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‘Highly Toxic’ Streamer Opens In-Game Gift and Finds a Devastating Present

‘Highly Toxic’ Streamer Opens In-Game Gift and Finds a Devastating Present

Anyone who has spent any time in the video game world will all tell you: Gamers, as a whole, kinda suck.

A gamer can certainly be thoughtful, fun, interesting, charismatic, and just an aggressive net positive for humanity (take this humble writer, for instance) — but as a collective? Not so much.

As a whole, gamers are largely toxic, immature trolls who literally still live in their parents’ basement and have zero social skills.

Seriously, spend 10 minutes in a Call of Duty lobby, and the amount of n-words, f-words and other despicable terms being hurled around by 13-year-olds will force you to lose a little faith in humanity.

Given that, it also makes sense that there are ample lucrative opportunities for video game streamers to cultivate communities of gamers largely revolving around toxicity.

And how best to do that? You be the biggest toxic troll possible.

That may sound counter-intuitive, but think of it as the biggest, most rotten slab of meat drawing the greatest number of flies.

This vicious cycle has, in turn, created a race to the bottom for video game content creators, which has made the space just an unpleasant one to occupy sometimes.

Video game developers are keenly aware of how unwelcoming this can be (which obviously affects their bottom line) and one titan of industry is fighting back in a particularly creative and festive way.

Video game publisher, developer and distribution company Valve Corporation came up with a viral method for dealing with particularly toxic trolls, and it’s easy to see why the story’s gaining steam.

Dota 2 — a Valve-owned strategy video game that’s particularly notorious for having such a toxic fan and user base that it rolled out a “behavior score system” earlier this year — is having its seasonal holiday event “Frostvirus 2023.”

As part of the event, gamers will get special presents and gifts (keeping with the Christmas theme) which they can then “open”, digitally speaking, to collect the goods.

As described by Polygon, some gamers won’t receive a fun trinket or shiny adornment for their avatar, but rather they’ll receive a “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal.”

That in-game trinket comes with just one crazy caveat: Players who open their Frostvirus gift and receive that “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal” are henceforth banned from playing Dota 2.

Polygon listed out a number of ways that players can get pinged for being toxic, and those included “smurfing” (intentionally throwing the occasional game to stay matched up with less experienced players online) and sharing accounts (or, having other people play on your behalf.)

One very prominent streamer and e-sports champion, Mason “mason” (he really stretched his brain with that one) Venne was deemed to be worthy of a “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal” and the video of his disbelief at the ban swiftly went viral:

@theesportsgg Dota streamer Mason gets a lump of toxic coal and a perma ban from Valve for Christmas. #dota2 #dota2memes #frostivus ♬ original sound – @Esports

Venne, who claims that he’s banned until Jan. 18, appears to be accused of “smurfing.” Per Polygon, Venne defended himself against the allegations of smurfing, but did admit to “boosting” his behavior score.

Valve made it clear that there was going to be a “bloodbath” in regards to banning toxic accounts in a Thursday blog post.

After noting the gifts and updates waiting for players on the “Nice” list, Valve stated: “On the other hand, if you’re on the Naughty List, we’ve got great news for everybody else and bad news for you, because this year is gonna be a bloodbath. You might remember back in September, we got out the ban hammer and permanently banned 90,000 smurf accounts.

“Since then, we’ve continued to invest in player behavior monitoring, on both the manual and automatic analysis fronts. Over the last few weeks, we’ve engaged in an even more aggressive ban wave, including many tens of thousands of smurf account bans today alone.”

The multi-billion dollar video game company added: “And smurfing isn’t even the only naughty thing players are getting up to. Amongst other questionable choices, some bad actors are playing like jerks, ruining games and losing behavior score because of it, then hiring behavior score farmers to drive it back up.”

So yeah. That’s sort of how awful gamers can be.

Companies would literally rather have some people just not play their games than sully their communities with toxicity.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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