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Nurturing the Wellbeing of Content Moderators in Gaming

By February 26, 2024No Comments

In the expansive universe of gaming, where pixels and polygons create worlds of adventure, there exists a group of unsung heroes—the Content Moderators. As silent sentinels, they tirelessly patrol the digital landscapes, ensuring that the gaming experience remains enjoyable and safe for all. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of prioritizing the wellbeing of these guardians, exploring the unique challenges they face and the strategies to cultivate a supportive environment. 

The Silent Struggles 

Content Moderators are the first line of defence against toxicity, hate speech, and inappropriate content within gaming communities. The virtual realm, while thrilling, can also expose these guardians to an array of challenging situations. From moderating intense debates to confronting explicit language, the daily workload can take a toll on their mental and emotional health. 

Understanding the Unique Challenges 

Moderating content in the gaming industry comes with its unique set of challenges. A 2022 report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) indicated that 83% of adults and 60% of teenagers experienced harassment in online multiplayer games in the last six months. Moderators, often unsung heroes, face the constant exposure to diverse and sometimes distressing content. From moderating discussions on game features to addressing sensitive topics like politics and gender discussions, the responsibilities are vast and varied. 

Gaming Language and Culture 

One significant challenge is the gaming language – a unique lexicon that players use to communicate.  Gamers are tunnel vision-focused on their games and their universe, which creates the problem of understanding the numerous narratives they bring into different game forums. Even if a person has a good understanding of games and consoles, they still have a lot to learn to better understand what they bring to the forum. The user may talk about a specific feature, a new skin, a new season, a new release, or a problem they’re facing. The topics are extremely varied, the more you are equipped and understand the gaming universe, the better it can be moderated.  

A clever and effective way to overcome this challenge is to build out your glossary on gaming terms. Content Moderators will be able to learn and understand more of these niche terms as new ones are created constantly. Content Moderators should also have the skills of being aware of community guidelines, linguistic competencies, ability to engage with technologies, identify and report threads, cultural knowledge, legislation, and understanding of worldwide events when moderating.  

Volume and Variety of Content

Content Moderators in the gaming industry face a multifaceted challenge that revolves around the sheer volume and diverse nature of content they encounter on a daily basis. This challenge stems from the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of online gaming communities, where user-generated content, conversations, and interactions are constant and varied. Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of this challenge:

  1. User-Generated Content (UGC): In gaming communities, users often have the freedom to generate content, including text, images, videos, and other multimedia elements. This user-generated content contributes significantly to the richness of the gaming experience, but it also poses a challenge for Moderators. They must sift through an enormous amount of UGC to identify and address any content that violates community guidelines. The rapid pace at which users create and share content demands quick and efficient moderation processes.
  2. Multilingual and Multicultural Dynamics: Gaming transcends geographical and linguistic boundaries, creating a melting pot of cultures and languages within online communities. Moderators must be adept at handling content in various languages, understanding cultural nuances, and discerning the context in which certain expressions or phrases are used. This adds a layer of complexity to their responsibilities, as they navigate through a globalized gaming landscape.
  3. Emergent Trends and Memes: Gaming culture is known for its rapid emergence of trends, memes, and inside jokes. While these contribute to the vibrancy of the community, they also present challenges for Moderators who need to stay informed about the latest trends to understand context and intent. Failure to recognize the evolving nature of gaming culture may result in misinterpretations and, consequently, inconsistent moderation.
  4. Real-Time Interactions: Unlike traditional forms of media, gaming platforms facilitate real-time interactions among players. Moderators must be vigilant in monitoring live chats, discussions, and in-game communications. The dynamic and spontaneous nature of these interactions means that Moderators need to respond swiftly to maintain a positive and safe gaming environment.
  5. Diversity of Gaming Genres: The gaming industry spans a wide array of genres, each with its own unique community norms and expectations. From competitive esports titles to casual multiplayer games, Moderators must adapt to the distinct characteristics of each genre. This diversity requires a nuanced understanding of the gaming landscape to apply moderation consistently across different gaming experiences.

Strategies for Wellbeing 

1. Comprehensive Training Programs 

Equip Moderators with in-depth training that not only focuses on moderation skills but also includes strategies for coping with the emotional challenges associated with the role. Provide insights into potential stressors and coping mechanisms. 

2. Mental Health Resources 

Establish accessible mental health resources, including counselling services and support hotlines. Normalizing discussions around mental health and providing a safe space for Content Moderators to seek assistance can be pivotal. 

3. Regular Check-ins and Feedback 

Foster a culture of open communication by conducting regular check-ins and feedback sessions. This ensures that Content Moderators feel heard, supported, and valued, reducing the sense of isolation often associated with the role. 

 4. Community Building

Facilitate community-building initiatives among Moderators. Establishing forums or groups where Moderators can share experiences, exchange tips, and provide mutual support can create a sense of camaraderie. 

The Path Forward 

Prioritizing the wellbeing of Content Moderators is not just a corporate responsibility; it’s an investment in creating a healthier and more sustainable gaming ecosystem. By acknowledging the unique challenges, they face and implementing thoughtful strategies, we can ensure that these guardians continue to thrive, making the gaming universe a safer and more enjoyable space for all. Let’s unite in our commitment to the wellbeing of Content Moderators, fostering a gaming environment that champions not only epic battles but also the mental and emotional health of those who safeguard our digital adventures.