Over the past several months, Blizzard, and other companies, have been very transparent about the fact that they were looking into removing as much toxicity from the online world of online play as much as possible. Ubisoft, Epic Games, and other huge names in the games industry have all increased their efforts recently towards the goal of bettering the community. In an industry where even the most toxic behavior is shuffled under the rug of "trolls just being trolls," the professionals behind these titles are fighting back.
Racism, sexism, relentless harassment ... all of these negative aspects of any online community continue to grow and fester. To counter this cancerous growth within a community built on social interaction as seen in online gaming, over thirty different companies have pledged their name to the efforts of The Fair Play Alliance.
According to their official website:
"The Fair Play Alliance is a cross-industry initiative spanning over 30 gaming companies whose mission is to foster fair play in online games, raise awareness of player-behaviour-related issues, and share research and best practices that drive lasting change.
The Fair Play Alliance is a coalition of gaming professionals and companies committed to developing quality games. We provide an open forum for the games industry to collaborate on research and best practices that encourage fair play and healthy communities in online gaming. We envision a world where games are free of harassment, discrimination, and abuse, and where players can express themselves through play."
The list of members contributing to this movement include the likes of:
- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
- Discord Inc.
- Epic Games, Inc.
- Huuuge Games
- Intel Corporation
- Ker-Chunk Games
- Owlchemy Labs
- Radial Games
- Riot Games
- Roblox Corporation
- Rovio Entertainment Corp.
- Space Ape Games
- Spirit AI, Ltd.
- Two Hat
- Unity Technologies
It's not as simple as simply seeing a problem and BAM, it's fixed. Riot's senior technical designer, Kimberly Voll, had this to say: "There are a lot of challenges when you're trying to determine what good behavior looks like—or at least what bad looks like—on a global scale."
There are many aspects that go into this constructive effort including looking into different cultures and various societal norms, while also looking at the difference between 'trash talk' with friends and bonafide harassment. The road to correcting volatile behaviour has been a rocky one, one that has seen many developers stumble when it comes to their approach. It's a learning process, one that The Fair Play Alliance hopes to see a collective effort on how to combat the toxicity in gaming realistically and effectively.
Interested in seeing how you can help? Check out The Fair Play Alliance website right here.