“But Beck and Merrill decided that simply banning toxic players wasn’t an acceptable solution for their game. Riot Games began experimenting with more constructive modes of player management through a formal player behavior initiative that actually conducts controlled experiments on its player base to see what helps reduce bad behavior. The results of that initiative have been shared at a lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and on panels at the Penny Arcade Expo East and the Game Developers Conference.” Absolutely fascinating stuff. I’m a League of Legends player, and to be honest, the community isn’t nearly as bad as some make it out to be. I’m happy Riot games has the guts to employ science to address the issue.
Using science to change player behavior in League of Legends
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2013-05-16 6:29 pmsaynte
The article states that they found that 80% of the time the “mob” agreed with the mods, and the other 20% of the time they were actually more lenient. So they’re actually evaluating the effects of their approaches, which seems to be the right way to do it.
There is also more than just this to the article: they investigated ban times, the effect of forcing players to toggle on all-speak options, etc.
They ran the whole thing like an experiment, cool!
2013-05-16 6:37 pmBishi
Your Slashdot example is actually perfect. Say something negative, and the community will downvote you. But if, for example, you remark something positive about Microsoft, you’ll be rewarded. Surprise, people like positive things and dislike negative ones.
(I’m not defending Slashdot, I think their system generates a small elite of users and quiets many capable voices)
Anyway, your Bioshock example would never get you banned in LOL, don’t worry. Things there are… slightly… worse.
2013-05-16 6:54 pmWereCatf
To my eye it looks like you had already decided before even reading the article that it’s bullshit and only read lines that seem to support your opinion. I, atleast, find their approach quite good and their explanations for doing things this or that way reasonably-well argumented.
Besides, what is wrong with this “groupthink” if it results in the same kind of results as just having dedicated mods aboard?
2013-05-16 7:32 pmAlfman
I agree it was a well-reasoned argument, but at the very same time it reads like a page right out of one of George Orwell’s novels, where he uses characteristically calm and rational dialogues to give credence to elitist control and startlingly dystopian ideologies. If there were a prequel to 1984 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four), it would probably start out in the form that’s taking shape in this very article.
Edited 2013-05-16 19:34 UTC
2013-05-16 8:43 pmWereCatf
I agree it was a well-reasoned argument, but at the very same time it reads like a page right out of one of George Orwell’s novels, where he uses characteristically calm and rational dialogues to give credence to elitist control and startlingly dystopian ideologies.
I understand what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t draw such a line as you do. After all, here you *choose* to be part of the community playing the game whereas in the book you don’t get to choose. Here you can just walk away if you don’t agree to what’s happening and there’s no way for anyone to punish you for that. Not quite so in ‘1984.’
2013-05-16 10:02 pmAlfman
“I understand what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t draw such a line as you do…”
It’s just that in Orwell’s prequel to 1984 (1983) he addresses public pressure, conformity and social exclusion of those who don’t fit the mold before the rise of the ministry of truth.
Of course you know I am half joking.
2013-05-17 2:35 amkwan_e
where he uses characteristically calm and rational dialogues to give credence to elitist control and startlingly dystopian ideologies.
Were the dialogues backed by evidence and hypotheses tested and reworked?
2013-05-16 8:14 pmphoenix
As we keep trying to tell teachers and school administrators, it’s all about supervision. We can install all the filters, blocks, restrictions, AI/neural networks, machine learning, etc and it won’t make a lick of difference if there’s no one supervising the students using the computers.
Same in this situation. Automated filtering can aid a bit. But you need active moderators and administrators supervising people and their posts/actions.
2013-05-16 8:44 pm-oblio-
This is a game just like Dota – millions of players are playing tens of games per week, each. It’s impossible to supervise this volume of activity. The sheer amount of hours played would require a support staff the size of IBM just to cope with the normal rate of play. Remember that most of these players are 12 to 20 year olds with a lot of spare time on their hands – some of them spend the same time as someone would spend during a job + overtime, for months at a time.
2013-05-16 10:43 pmWorknMan
We can install all the filters, blocks, restrictions, AI/neural networks, machine learning, etc and it won’t make a lick of difference if there’s no one supervising the students using the computers.
I wish Google would learn this lesson. Not specifically for supervision, but for trying to decide what content I might like based on all kinds of complicated algorithms + what my friends have liked, vs just letting me choose.
2013-05-16 8:27 pmjudgen
The problem with filters like that combined with autoban is ofcourse that they do not have every language available. A common effect of playing certain games with such filters is when speaking swedish, perfectly common words like “fick” (mean got) is considered obscene in german and so on.
How would the filter know what language i am speaking, and even worse accuracy would be if you speak a minority language when playing with your mates that does not have a standardizing body/committee as language detection will not work at all.
part of excellence is a struggle where you iterate cutting off the biggest problem. do the most good and the least harm over and over.
we could just force everyone to use the real name on their adult photo id. you’d remove the kids and increase the inhibition. but that would also cause a lot of harm.
so these guys are doing the right thing trying to find the best way to help the most people without hurting people. (which banning, censoring, and hiring mods tend to do)
Sorry but that is what it looks like to me, its mob rules. And having a machine decide what is positive and negative? Bullshit. Five will get you ten its strictly a “nanny filter” going through looking for curse words which tell you exactly jack and shit.
See the above post would be considered “negative” when in reality it is simply stating that groupthink is bullshit. We have seen the same kind of bullshit on Slashdot with their broken all to hell mod system that rewards groupthink and sock puppetry and will downmod any who go against the mob. Make a new account on Slashdot and say anything negative against Linux or Apple and even if you provide citations backing you up that account may as well be banned thanks to how quickly it will be modded so low nobody will see any posts from it.
The ONLY way you can actually do anything about real negative behavior is “boots on the ground”, that’s it, that is the only way you are gonna be able to tell the legit jerkwads from those that are in an exciting part of a game, I mean if they would have made a chat log of the first time I ran into a Big Daddy in MP on Bioshock 2 it would have been along the lines of “Holy shit I’m so fucked, i got nothing but a pistol here and I’m cornered by a Rosie! HELP!” which in a groupthink scenario all it would take was a “think of the children” nanny type to have me in front of a “Tribunal” when IRL I got “Dude there is a hidden room to your right, make a dive for it!”
Sorry for the length but this kind of “we can control it with (insert tech, laws,groupthink)” is total bullshit. If you want to clean a place up you put boots on the ground, you pick a few guys that everyone agrees is consistently fair and you make them mods, trying to control by groupthink ends up with nothing but clics and behind kissing, see “The WarZ” for groupthink taken to the extreme. I haven’t tried LOL but after reading this? I’m glad I haven’t, I’ll put this on my list to avoid.