Monday, April 7, 2008

In-Gamw Ways To Turn Abusive Gamers Into Bugs Instead of Features

Bill Fulton, a former Microsoft developer writes about the need for instituting features into games that discourage players from acting like jerks.
"[W]hy do I care? Because the online behavior of our customers is dramatically reducing our sales, and continues to stunt the growth of our industry. Non-gamers simply don’t love games enough to put up with the crap they get online. The reason they would consider playing online is to have fun with other people -- and right now, playing games online with strangers rarely delivers that for anyone outside the hardcore demographic.

Are these problems even solvable?

Short answer: yes. Social environments and culture can be designed. Just like good game design creates fun gameplay, good social design creates fun social experiences. Unfortunately, online games seem to have allocated very few resources to designing the social environment."

Essentially, he proposes finding a way to engineer social expectations into games rather than just glumly accepting that people who play online are going to be complete tools.

The comment section is almost as interesting as the article itself.

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