January 27, 2023

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US Congress Asking Game Companies About ‘Combat Extremism’

2 min read

Image for article titled Congress Wants To Know What The Biggest Game Companies Are Doing To 'Combat Extremism'

Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

A group of seven lawmakers are sending a letter to the world’s biggest video game companies tomorrow, asking each of them what steps they’re taking to combat “harassment and extremism” in online video games.

As Axios reports, the seven Democratic representatives—including Lori Trahan (Massachusetts), Katie Porter (California) and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon—have all co-signed a letter, which is looking to “better understand the processes you have in place to handle player reports of harassment and extremism encounters in your online games, and ask for consideration of safety measures pertaining to anti-harassment and anti-extremism”.

Unsurprisingly, the list includes companies like Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty, Overwatch), Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (PlayStation), Roblox, Take-Two Interactive (Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K), Riot Games (League of Legends, Valorant), Epic (Fortnite) and Electronic Arts (Battlefield, FIFA & Madden).

Those are all massive international companies, most of them with thousands of employees spread out all over the world, and responsible for some of the planet’s most popular and enduring online games. To want to grill them, when so many of them are based in the US—or at least most popular in the US—is a pretty obvious move!

Hilariously, though, whoever put the list together of which companies to target has clearly just gone down a list of “most popular games”, not “biggest companies”, because among those titans of industry are Innersloth, the developers of Among Us.

Among Us may be a huge hit, but Innersloth are also a tiny team. How tiny? This tiny:

Among Us Wins Best Mobile Game at The Game Awards 2020

Innsersloth’s webiste says the studio currently has 20 employees. I don’t know how much they’re going to be able to explain when their game has you playing as a cute little astronaut, doesn’t have voice chat and only lets players communicate via a menu of pre-written lines.

But then nobody has to legally reply to the letter at all, it’s just a letter, so maybe they can just reply “sorry, think this is meant for Xbox!” and get on with their day.

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