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League of Legends Will Give Players Rewards For Not Being Harassing Jerkwads

The "Don't Be A Dick" prize!

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League of Legends, plagued by players who do not embody the spirit of friendship, already has restrictions in place for those who refuse to LoL nicely. Now, they’re adding positive reinforcement to the mix, sending special bonus rewards to players who are actually not complete trash humans. Hooray!

Essentially, in order to receive the special gifts (this last one being an IP boost), you need to be at least a level five, and have gone all of 2014 without a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban, or permanent ban. You may receive any of these for being a “negative” player, which includes any “signs of toxicity” including trolling and harassment. The most negative players are already ineligible for end-of-season rewards.

In response to a forum post about why some players were receiving a free mystery gift skin for LoL, spokesperson RiotLyte said that Riot’s “player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement,” and that true improvement of player behavior needs both negative and positive aspects. But that doesn’t mean you can plan on being nice only when you know the Riot Gods are going to be around – they’re like Santa. Always watching. Always knowing. 

The key, said RiotLyte, is that the rewards will be given out on a random basis, and not according to any schedule. “It isn’t some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift,” they said. “If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.”

Ah, Riot Santa. You understand trolls so well.

Instead, Riot hopes this will encourage players to be “sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises.” Of course, we would hope that players would strive to be sportsmanlike and not resort to hatespeech and harassment just, you know, to be decent human beings, but I guess that’s asking way too much of people on the internet. Well, if you can’t do it to try and transform your own black heart, you can do it for the sweet prizes. Baby steps.

And we applaud Riot for the great effort and the positive reinforcement. Like I said before, Riot is actively trying to reduce asshattery in their online space in a way that few other companies are, devoting resources to research, testing, and implementation of these techniques, and they’re paving the way for other companies to do the same. Imagine what might happen if Xbox Live stopped giving out achievements or gamerscore to players that harass others online?

(via Kotaku, image via Kmeron)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.