Electronic Arts this week introduced their Positive Play Charter, an updated set of player rules forbidding racist, sexist, homophobic, and other abusive behaviour in their games. The Apex and Battlefield publisher's new Charter does cover similar ground to their existent rules, which basically said 'hey don't act like a racist dickhead' and have evidently been ignored by many dickheads. The move is still good because: 1) the rules are more clear; 2) EA say they've put more resources into moderation and reporting to enforce them.
You can read the new Positive Play Charter over here. You'll notice it is basically an expansion of EA's longstanding Rules Of Conduct. While the rules are the same, the Charter does state its intent, it's writing in human language, it gives some direction on how to report people, and it's more clear about consequences. And, y'know, the Charter is not a document format that years of EULAs have trained me to scroll through at superspeed.
For wrong'uns not persuaded by a shiny new document, EA say they're putting more effort into punishment.
"In an effort to do better and to enforce our Positive Play Charter, we are applying additional resources and tools to our moderation and abuse reporting programs," EA said in the announcement introducing the Charter. "We have a disciplinary policy that is in place, and is being applied consistently across all our games and services. In recent weeks, we have removed more than 3500 player-generated assets from our games - inappropriate and hurtful names and language -- and took action with the players that had posted the content. We will continue to consistently do this."
Investing in moderation sounds good, though it would be better to know how substantial those additional resources and tools are. Sounds nice, might not mean much? But they seem to be taking it more seriously, and it is encouraging that they say it openly rather than just in documents no one reads.
"The last few weeks have been a stark reminder that we have a responsibility to stay vigilant in this effort," EA said. "We won't tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, harassment or any form of abuse. We can build better, healthier communities inside - and outside - our games, and that's what we are here to do."
They added, "This isn't a quick fix, but it is a long-term commitment that we intend to continue to act on. We will constantly question and evaluate how we're doing – and what more we can do. Meaningful change in our industry means a step towards meaningful change in the world we all share."