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[Column] General: Definining 'Bad' Community Behavior

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,572MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

'Bad' behavior in any setting is a highly subjective call but seems even more so in MMOs. In our latest Social Hub, we take a look at how 'bad' can be interpreted. See what we came up with before heading to the comments to add your thoughts.

Although there are staff working and available for help in MMOs, sometimes it seems they are more on autopilot than before. No, I'm not talking about development, such as the current status of Guild Wars 1, but the involvement of GMs and a tighter-knit environment and the impact that has upon the community overall. Ultimately, the more hands-off approach has left things mostly to the players it can affect the nature of the community. As a result, it seems that this hands-off approach also brings a lack of consequences for behavior that is negative, bothersome, or otherwise poisonous.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: Definining 'Bad' Community Behavior.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    It seems to me that the simpliest, broadest and most effective definition of bad behaviour is anything one player does that causes another player to quit the game entirely.
  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member
    Having GMs also open the window to abuse by them. Mis-judgements, even them abusing their in game powers. Its no different than here on this very site where it seems there are several mods that are protecting certain trolls and banning those their troll friends don't like. Its not like this place got its rep for no reason, same happens in games. There just is no way to stop it within reason.

    “I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 662Member Uncommon

    I have two schools of thought on this subject however I am SEVERELY not a fan of either.

     

    1) Real ID... Take the anonymity away from the player and suddenly they play nice... If you're out playing sports and somone takes the ball from you IRL, you are not calling them a names or raping their mom, or any form of vitrious hate terms... because for the most part you will probably get punched in the face or a lot worse...

     

    2) Fines... yes fines not BANS... just like the FCC can fine certain public media outlets for saying naughty words, a player who clearly says a negative comment (in public channels) openly will be immediately fined and account closed until said fine is paid... if someone sends a chat or tell, well that would be the discretion of the person on the receiving end to report or not... This can of course get dicey when it comes to voice chat unless the game itself has the software built in...

    This will require minimal moderation because there can be key words or phrases that automatically trigger this action like a bot... of course there would still need staff to resolve displutes but I would almost guarantee that the level of negative community will be curbed almost instantly.

     

    Again I am not a fan of either measure and in order for any of these to work it would almost need to become industry standard... if one or two games (unless they are insanely popular) do this people will for the most part just opt to not play.

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member

    Most of the time people can not control what they say. I am guilty just as well as everyone else is. It's much better just to not say anything at all. I know I have written a few hundred posts even on these forums I'm not that proud of. It's gotten to the point where I just come in with the mind set that I am not going to make comments anymore, because if I let the impulsive heat of the moment reaction take over and say something, I am more than likely going to regret it later.

    That's how I evolved from Mr. Excitement / life of the party to Mr. Boring / nothing to live for

  • evilizedevilized columbus, OHPosts: 564Member Uncommon
    Why play online games if you dont want others to be able to affect you in any way? If you consider somebody following you around on their character and /dancing to be harrassment you may want to find another hobby. Not to mention if you complained to a GM about it you are in turn encroaching on that player's gameplay, something you stated you didn't want done to you.
  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,536Member Uncommon

    Forum Gear Score Check:

     

    If you don't have at least 3.5 stars and 200 posts you don't belong with our reading (raiding?) group.

     

    PST if interested.

     

    (obviously joking)  xD

     

    There are many factors that could bring about a bad community.  Sometimes game even give players the tools to inflate their ego; it could be especially bad if a game already fosters a type of "bad behavior" that could be further exasperated by such.

     

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • Jadedangel1Jadedangel1 Newark, NJPosts: 184Member

    I'm pretty laid back with most things in mmos, and have never really had any problems in all the time I've been playing them, but I draw the line at players harassing other players. Sure, you can play any way you want to play, but when you begin affecting other players you're taking away from others' gaming time.

    As for punishment, I do like the idea of a bounty system. This way the players have some type of recourse when there are no GMs around when you need them, as well as add a level of gameplay for others. Another option, is to have a set amount of your high level gear disappear from your inventory for each infraction. No one would be willing to cross the line if it mean the gear they spent hours in the dungeons trying to get would be permanently lost.

  • KilrainKilrain Prineville, ORPosts: 684Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by evilized
    Why play online games if you dont want others to be able to affect you in any way? If you consider somebody following you around on their character and /dancing to be harrassment you may want to find another hobby. Not to mention if you complained to a GM about it you are in turn encroaching on that player's gameplay, something you stated you didn't want done to you.

