❘ Published: 2022-10-26T17:00:50
❘ Updated: 2022-10-26T17:01:01
A non-profit mental health organization’s study revealed Call of Duty players were more likely to be racist and misogynistic than Minecraft players, but not because of violent gameplay.
Call of Duty has a history of controversy due to the violent content. HasanAbi labeled Modern Warfare 2’s campaign a “war crime simulator” because of scenes where, for example, the player is in control of a missile tracking a politician’s vehicle.
The FPS franchise also struggles with a toxicity problem, as any player can probably recall a negative experience from the in-game chat.
Activision attempted to crack down on CoD’s toxicity problem in September, announcing a ban on over 500,000 accounts and forcing 300,000 to change their names. Modern Warfare 2 features a new Code of Conduct that players must sign before playing.
Does Call of Duty have a toxicity problem?
In March, a study from Wordtips dove into the social media data across thousands of tweets and concluded CoD fans are more negative than any other game.
Dr. Rachel Kowert studied the correlation between playing video games and toxic behavior. She told Vice Media that people who identify as “gamers” are likelier to exhibit extreme behaviors such as racism and sexism.
Despite making strides in the right direction, Kowert’s study revealed Call of Duty players were more likely to be racist and misogynistic than those who played Minecraft.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 releases on October 28.
“This can vary across communities depending on what kind of people that you are spending a lot of your time with,” Kowert said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily about content but about the community in which you’re being immersed.”
Kowert does not want her research to be taken out of context, emphasizing not reading too heavily into the study. She claimed, “I think that games are wonderful places that have more positive things to offer than negative things across the board.”
Activision acknowledged a cultural problem with the CoD community, and the developers are taking steps to crack down on negative behavior.