How NBA 2K14’s cuss-monitoring could clean up trolling

Admit it. If you’ve played a sports game, you’ve cussed at the ref. But with the new cuss-monitoring feature in NBA 2K14, you’d be wise to keep the potty language under your breath. The game uses voice recognition to listen out for profanity, and will call a technical foul when you go into a mini-tantrum after being whistled for a foul. You may think this is funny, until you realize the game that you paid sixty dollars for is, in essence, telling you to shut your mouth.

While this is preposterous when playing against the computer, there is one place we’d love to see the embarrassing, racist, misogynistic language kept to a minimum: online. Imagine this feature on Xbox Live, if you will, where trolling isn’t so much an occasional annoyance but a rule of thumb. Fostering healthy communities has been an initiative for online businesses from League of Legends to Reddit, and the fear of costing your team a kill or a basket could keep the vitriol to a minimum. And while this might seem in violation of the American ethos of free spirit, on-line play would be so much nicer.