CCP Handing Down Judgment on Harassment & Bots

Bill McDonough 2018-09-02

Art by AnuranonthecoucH

CCP has reason to feel good about themselves right now. They recently hosted GM Week, a multi-day event that highlighted the hard work of their GM team. They bookended the event in perfect EVE fashion: with explosions. On both the first and last days of GM Week, CCP teleported players into Yulai for summary execution. The crime: botting. But that isn’t the only thing they’ve gotten right lately. A article in Polygon places CCP ahead of the curve on harassment issues as well.

Polygon sent out inquiries about harassment policies to major game studios, in response to the recent firing of two devs at ArenaNet. Those devs clashed with an aggressive fanbase, in a Reddit exchange that quickly became toxic. Most of the companies they contacted did not respond. Nintendo and Riot offered statements, but those statements read like boilerplate platitudes. CCP, on the other hand, had CCP Falcon sit down with Polygon for an interview.

Falcon laid out CCP’s policy on harassment pretty clearly: “If someone in our community is harassing anyone or repeatedly breaking rules, they’re out. We’re not interested in them being part of our community. If we see abuse in-game, we’ll shut them out. And if we see abuse coming to us via social media platforms, we’ll report them and request that the person’s account be shut down.”

Falcon is also known for his willingness to engage on Reddit, and addressed the potential for echo-chambers and mob-mentalities. “When we’ve experienced brigading from places like Reddit, we’ve been able to handle it by going in to those spaces and saying, ‘this isn’t cool, you need to take a step back.’”

And this trend seems to be born out in other, lower-profile ways, as well. In their recent devblog about team-security’s ongoing work, CCP included this paragraph:

“As part of ongoing work to keep support for our pilots up to date and relevant, the Customer Support team are currently in the process of reviewing their internal policies and documentation around in game harassment, anti-social behavior and real-life threats.”

This appears related to ongoing community pressure. Additionally, INN has information from multiple knowledgeable sources within the northern bloc that at least one previously-banned player has now been banned a second time. If true, this could indicate the policy change is moving beyond the ‘review’ stage, and may have some teeth.

Header inspired by the image sourced to the European Institute for Gender Equality, via Polygon.

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Comments

  • PEND. Total Newbie

    INB4 Gigx’s kid starts playing

    September 3, 2018 at 12:50 am
  • anaisanais501

    “Most of the companies they contacted did not respond”

    Polygon is toxic to gaming and has an agenda. It’s not the place to engage with your fan base. It hates gamers. CCP responding was a mistake.

    September 3, 2018 at 8:13 am
    • chimpy anaisanais501

      Many sources have put forwards the idea that people play social media like a video game to get clicks, likes, retweets, like a score. In my opinion many “journalists” in video games use their platforms to play exactly the same game . Likes, retweets, retelling the same story among themselves. Instead of being on a single platform like twitter or facebook, they use their websites to play the game between themselves. When Leigh Alexander said “gamers don’t have to be your audience”, she turned out to be right, both from a personal point of view, and in a an unintended wider media point of view. Most game “journalists” don’t write for gamers, they write for each other. Other games “journalists” are their audience. It’s the pats on the back from other people in the same sphere they care about, not games or gamers. Fortunately there are many fresh alternate sources on game news and reviews sprouting in the space that game “journalists” long ago vacated e.g. Lamon Gamon and their thicc brethren.

      September 3, 2018 at 9:48 am
      • anaisanais501 chimpy

        Almost right. Polygon don’t like gaming and gamers. They just want control of the culture so they can turn it into the same grey goo they have elsewhere.

        September 4, 2018 at 9:46 am
    • And what, pray tell, IS their agenda?

      HOW are they toxic to gaming?

      Mentioning those things in a mature way might help you to not sound like a bitter, butthurt incel.

      September 3, 2018 at 11:01 am
      • chimpy Noob

        “Mentioning those things in a mature way might help you to not sound like a bitter, butthurt incel.”
        mature way -> butthurt incel
        pot kettle black

        September 3, 2018 at 11:03 am
      • anaisanais501 Noob

        Polygon aren’t interested in gamers and gaming. Neither are you by the sounds of it.

        September 4, 2018 at 9:42 am
        • SeymourB anaisanais501

          You mean they’re not interested in assholes and assholing.

          Believe it or not, most people like reading differing viewpoints, and don’t feel personally threatened over their existence.

          And somteimes… and I know this might be hard for some to understand… reading stuff that you originally disagree with can make you think about things in different ways, and maybe even cause you to change your mind!

          September 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm
          • anaisanais501 SeymourB

            What can I say, except to reiterate that Polygon, a publication supposedly for gamers, hates gamers. If you want to read it, knock yourself out. Just remember that by reading it you’re admitting you’re a massive twat.

