Gaming Behavior Moderation: AI-based vs. Human-Moderated

February 13, 2023

Online Gaming Behavior Moderation

Online video games that have chat-enabled also act like social platforms, and interactions in those gaming communities can affect players’ lives, perceptions, and actions. Without chat moderation, gamers may feel harassed, embarrassed, discriminated against, and demotivated. However, effective chat moderation can improve gamer relationships, creates a sense of belonging, and promotes healthy competition. But it is not as easy as it sounds since, on gaming platforms, users enjoy limitless freedom and access.

Gaming Behavior Moderation implies that all user-generated content, like texts, images, audio, and others, undergoes screening and filtering to see if they follow your gaming policy and standards. It is critical to creating respectful, safe, inclusive, and enjoyable gaming spaces.

Automated AI-based moderation tools using advanced algorithms, use cases, natural-language processes, and in-built knowledge can speed up content moderation and block the IP addresses of players identified as abusive. It works well in an ever-increasing pool of user-generated content. However, automated tools cannot make content-specific decisions, especially when there are references, sarcastic comments, or harmful intent. On one hand, human content moderation is accurate, but on the other hand, it is manual, time-consuming, and tedious.

Let us understand this in depth.

AI-based vs. Human-Moderated

As mentioned above, AI-based moderation refers to using artificial intelligence algorithms and machine learning models for automatically monitoring and filtering content in gaming platforms. Its goal is to identify and remove inappropriate or harmful content, such as hate speech, spam, or cheating, to maintain a safe and fair gaming environment.

On the other hand, human-moderated gaming content refers to the manual review and filtering of content by human moderators. Human moderators typically review flagged content or conduct random spot checks to ensure compliance with community guidelines and a safe and enjoyable gaming experience.

AI-Moderated Content vs. Human-Moderated Content

  • Cost: AI-based content moderation is generally more cost-effective than human-moderated content, as it does not require a large team of human moderators and can operate 24/7 without breaks.
  • Quality: AI-based moderation is consistent but may lack the nuance and understanding of human moderators, who can make informed decisions based on the context of the content.
  • Context: AI-based moderation has a limited understanding of contextual usage of the content. It may be unable to distinguish between harmful and harmless content, while human moderators better understand the context and can make informed decisions.
  • Speed: AI-based moderation can quickly process large volumes of content, while human-moderated content may take longer to process but is more thorough.
  • Ethical Issues: AI-based moderation can perpetuate algorithmic bias, as the algorithms are only as fair and unbiased as the data used for training them. Human-moderated content is less likely to perpetuate such biases but may still be subject to human error and bias. Human bias can be mitigated through proper training and the use of data annotators or content moderators from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a more representative and inclusive perspective in the content moderation process.

Combining Human Moderators and AI

The most effective way to moderate gaming content generated in real-time is to combine human moderation and AI. The AI algorithm filters out content that meets specific criteria and passes on the content that requires human judgment to human moderators, reducing the workload for staff. This approach, which combines the strengths of humans and machines, is more productive, less biased, and cost-effective than relying solely on human moderators.

Gaming UGC Requiring Human Judgement

The below examples highlight the importance of human judgment in gaming behavior moderation and the limitations of relying solely on AI-based content moderation.

  • Controversial Comments: Players may use in-game chat or forums to express their opinions which can sometimes be controversial and offensive. For instance, a player uses a racial slur. While the AI model may only detect the words used and flag them as inappropriate, a human moderator would consider the context and intention behind the words and understand the harm and offense they can cause.
  • Slangs in Voice Chat: Players often use voice chat to communicate in real-time. AI may struggle to differentiate between harmless banter and hate speech, whereas a human moderator can easily make this distinction.
  • In-game Avatars: Players may create custom avatars and skins that depict offensive or controversial imagery, such as hate symbols or explicit content. AI may struggle to identify the implications of these depictions, but a human moderator can annotate images and categorize them accurately.
  • Explicit videos/streams: Players may create and share videos and streams that feature explicit or controversial content, such as excessive violence, hate speech, or sexual content. In this case, a human moderator or data annotation expert can make a better judgment than AI and perform video annotation to categorize and remove harmful content.
  • Offensive music or sound effects: Players may create and share custom music or sound effects featuring explicit or questionable content, such as hate speech or sexually explicit sounds.

In all the above cases, a human moderator can quickly take the necessary action, such as removing the content or banning the player. The failure of an AI model to accurately interpret the implications of user-generated content in online gaming platforms can result in significant consequences, such as players engaging in heated arguments, leaving the game, experiencing mental distress, damaging the reputation of the gaming platform, and even leading to legal repercussions.

The potential problems and complexities of user-generated content (UGC) are not new and are only increasing with time. Go the extra mile to ensure that effective gaming behavior moderation techniques are in place to give your players the best gaming experience.

Are you looking for gaming behavior moderation to make your platform safer? Here’s how iMerit can help.