VALORANT Producer determined to fight harassment and bullying

Image credit: Riot Games

Concerns of bullying and harassment in VALORANT has come to a head. A number of game clips have surfaced to the front of the web, prompting VALORANT Executive Producer Anna Donlon to address player behavior in Riot Games’ latest blog post.

Solo queuing can be a daunting experience for many, and raises larger concerns of toxicity in competitive games. It’s an issue which prompted Donlon to speak up and admit she avoids queing alone due to the harassment women often face in-game.

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Harassment and bullying in games is not a status quo I’m comfortable accepting. I replied to a colleague’s tweet last month about my fears of solo-queuing, a problem I’ve had for many years of multiplayer gaming. And I’m not alone. We’ve learned to mute others who are harassing us. We’ve learned to mute ourselves in order to keep the peace. And as a result, we have a competitive experience that can feel compromised. We often find ourselves at a disadvantage,” Donlon said.

Addressing disruptive behavior can be a toilsome problem to navigate effectively. It’s not as simple as asking players to be polite; often overt sensistivity is used as an excuse for offenders to continuing bullying and tormenting other players.

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I worry that if we (Riot) don’t make a larger commitment here, we’ll end up following up with very little, or we’ll stop at providing ‘tools’ to self-isolate, rather than promoting a fair, competitive experience for everyone. So I’m going to make that commitment,” Donlon added.

Donlon ensures the development team will continue to make this area a priority for VALORANT, and that it will “invest the resources necessary” to combat harassment. One of the first courses of action will be setting a precendent for baseline expectations by publishing VALORANT’s code of conduct. The outline is said to help VALORANT and its community learn how to address these concerns and build upon a positive playing experience for all.

Donlon concluded by saying: “We’ll talk when we have more to show but please keep holding us, and me, accountable to keeping up our investment here.”

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