    Nobody wants to be affected in a negative way. Everyone's opinion of negative varies greatly. It's quite a paradox, really.

    professional web programming and design.

  • evilizedevilized columbus, OHPosts: 564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kilrain
    Originally posted by evilized
    Why play online games if you dont want others to be able to affect you in any way? If you consider somebody following you around on their character and /dancing to be harrassment you may want to find another hobby. Not to mention if you complained to a GM about it you are in turn encroaching on that player's gameplay, something you stated you didn't want done to you.

    Nobody wants to be affected in a negative way. Everyone's opinion of negative varies greatly. It's quite a paradox, really.

    yes, and by that logic maybe we should all just sit around indoors with the blinds closed and our eyes shut as to not be offended or possibly offend somebody else. 

     

    it boils down to people being able to act like adults both in giving and receiving criticism. if you can't handle interacting with others i'm sure there are help groups out there. if you can't interact nicely with others there is an /ignore function in most games. if not then just ignore them yourself or leave the area / stop playing for a few minutes and let the person move on. if there was a solve-all for people misbehaving there would be no need for a police force or anything similar. 

  • HeafstaggHeafstagg Edmonton, ABPosts: 170Member Uncommon

    Take away name changes. Make sure one account has one name only. Allow us to /ignore that person and all their accounts indefintely. I would be very happy with being able to do just this. If the person is a piece of work, they'll eventually end up being on enough peoples "shit" list that perhaps they just might rethink some of the crap that spews out of their mouth's and start taking responsibility for their actions.

    These simple solutions would solve the issue and we wouldn't need extra policing or added fines or punishments or whatever. Take away the anonymity and a good chunk of the bad apples will disappear.

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  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Badname patrol:

    Most players are downright horrible at identifying (or policing) "bad" character names. Either they do not know the policies, or they apply them far too often. I remember a thread at Simu initiated by an AGM (Jherra, I believe) that started with a list of 100 character names, and asked the players (poll-style) to identify which names, exactly, where in violation of policy.

    The thread ran for several weeks, and only two players ever guessed that there were precisely zero "bad" names on the entire list--the average guess was around 7 names. Every one had been reported by one, or sometimes many players--and cleared by the senior staff and the game's general manager--after discussion. Often, there's a lot of "flex" in naming policies, generally, and there has to be. There are a ton of marginal calls, every day.

    It's a microcosm of the problems involved in every idea for self-policing policies. Volunteer Cops are, generally, far too eager to punish.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • evilizedevilized columbus, OHPosts: 564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite

    It's a microcosm of the problems involved in every idea for self-policing policies. Volunteer Cops are, generally, far too eager to punish.

    a good example of this would be the system LoL uses. if you hit "punish" every time you bring up a new case in the tribunal you will get 99% right (results based on majority vote). this isn't a good way to police and i hope i never have to see anything like it in any mmo i ever play. 

  • PanzerbasePanzerbase Chicago, ILPosts: 423Member
    A gaming community can suffer from ignorant and reckless posters as well as from abusive and childish moderators. pretty sure we have all experienced both. 
  • pmilespmiles Federal Way, WAPosts: 383Member

    My take on it is simple... if the game were that enjoyable and full of immersion, you wouldn't be spending your time being an asshat.  When the game has devolved to such an extent that asshattery is the game, then you really no longer have a community to speak of.  Most games devolve to this level in the same amount of time as it takes someone to get to max level.

     

    As to the guy who thinks anonymity has created this... think again... most of these folks would say the same thing to your face without hesitation.  It's become common behavior and a language all it's own.

     

    Hate to say it but players aren't looking to create an online community anymore... which is why everyone complains about the community in games.  You could offer them cash to be nice, they'd still be asshats... they figure that's what the $15 a month they are paying for... entertainment on their terms at your expense.  The state of MMORPGs 2013.  Stop trying to compare it to 1999... it's not 1999 anymore.

  • faiyofaiyo |||COL|||1, TNPosts: 123Member
    Originally posted by evilized
    Why play online games if you dont want others to be able to affect you in any way? If you consider somebody following you around on their character and /dancing to be harrassment you may want to find another hobby. Not to mention if you complained to a GM about it you are in turn encroaching on that player's gameplay, something you stated you didn't want done to you.

