A wide variety of heavily online-focused developers ranging from Blizzard to Riot to CCP are apparently banding together with Twitch and dozens of other studios in order to form the Fair Play Alliance, a group aimed at countering toxicity in online gaming, along with other disruptive behaviors in the medium.
Playing online games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Counter Strike, any veteran player likely has multiple stories where another player either screams at them over voice chat or spams text chat with various racist, homophobic, or misogynistic insults. It’s behavior like that that’s given online gaming such a bad reputation, and the Fair Play Alliance aims to change that.
In addition to the horrible behavior of its players dragging down the reputation of the game, studios like Riot and CCP have remarked that their players have continually been coming to complain to them about the poor behavior of players, which galvanized the various studios into action.
The first meeting of the Fair Play Alliance is happening today at the GDC with a keynote speech by Kimberly Voll, a senior technical designer at Riot Studios. While the group doesn’t have very much to go on right now, they’ll be putting together research, sharing resources, and more. And even when they do have enough to start, they won’t have an easy job.
Considering the bad reputation that those communities have, the group has a big job ahead of them not just to curb bad behavior among their playerbase but also to redeem the reputations of their various games to the point where they’re not thought of as cesspits of trolls and racists.
While those problems might never completely go away, hopefully the Fair Play Alliance will be able to get it into the heads of the vast majorities of their players that that sort of behavior isn’t acceptable, especially when other people just want to play to have fun, rather than playing to win.