Minecraft is one of the best-selling video games of all time. It is a popular game beloved by many. Unfortunately, this means that new Minecraft updates will generate chatter. Case in point, Minecraft is currently under fire following after Mojang Studios decided to extend its policies to private servers.
The latest update to Minecraft: Java Edition, v1.19.1, lets players report others for several reasons, including "inappropriate chat messages or dangerous behavior" on all servers. In a FAQ, the developer explained that it will now punish anyone who engages in "hate speech, bullying, harassing, sexual solicitation, or threatening others." The intent is good but players see the update differently. Some think moderation is a major intrusion into the mostly-player-run community of private servers.
For what it's worth, Mojang did try to appease fans concerned about privacy. According to the studio, it will not monitor the online chat or use bots to moderate. Still, players fear that others might use the new reporting tool to ban players on private servers for a minor offense. After all, mass reporting is a massive issue in several other games and Mojang did little to ease concerns about potential abuse.
Mojang didn't do itself any favors as well after doubling down on its stance after previewing the changes weeks ago.
Community manager, MojangMeesh, had this to say on Reddit:
First, we know that there has been pushback to the player reporting system that is being introduced in this next update. We appreciate and value your feedback, but it does not mean that feedback will always change the design principles Mojang Studios adheres to -- this includes the upcoming reporting system.
MojangMeesh added that the harassment discourages employees from reaching out to the community. They added that "Harassment does not help anyone: not the devs who receive it, nor the players who are passionate about an upcoming change."
Ultimately, the root of the problem is that the more rational Minecraft players opposing the changes are the lack of clarity. Mojang says that all humans will review all reports and appeals with bans ranging from three days to permanent. However, players remain worried that the changes could impede the freedom of players to run private servers independently. Not to mention, Mojang did not clarify how long appeals can take and how the system can minimize false positives. As a result, some players have come up with mods to work around the new reporting system.
If this new system is here to say, we're hoping that the Minecraft community can accept the changes and live with it in peace. But, we'd also like to see Mojang exercise some leniency and avoid banning players for what could be considered friendly banter, among others.
Contrary to the doomsayers, this will not spell the end of Minecraft. It is the first and only game to log one trillion views on YouTube and it's not even close. In addition to this, Jason Momoa is reportedly working on a Minecraft movie.