League of Legends players with a clean record when it comes to chat behaviour in the 2014 season will be rewarded with a boost that increases the influence points they earn from the next four games they win. In case you’re not a LoL player, influence points can be spent to unlock new champions, runes and runebook pages in the game.
The reward is part of Riot’s broader work when it comes to the thorny subject of player behaviour. The company actually have a team dedicated to exploring how people play together online led by Jeffrey Lin, whose background is in cognitive neuroscience. They’re currently focused on dealing with cases of extreme verbal toxicity in the game.
Lin says in his forum post about the reward, “it’s important to keep in mind that players engaging in these behaviors really are not welcome in our community. Fewer than 1% of players have been escalated to a 14-day ban or permanent ban or even received a chat restriction.”
There’s an additional stat from 13 November included in the post which states that at that date 95% of active players in 2014 had never received a punishment of any kind.
The boost is obviously intended as a piece of positive reinforcement but I’m more interested in Lin’s request that positive members of the community get in touch if they’re okay with him sharing some of their recent chat logs with the wider community. There seems to be a reward attached to that too but what I’m enjoying while reading through it is Lin picking out particular things to champion and explaining why.
Here’s one example directed at forum member FatMansRevenge:
What’s neat here is that you do use profanities in some of your games like “fuck” and “holy shit” but they aren’t targeted at others. We’ve always said that we–as a community–aren’t out to get rid of offensive language, and the key is that you aren’t directing these phrases at others. You also thanked your team members for doing well when you weren’t doing so great in your lane–that’s cool.
And another to Jubbinaut:
What’s really cool is that even though your team may have lost the first game, you still kept positive and kept hope for a better next game :) You also do a great job giving players compliments when they make a good play in the game.
Leavers, AFKs and intentional feeders are also on Lin’s to-do list for minimising gameplay toxicity in League of Legends.