On July 13th, Valorant’s free first-person shooter (FPS) creator Riot Games will begin listening in on player voice interactions (via PCGamer). The game developer claims that this is to aid in the training of the language models that it will ultimately employ for assessing player feedback across all of its games.
Riot is utilizing the data it gathers to help create the beta of the system it hopes to roll out later this year, rather than beginning to evaluate player reports based on these recordings just yet. Riot will only assess the discussions of English-speaking Valorant players in North America for the time being. Use of another communication medium, such as Discord, or total voice chat disablement are the only ways to reject this arrangement.
In its introduction, Riot states, “We recognize that before we can even consider extending this tool, we’ll have to be satisfied it’s successful. If mistakes arise, we have procedures in place to make sure we can fix any false positives (or negatives, for that matter).”
Riot claims that when the technology is implemented, it won’t “actively monitor your live game communications” and would only “possibly listen to and study voice logs” if you are reported for acting disruptively. Additionally, it states that, like it does for reports sent through its text-based chat platforms, it will destroy this information once the issue has been resolved. Similar to the always-on Vanguard anti-cheat system that keeps an eye on your behavior both inside and outside of Valorant, it will undoubtedly cause privacy worries in some players.
In addition to the proposed reporting mechanism, Valorant is working to eliminate toxic gamers in other ways. This year, Riot began allowing Valorant players to add particular terms or phrases to a “muted words list” that is intended to help filter out offensive chatter.