The current protests against racism in the USA have a broad impact. For example, Infinity Ward is taking more serious actions against racist content in Call of Duty, focusing on offensive user names.
The death of the African-American George Floyd by police violence triggered a wave of protests in the USA, which have now lasted for over a week and repeatedly lead to clashes with the police. They led to a renewed flare-up of the racism discussion in the USA and the rest of the world.
Many large companies, in the game industry as well, have already expressed their solidarity with the protesters. Events, announcements and releases were postponed to not distract attention from the current events. This was also the case for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 4, which was originally scheduled to start this week but is now postponed indefinitely.
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Companies, esports organizations and players show their solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and call for support. Humble Bundle already donated one million dollars and EA Games announced millions of dollars in donations to support organizations fighting against racism and for equality.
Infinity Ward intervenes
The developer of the current Call of Duty, Infinity Ward, has also announced on Twitter that it will take a stronger stand against racism in its game.
In particular, this means that additional filters are to be implemented for user names in order to find and ban racist IDs, but also to detect and prevent racist names directly when creating or changing an account in the future.
In addition to the filters, a new system for reporting offensive player names is being developed that will make it much easier to draw attention to violations. As a final point, Infinity Ward states that they want to increase the number of permanent bans, so that players who are repeatedly negative can be completely banned from CoD.
While the announcement of Infinity Ward is welcome, many players wonder why it's only now. Racist and offensive player names in Call of Duty are by no means a rarity and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been on the market since September of last year.
A filter in the name creation should be a standard from the beginning. However, the developer seems to have been unaware of the problem or simply ignored it until the current protests brought the problem of racism back into the public consciousness.
This reddit post sums it up well:
You could say Infinity Ward was forced to react, but it's better late than never. The whole idea of a protest is to bring positive change after all.
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