Valorant is Forcing Offensive Names to be Changed, and It’s About Time
Words and names have a lot of power. On that point, toxicity is more than simply screaming obscenities at other players, or typing angrily at another player in-game. Sometimes, the name of a player is just as upsetting. As an example, the writer of this piece is Jewish, and saw four different “Hitler was Right”-themed names in a single week. If you don’t think things like that are offensive, we don’t know what to tell you. However, we can tell you that Valorant is making a serious push to stop offensive names and making them change, and it’s about time.
Be Excellent To Each Other – Bill S. Preston, Esquire
You shouldn’t have to ask “Why is this happening?” or “What constitutes an offensive name?” either. It’s pretty clear what an offensive name is. Calling yourself a Jerk isn’t bad, but dropping a racial slur or a reference to one isn’t a good idea. If your user name is written to drag another person or race/ethnicity down, you can count on that being changed too.
From now on, any offensive name in Valorant will be met with an automated system to change it. Names that target hate towards a race, sex, or sexual orientation are not allowed, nor are names with offensive language in them. Should it drag another person or group of people down, it’s going to be changed. In a perfect world (or at least a better world), people wouldn’t make names with slurs in them. It’s neither clever nor cool. Riot SuperCakes, one of the Valorant team firmly believes in making the game welcoming to all, and it’s great that the team has her back.
Thankfully, you as a dedicated Valorant player can help wipe out some of these offensive names. The reporting system in Valorant will let you inform Riot of an offensive name, which will then go through a systematic check to make sure it is actually an offensive word. Some people might try to use it to force a player’s name change out of spite or some other sad thing, but if it’s not on their list, you’ll be fine. You should also use that time to report toxic behavior, offensive language, and cheating.
Valorant had this to say on Twitter:
“Baddies be gone: swifter justice will be served on reports for offensive player names that violate our Code of Conduct. Think hate speech, slurs, etc. The account of a reported player will then go through an automated check.
“If the account alerts our filter for disruptive names, then they will be forced to change their Riot ID the name time they log in to the Riot Client. This just another step of many we’re taking to make VALORANT truly welcome for all.”
The response is probably about what you expect. “What about free speech?” “It’s just a game grow up”, and things like that. People who tout “free speech” forget that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.
A Much Needed Change
This is a good idea, and we’re glad the Valorant team is taking hateful and offensive names seriously, but what happens if the player just finds another sneaky way to rename into something equally monstrous? Will the rename system check for the new name being acceptable? What about repeated offenses from the same IP? We can’t help but wonder what this will actually do for the betterment of Valorant. We hope it helps cut back on the negative nature of online gaming.
Sounds like it’s time for players to stop acting like horrible little monsters, and try to lift others up for a change. You’d be surprised at what being a good person, and not a horrid troll will do for you in a game. You might actually start winning if you spend less time being a monster, and more being a team player. Of course, that’s just hypothetical; but it might work!
We’re just glad Valorant is taking a hard stance on making their community welcoming to all, and look forward to further improvements.