Miracle Clown Boy – Why So Salty?

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What is about the anonymity of the internet coupled with a chat feature that makes MODO such a toxic place sometimes?

The salt here is a little hilarious and we could chalk it up to the opponent just blowing off steam that he at it to a removal spell. Isn't it funny! He's so mad that the "ch" from punch ended up in a different word! He sure is miffed!

However, it seems to me that this is merely just another example of a problem we see with all online games. People are very, very tough behind a keyboard. Not only that, but they type things in the chat window they'd never say to an opponent in a real life interaction. What is it about MODO that makes people lash out like this? And how do we deal with the issue?

Well, imagine you told an opponent to go die in a face-to-face match. There would likely be consequences. First of all, the other people at the table would likely hear you say that. They'd remember your stupid, angry face and that would color future interactions with them. Someone might tell a judge you were causing a scene and being saltier than the white cards in Planar Chaos. Could you imagine the game if people talked to each other like this in person?

Jeff Linn from Riot Games, the company that makes League of Legends, has done a series of lectures about how they deal with toxicity. This video is one of many he has made. Riot has a tribunal set up so that people who behavior has been brought to riot's attention can be dealt with by a jury of their peers, essentially. It doesn't make the community self-policing exactly but it does make players accountable to other players. There are escalating punishments for continued infractions and everything from spamming pings or trying to get people to go to an off-game website to name-calling to trolling is reportable. Personally, I don't turn on "all chat" so I can't hear the other team and sometimes I even mute each team member when I play League. What they think of my play is none of my business and there isn't anything they need to tell me that can't be communicated with a (single) ping, especially in the casual modes I play. When I play with friends, we use Ventrillo and I mute my non-friends. I want to have a pleasant experience.

What can MODO do to copy a bit of Riot's success? Toxicity is down and recidivism among toxic players is decreasing each season.

I think MODO should make the chat mode optional, first of all. Chat isn't used to convey necessary game information, it's used to communicate with the opponent and if you don't want to hear what they have to say, you shouldn't have to. Making chat optional and having a few keyboard shortcuts to flash them a high five or GG message would cut down on the amount of times you get called a muppet in a given day.

The tribunal is also an excellent idea. People might watch what they say if they knew that a jury of other Magic players could see logs of their communications to other players and judge them accordingly. There is a process to report toxic players now, but the tribunal would be staffed by volunteers and cut down on the amount of time it takes to process complaints and the amount of staff the MODO team needs to commit. Making players accountable to each other would cut down on the negativity.

Also, checking yourself can't hurt. If you're too damn salty to play a children's card game without calling someone a lucksack because they drew a card that does something good, you should play a different game. Maybe something on the X-Box. I hear the guys there know your mother.

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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5 thoughts on “Miracle Clown Boy – Why So Salty?

  1. MTGO doesn’t have an option to turn off chat?? O.o

    Hearthstone does not even have a chat feature unless you friend your opponent. This system is working very well for them, and to many players it’s a big draw.

    1. While I think not having a chat is fine, I really disliked the push to talk buttons or whatever they’re called in Hearthstone. The only use I can actually think of for them is trolling and they annoyed me quite a bit.

  2. Just thought you might be interested in knowing that the tribunal for LoL is now 100% a computer instead of being run (somewhat) by the players.

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