Two really unfortunate stories of Internet bullying over the weekend. Indie game genius Phil Fish says he’s canceling Fez II after a bunch of focussed harassment. And the Call of Duty studio director has gotten a bunch of truly disgusting invective for a game balance change. All part of the Internet’s war on creatives.

Get lost you waste of talent. Shitbag telling others to kill themselves, you dont deserve your fame, money or attention. • Hahaha get fucked you pathetic fucking blowhard Fez was shit by the way • You may have made a decent game but you are still a terrible human being.
hey can you un nerf THE FUCKING SNIPER U FUCKING CUNT WTF WHY DID U DO THIS IM GOING 2 KILL YOU! DICK HEAD FUCKING DIE!!!!! • I will kill you for nerfing snipers you fag • omfg you fucking fat cunt i hope you die in a fatal car crash you fucking twat also your nan has cancer

The gaming “community” are mostly a bunch of monsters. I agree with Anil Dash that the community itself is responsible for fixing the problem.

I’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends lately, a team PvP game notorious for its toxic community. The developer Riot Games took a strong step towards solving the problem, The Tribunal, a way for the community to judge whether players violate the game’s code of good behavior. In my experience it works pretty well as a deterrent. Riot has stats showing that warnings and punishment are discouraging bad behavior.

It’s basically a community moderation system. After every game anyone can flag a player for bad behavior. Enough flags and a tribunal case (example) is created. Players randomly review cases (chat logs mostly) and vote on whether to punish. Mild penalties are automatic, severe ones are reviewed first by Riot employees.

There’s a lot more to say about the Tribunal, I hope to have some follow up blog posts. One particularly interesting aspect is that the review cases are public. Most moderation systems are private to avoid disputes but I think the open discussion makes the system more effective.

  2013-07-29 17:43 Z