Over the last few years major strides have been made by publishers and developers to help curb players away from troll-like or aggressive behavior. In some cases it’s a simple marker that recognizes the player as unsavory, while other companies have taken things a step further by matching the trolls with each other.
But what about those 90% of gamers who are actually upstanding citizens? What about the gamers who type “GG” at the end of the match instead of insulting an opponent’s mother or harassing them with epithet-filled voice messages?
Well, these gamers may soon get some recognition if Microsoft has its way. According to Partner and Development Lead Frank Save, the Xbox One manufacturer is looking into a potential reward system that would highlight those gamers who “play nice” and would presumably gift them with…something.
Microsoft floated the idea during a GDC 2014 panel earlier this week, but avoided any genuine specifics. Like the Xbox One’s new approach to player reputation, which supposedly matches trolls with other trolls, this is more wishful thinking on Microsoft’s part than anything else. But, if all goes according to plan, then there should be an algorithm built into Xbox Live that recognizes players for their positive social behavior and gives them a reward. It’s all a bit hypothetical at this point.
Similarly, we have no idea what Microsoft would reward “good” players with. The hope would be that the rewards are worthy enough to encourage sportsmanship among online gamers, but thus far goodwill programs have been lackluster to say the least. In other words, an avatar item or 10 cents worth of Xbox Live credits is not going to sway the trolls from being trolls. For that matter, an insubstantial reward is also not going to make the recipients of said reward feel like they earned anything.
The idea certainly has potential, but it will be Microsoft’s implementation of this good behavior reward system that ultimately dictates whether gamers actually change. As of right now, it’s just a good idea that Microsoft is testing the waters with — it may hit the Xbox One platform or it may not.
What do you think about Microsoft rewarding gamers for positive behavior? What type of rewards would encourage you to be an upstanding member of the Xbox community?