Blizzard tests new means of encouraging sportsmanship in Overwatch players

Blizzard isn't quite censoring the phrase "gg ez" in Overwatch, but it is encouraging players not to say it to each other after a game ends.

It’s been general policy for online game developers to filter foul and sometimes insulting words that players may issue to each other, but Blizzard seems to be experimenting with new steps in their online shooter Overwatch.

Today several players noticed that on the public test server, where Blizzard tests new patches before pushing them live to all players, players typing the phrase “gg ez” into game chat have had their words replaced with an array of amusing, if sometimes patronizing, phrases.

For context, “gg ez,” has been a veiled insult that shows up at the end of matches in games like Overwatch or League of Legends, usually meant to mock how well they played. However, since it’s not erroneously offensive on the surface, it’s hard to filter it or classify similar phrases as overly harmful.

Here are a list of the phrases—some just filter the phrase into more positive expressions, others turn it into a joke back against the player.

Seeing the results in action is good for a laugh, but it’s also an attempt by Blizzard to influence the behavior of Overwatch players, and broaches new territory in terms of interpreting what is considered negative behavior in chat.

Blizzard’s filter seems to be a means of curbing the phrase without resorting to bans or punitive behavior involving their reporting team. Of course, since the filter is only live on the public test server at the moment, it’s not guaranteed it’ll show up in the next live patch.

You can see a video of the filter in action below:

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