Kotaku gets the scoop on what could be the future of dealing with obnoxious people in online games. A new report from Kotaku looks into Riot Games' new justice system for League of Legends, which is going to be run by the player community. They are calling it citizen justice, and if it works, we could see a new standard in dealing with problematic players who go out of their way to ruin the online gaming experience for others.
Starting sometime in the next few months, the creators of League of Legends plan to implement the Tribunal System, which will be staffed by players.
"This is innovation that was bred from necessity," Steve 'Pendragon' Mescon of Riot Games told Kotaku in a phone interview.
"We had to find a way to have a bigger impact and get rid of a much bigger number of these toxic players who are creating a toxic atmosphere in a way that was more meaningful and efficient."
Riot says that its company is just too small to deal with the tens-of-thousands of complaints it gets on a daily basis. For them this system is an absolute must have feature. Here's how it works, according to Kotaku:
Players who become part of the game's new Tribunal system will review cases of people using offensive language, cases of people bullying other players and cases of any other sort of imaginable or unimaginable infraction that might occur during the play of a game and generate a complaint from one or more gamers. (A sample case file that a player-judge would see is included with this story.)
The list of quasi-crimes a player tribunal might judge even consists of misbehavior that is more native to a game like League of Legends than it is a blog's rowdy comments section or the mess of a vandalized Wikipedia page. For example, a League of Legends player judge might have to rule on a player who has been AFK for too long — that is, being away from their keyboard when they were supposed to be competing in a match.
Being terrible at the game is not a punishable offense, thankfully. When a player judge reviews a case they get access to chat logs, information about what happened in a game during the alleged infraction, and other mitigating factors. Mescon closes with the following comment about how one player can change an online gaming experience for everyone playing:
"We have millions of players and an extremely competitive game that's multiplayer and team-based," Mescon said. "You have a tendency in that kind of environment to attract people who have negative attitudes or toxic players who breed that kind of behavior. No one likes losing. There's lot of trashtalking, unsportsmanlike conduct, etcetera, etcetera. ... The percentage of the player base that is creating a negative atmosphere is relatively low. But, in an environment like this, a single player can have a really big impact."
You can read more about this new system and see a screenshot of the Tribunal system at Kotaku.