has a feature called True Friends, which allows players to exchange secret codes and unlock open chat.
Perhaps games should reconsider some of the more heavy-handed chat limitations in order to allow better-quality conversations and a more social atmosphere.Either way, it's important that children learn on their own just how to deal with, and steer clear of, players using inappropriate language because even the best filter can't stop everything.The MMO Family column is devoted to common issues with families and gaming.On the other hand, when it comes to kids MMOs, having open communication means other players can use it to harass each other. %$#&%^$#$#%MMOs tend to use one of several different types of chat filters, and they vary greatly in how much they allow to be displayed.Worse is the scenario of the deranged adult abusing it to exploit young people. Some stick with pre-set, drop-down menus that allow children to select small phrases or even piece together a message from several choices.They eventually scrapped the game completely when they noticed the potential for abuse with movable columns and blocks, which they felt could be moved around to spell out inappropriate words.
Absolutes don't work The main problem with filters is that they can't completely prevent swearing, inappropriate language, and verbal harassment.
Words that contain a string of letters forming a blacklisted word end up being filtered -- the Scunthorpe problem.
Meanwhile, games have gone global, and a chat filter might end up filtering certain words in other languages that are not at all offensive.
Similarly, while it's important for parents to stay on top of what children are doing online, we can't be sitting next to them forever.
MMOs are, by nature, social environments, and kids need to have the opportunity to collaborate and coordinate with other players in game.
They carefully put together phrases that were safe yet gave players the chance to talk about game-relevant topics.