Improving Player Behavior in League of Legends

Riot sits down with PAX East attendees to talk about player behavior.

George Skleres, game engineer, T. Carl Kwoh, producer, Davin Pavlas, senior user researcher, and Jeff Lin, lead designer sat down with PAX East attendees to talk about toxic behavior–anything that players do during a game that can negatively affect the other players. This includes harsh language, sexism, verbal harassment and purposefully throwing a match are a few examples.

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How toxic behavior spreads

When one player behavior negative behavior in a game because of a bad experience or a bad day will affect the attitudes of those they play with. As such, the players affected by this first match will now carry over their negative experience into the next game. Quite the vicious cycle.

How can we solve this issue?

  • The first pillar is to try and shield players from this negative experience and prevent it from spreading.
  • The second is to “reform or remove toxic players.”
  • The third is to create a culture of sportsmanship through discussion and creating expectations of behavior.
  • Fourth, reinforcing good behavior with rewards.
  • Finally, creating better match chemistry.

Needless to say, this panel became heated rather quickly. There were good questions asked and almost just as many complaints. The Riot staff spent more time answering questions than actually going into any detail on these key points in their presentation. As such, I began to see many people get up and walk out of the theater.


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Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.