The Growing Problem of Immaturity
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said how much I LOATHE Official Forums of games. Obi Wan Kenobi put it best when he said “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” He may have been talking about Mos Eisley, but I contend that it carries over to most forum communities. This problem used to be very easy to avoid. Don’t go to the forums and you don’t have to deal with it. Unfortunately we’re now seeing a crossover of this attitude and mentality into our games. Spend 10 minutes reading General Chat on most WoW servers and you’ll see a little of what I mean, but play a competitive PvP game and you’ll experience the worst of the worst.
For those that listen to the MMOVoices Podcast, you know how much I love League of Legends. It’s quickly become one of my favorite games. I love the competitive aspect of the game, the quick matches which feed to the needs of the casual player, and even their cash shop set-up which never forces you to spend a dime. In many ways, Riot has the F2P sub-genre perfected. I usually can’t stop talking up all of the things that Riot gets right! Lately LoL has me frustrated, though.
It’s not the gameplay or any changes that have been made by Riot. It’s the plethora of server issues that hit a couple months ago. No, nothing on Riots end at all. It’s the players. I’m not generalizing all of the players by far. In fact, it’s a small minority. The problem is that it’s that minority that has been ruining the game for me lately. As the game grows — by as much as 3-5x their current player base per month — we’re seeing more of these “un-silent minority” of asshats popping up.
It’s expected that their be tauning and jeering in a PvP game. That is all in good fun. In fact, there usually is some friendly competition and words thrown back and forth, but no one takes it personal. The biggest problem with the game now is those that have a super-elitist attitude and completely belittle and disrespect the other players on the map. It goes beyond normal teasing, to attacks on ones skill, self worth (I’ve seen players telling others to go kill themselves because they aren’t a good player. I cannot imagine the effect this could have on someone that is already contemplating and are trying to use the game as an escape), lifestyle, and sexual orientation, to even threats on peoples lives and well being if they ever see them in a match again.
Riot used to ban accounts for this type of behavior, but as the game grows they can no longer keep up with the shear amount of tickets that are submitted. Because of this, most get put by the wayside and the blatant offenders are not punished for their actions, make the situation even worse. If there’s no consequences, why act respectful? I mean, come on! Why treat other players like they’re human beings? What would be the point in that? I DO WHAT I WANT!!!!!!
Well, not anymore. Yesterday, Riot announced a new system they are putting in place in LoL that will help quell the flood of in-game Trolls and downright immature asshats. The system in question will put together a council of players who have proven themselves to be fair and honest, and who treat other players the way that they should be treated. This council will now look over the tickets and decide if action needs to be taken against the reported offender(s).
I think this is an awesome idea. It’s a system that let’s fellow players decide on if the actions of other players are appropriate and warranted or not. Players will now have to think twice before they speak, or risk losing all of the time and effort they put into a level 30 accounts, because they don’t know how to be respectful to others around them. It’s about time a game company came up with a great system to deal to squelch the flames.
This is one of those innovations that passes the “Genius Test.” Immature behavior and idiocy against other players has been a growing problem for a while now. It causes veteran players to hang up their uniforms, and deters new players from trying or sticking with a game, and is nothing but poison to any games community. I hope that other studios take a page out of Riot’s book and implement systems of their own to alleviate the pain caused by these vile and vicious offenders.