            September 6, 2018 at 11:26 am
    • Garreth Vlox anaisanais501

      Based on past experiences with several of those companies (EA, Activision etc.) they would be hard pressed to care less about their customers then they currently do. They just can’t be bothered to respond to polygon the only press they are interested in promotes the sale of their games, a friendly work place culture is not really their focus.

      September 4, 2018 at 8:02 pm
      • anaisanais501 Garreth Vlox

        This isn’t true really is it. They obviously make games gamers want to play. If they didn’t their share price would be, you know, zero.

        September 5, 2018 at 1:41 pm
        • Garreth Vlox anaisanais501

          I’ve worked for a few of them, they don’t give a damn about you as a customer, you are a 60$ transaction to them and the possibility of DLC purchases period. And if you have a bad experience well fuck you someone else will buy the game and you’re no big loss.

          September 6, 2018 at 6:23 pm
          • anaisanais501 Garreth Vlox

            Alright, they’re shitlers. But they must be doing something right if they’re still in business. It’s not as if there isn’t any competition for people’s leisure $. I’m in “wait and see” mode right now.

            September 7, 2018 at 9:04 am
  • chimpy

    Some fact checking may be in order for this article “Those devs clashed with an aggressive fanbase, in a Reddit exchange that quickly became toxic. ” It was twitter not reddit that where the exchange took place. The twitter exchange was a community twitcher trying to politely engage with the dev in question, only to be treated with contempt and hostility by the dev. The twitcher politely withdrew after receiving this agressive response from the dev. It all went tits up from there.
    Whilst it may be argued that the dev could have been ground down by the internet over time, her response to that particular member of her community at that time was rude and inappropriate. She then went on to to play the sadly predictable, enevitable, victim card, many times over.
    The internet can be tough, it can grind you down. Ask any customer service rep or GM for any online community, or game. or MMO. But as a customer facing representative of a large company you have to be polite and respectful to the community. If you’ve had a gutsfull then take some time off from the internet. Don’t act like a dick to your community. If you do you face a serious risk of being sacked.

    September 3, 2018 at 10:16 am
    • Noob chimpy

      That is a lot of slanted opinion ya got there.

      September 3, 2018 at 11:02 am
    • Arrendis chimpy

      From Polygon’s original reporting:

      ““HE HAD THE POWER TO COMMAND A WOMAN TO STAND THERE”
      The tweet — and a follow-up in which she said, “the next rando asshat who attempts to explain the concept of branching dialogue to me … is getting instablocked” — triggered a fierce thread on the Guild Wars subreddit. Fans mostly ignored Price’s point about women professionals constantly being questioned by men. They wanted to express their anger about a member of the community being rebuked”

      Emphasis added.

      September 3, 2018 at 7:05 pm
      • chimpy Arrendis

        Yeah I get that the usual internet kerfuffle kicked off on the Guild Wars reddit – but the exchange that sparked it all was entirely on twitter, which doesn’t get mentioned at all. The spark that lit the touchpaper, the game dev and her rude reply were not on reddit, they were on twitter. Quote from above article “Those devs clashed with an aggressive fanbase, in a Reddit exchange that quickly became toxic.” The devs did not clash with the community on reddit, they clashed on twitter with one guy who quickly bowed out, because apparently twitchers have more common sense than devs thesedays. I don’t doubt or dispute that shit spread over reddit, but it didn’t start on reddit, it started on twitter. Can you post me either of the devs posting relevant on reddit please?
        If you want to write “what started as a minor twitter spat between the main protagonists, inevitably led to a massive shitstorm on reddit” I’ll sign right up to that, but that’s not how the article reads.
        If you want me to link the twitter spat that genisised all this I can happily do so.
        No emphasis, or periods between words for dramatic effect needed.

        September 3, 2018 at 9:05 pm
        • Arrendis chimpy

          Well, according to the dev who was at the center of it all, the twitter exchange wasn’t why she was fired, the reddit brouhaha afterward was. So that’s where the real ‘clash’ was.

          September 4, 2018 at 8:44 am
          • chimpy Arrendis

            She was fired because of how she behaved on twitter. The person who fired her explained this.

            September 4, 2018 at 8:50 am
          • Garreth Vlox Arrendis

            He’s not saying she was fired because of the twitter post. But that twitter post was the first “punch thrown” if you will, in the fight that eventually ended up on Reddit, which resulted in her being fired.

            September 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm
  • Sylphinja the Dark Rose

    Inb4 Mittens gets retroactively banned for inticing people in harrasment of a 3rd person.

    September 4, 2018 at 1:10 pm