While toxicity has been battled by many industries in recent times, it has become a hot subject within the gaming industry that has been combated by Xbox and numerous other gaming companies. Now, a priest from the Vatican hopes to battle toxicity in the gaming arena and get involved in a unique way involving a Minecraft server.
Of course, gaming industry figures like Phil Spencer have attacked toxicity in their own way, but Jesuit priest Fr. Robert Ballecer is now trying to potentially eliminate or reduce toxicity from the gaming community. He is doing so by inviting those tired of the parasitic behavior of some gamers to join a Minecraft server hosted by the Vatican.
Ballecer had actually polled followers and viewers of his Twitter feed over the game that he should host a server for. Choices included the aforementioned Minecraft, which 64% of votes went to. However, other choices were Team Fortress 2, Rust, and Ark. A video of Ballecer and his argument for the server's existence can be viewed below.
“It’s not about the technology, it’s not even really about the gaming,” Ballecer states. "It’s about getting people together who can then maybe move those relationships to the real world.”
Ballecer explains that people were initially apprehensive toward the idea of joining a server headed by a priest "in a collar talking about the latest offerings from Google." They had trouble reconciling the idea that a priest, a traditional role, could host a server for a video game. He indicated that people eventually warmed up to the idea.
The Minecraft server from within the Vatican is currently being tested and feedback is apparently welcomed. It was also explained that people of all backgrounds are welcome, including those practicing Catholicism and others pursuing different fields.
Many will likely find it uplifting to see something like this in action. Oftentimes, gamers want to escape the toxicity experienced in many multiplayer games, so taking this initiative can be admired by many. It is interesting that Minecraft, one of the best guilty pleasure games, is being used for the experiment, though its generally relaxed tone fits the goal of the priest.
As toxicity is perceived as pervasive in gaming, it's refreshing to see this type of activism. When one hears of things, such as how Rainbow Six: Siege's community drives others away due to its toxicity, it's enough of a cause for concern. Perhaps, as a result, there will be more activism along the lines of Ballecer's.