Riot Games has revealed that there are feature to combat sexism coming to VALORANT.
One of gamings darkest demons is the ongoing struggle to recognise equality, with women in gaming often being on the receiving end of toxicity because of their gender.
In games where voice communication is integral to your success, such as VALORANT, women are often put off using the feature as they are targetted with sexist comments. Recently, two Reddit threads from different women have surfaced, highlighting the discriminative abuse they receive in voice chat when they are simply trying to coordinate with teammates.
Riot Games, who are somewhat new to how toxic voice chat can be (as it is disabled in League of Legends unless you're in a pre-made squad), has conceded that "the social experience for minority groups, women included, is awful right now. Especially in voice comms". They're now looking to implement features within the game that will combat sexism and other forms of discrimination, according to Riot Games Employee Lea, a.k.a "aeneia".
Responding to the women on Reddit, Lea stated: "I promise, we're working on it. I can't speak to any details right now, but if all goes to plan, you'll be hearing from us in the near future with actions and updates".
"To add to that," Lea continued, "I have played so many games where women don't speak up until after I start talking. Once they hear my voice, and they see that no one is giving me c**p, they know it's safe".
"I cannot wait for the day when I get into agent select and hear other women (or kids, or anyone with a targetable voice) pipe up and say hello first. Because they'll know it'll be safe to do so. Because we'll have cut this obscene s**t out of our game".
The details of the features that are in the pipelines are vague, although Lea does indicate that they will be to combat voice communications. Riot does already have a reporting system that can reprimand those that are reported, although the reporter is none-the-wiser should their voices be heard.
With such abuse deteriorating confidence in the game, Riot may look to implement a reactive method which alerts players when they have successfully reported a player and subsequently had them face the consequences. Either way, Lea thanked both women, and others on the comments, for sticking with VALORANT despite being put off. She concluded by saying;
"Thanks for still giving our game a chance, even with all these bad experiences. This is a multi-team effort across Riot, and we're working hard towards a future where you don't have to deal with s**t like this anymore".
With hope, these features will be in sooner, rather than later.
Image via Riot Games