returning any words that are deemed offensive with asterisks. So, a wrestler uploaded by the name of Suicide (popular TNA Wrestling competitor) comes back as *******. Simple, but effective. With that said, the Diamond Dynasty Mode does attempt filter such language. As you can see, the results are minimal.

Filtering for words doesn’t have to result in an automatic ban. Certain trigger words can simply put an account up for moderation. Many games that are competitive online have some sort of moderation in place, but these should all go beyond just allowing players to report.

What do you think?

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