Taiwanese Researcher Finds Solutions to Offensive LOL Gaming Experience

Taiwanese Researcher Finds Solutions to Offensive LOL Gaming Experience
Photo Credit:gamebase
What you need to know

League of Legends, a popular online game, is also known for its players being hostile to newcomers and players that perform poorly. To improve this, Riot Games, the parent company of League of Legends, founded a research team to analyze the data from its players, trying to figure out solutions to reduce players’ offensive behavior in games.

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Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang

League of Legends (LOL) is a popular online game with 67 million players worldwide and estimated revenue of US$1.25 billion in 2015. However, because of the anonymity of the players, they tend to speak aggressively with language of racial and gender discrimination.

Taking the behaviors as an obstacle in maintaining existing players and attracting new ones, Riot Games, the parent company for League of Legends, founded a team to collect and analyze the massive data of its players in hope of improving the hostile game environment.

As the representative for the research program, Taiwanese-born Jeffrey Lin worked with the research team and designed in-game messages to players.

Based on classic psychology, the research team designed 24 in-game messages, including encouragements for good behavior and discouragements for bad one with the latter showing a more significant effect.

For example, when the message, “Teammates perform worse if you harass them after they make a mistake,” appeared in red during the game, the team found 6.2% of verbal abuse and 11% of offensive language reduced. In comparison, encouragements for good behavior only cut back offensive language by 6.2%.

In his interview with Nature, Lin says he started to play online games at the age of 11 and has long been confused at why others can tolerate such toxic behaviors by certain players. Lin thinks this should not be considered normal in online games.

Lin says the results are epic and open doors for numerous relevant researches in the future.

However, only some of the statistics were released. The research team is currently working on “Tribunal,” a system that allows players to judge their peers, for the company to give out rewards and punishments to regulate the behavior of players.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
“Can a video game company tame toxic behavior?” (Nature)
Taiwan People News
CNA