4 Musts for Safe In-Game Chat in any Language

A good in-game chat makes for more play. Users engage more deeply and return more often and LTV and a bunch of other metrics that game makers like improve. Two Hat proved all this about a year ago in our whitepaper for the gaming industry, An Opportunity to Chat, which is free for you to download (intended audience = General Managers, Executive Producers, etc.)

In order for chat experiences to be considered ‘good’ by the user in the first place though, you have to make sure that no users are excluded, bullied, or harassed away from your chat community and game before they ever get a chance to fall in love with it.

That said, it’s hard to deliver a consistently positive chat experience in one language fluently and with nuance, let alone the world’s 20 most popular. Add in leet aka 1337 and other ever-evolving unnatural language hacks and the task of scaling content moderation for global chat can be daunting. With that in mind, Two Hat offers these 4 Musts for Safe In-Game Chat in any Language.

4 Musts for Safe In-Game Chat in any Language

#1 Set expectations with clear guidelines

Humans change our language and behavior based on our environment. The very act of being online allows for a loosening of some behavioral norms and often anonymity, so it’s important users understand the guidelines for behavior in your community. As you ponder how to establish these guidelines, remember that cultural norms around the world are very different. What is a reasonable chat policy in one language or culture may be inappropriate in another.

#2 Develop unique policies for each culture

French is spoken fluently in Canada, Africa and the Caribbean, but the experiences of those places are entirely different. Why? Culture. Native speakers know these nuances, translation engines do not. Two Hat can provide accurate and customizable chat filters built and supported by our in-house team of native speakers of over 20 languages. They’re real people and they’re awesome. These filters must be on every gaming site and inside every mobile gaming app.

#3 Let user reputation be your guide

Users with a good reputation should be rewarded. Positive users are aligned with the purpose of your product, as well as your business interests, and they’re the ones who keep others coming back. For those few who harass others – in any language – set policies that automate appropriate measures. For example: set a policy requiring human review of any message sent by a user with 2 negative incidents in the last 7 days, etc. In this way, user reputation becomes the impetus behind in-game experience, democratizing user socialization.

#4 Tap your natural resources

In every language and in every culture the key to building opportunity is engaging your most committed players. The key to building safer and more inclusive in-game communities is the same. Engaged, positive users empowered to flag and report negative experiences are the glue that binds in every language and culture. Make sure each has a voice if they feel threatened or bullied or witness others being harassed, provide the community leaders that emerge with the tools and voice to be of positive influence, and build a chat experience that’s as cool and inclusive as your game works to be.