    The /dance example is cute and all but If a player is going to follow me around and grief me by kill stealing mobs or repeatedly killing a boss, I have the right to report them. IF that's their definition of gameplay then it's not only me who needs to find a new hobby by your standards.

  • TheMaahesTheMaahes Marlborough, MAPosts: 185Member
    Good article.
  • Pale_FirePale_Fire San Antonio, TXPosts: 360Member Uncommon
    Suzie, "Definining" is not a word.  Well, I suppose it could be a word, but not in English.  And, yes, I do belong to the Grammar Police.  Your ticket is in the mail.
  • HeafstaggHeafstagg Edmonton, ABPosts: 170Member Uncommon
    I never said anonyimity created it, I implied that it harbored these indviduals more than it hinders. If you take some of it away youll get less of it. Common sense really.

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  • Jwad91Jwad91 Alexandria, LAPosts: 5Member

    I think Riot went into the right direction with its Tribunal system. The community judges it's peers without having to spend the extra money on GMs to deal with reports. I don't kwow how you would implement a system like that in a MMO. I think it would be interesting to see in a MMO. Great article!

     
     
  • NephelaiNephelai SydneyPosts: 182Member Uncommon

    The whole problem is the retards $15/m is just as important to the Company as yours. They wont do anything until the risk is high enough that the person may cause others to unsub.

     

    If it wasn't about the money every MMO would have account ignore with phase out so you don't hear or see them ever again.

     

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon

    The many in SWG who loved its BH system where most likely your nude dancer.  In that they loved to exploit it, and continue to harass other players.  The GM position has been exploited  in games for years as well.  My solution is First don’t allow a GM to manage on a server they play on, and Second Don’t allow “friends” of a GM to benefit from any GM abilities.

    My solution to bad community would be AI GMs that either act autonomously or report to a human judge(s).  They player would still report the offense, then the AI would either collect the evidence from game data and act on it or hand over redacted data to humans to make an impartial decision.  Maybe eventually the AI could monitor real-time game data to identify stalking by a nude dancer and act on it.  Say, /GM %t is <stalking> %s.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 530Member Uncommon

    I would settle for people not bickering and calling each other names.  Things like mob stealing, node stealing, and other forms of harassment that effect a players ability to play the game should be dealt with as much as possible by having mechanics that make it difficult and not advantageous to do so.

     

    Frankly people being silly, dancing naked or whatever is not a huge deal unless it is somehow affecting your ability to play the game.  As far as names go if they aren't blatantly and obviously sexist or racist they should be fine, complaints like his name spelled backwards or is an anagram for a bad word really make me roll my eyes.(unless we are talking RP server, where they should be able to have special rules)

     

    What most games need is feature specific bans.  WoW only bans you for like a couple hours, and it bans you from the whole game when it might have just been a chat issue.  For people acting like an ass in chat ban them from chat for a whole week for a first offense, but only from chat.(they could still use guild chat and party chat).  

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    Originally posted by Wighty

    I have two schools of thought on this subject however I am SEVERELY not a fan of either.

     

    1) Real ID... Take the anonymity away from the player and suddenly they play nice... If you're out playing sports and somone takes the ball from you IRL, you are not calling them a names or raping their mom, or any form of vitrious hate terms... because for the most part you will probably get punched in the face or a lot worse...

     

    2) Fines... yes fines not BANS... just like the FCC can fine certain public media outlets for saying naughty words, a player who clearly says a negative comment (in public channels) openly will be immediately fined and account closed until said fine is paid... if someone sends a chat or tell, well that would be the discretion of the person on the receiving end to report or not... This can of course get dicey when it comes to voice chat unless the game itself has the software built in...

    This will require minimal moderation because there can be key words or phrases that automatically trigger this action like a bot... of course there would still need staff to resolve displutes but I would almost guarantee that the level of negative community will be curbed almost instantly.

     

    Again I am not a fan of either measure and in order for any of these to work it would almost need to become industry standard... if one or two games (unless they are insanely popular) do this people will for the most part just opt to not play.

    Fined by whom?

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    I find it ironic that people on mmorpg.com are complaining about bad communities.
  • CallidorCallidor Colorado Springs, COPosts: 371Member

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3653126/Why-are-the-youth-of-today-so-rude.html

    Weve overempowered the youth, (40 and under) to the point of self entitlement. Most MMO gamers think their fun is the ONLY important thing in life.

     

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