After making a committment to Black Lives Matter and racial equality, publisher Electronic Arts is now tackling player toxicity at large. The company has unveiled its “Positive Play” charter, an updated set of guidelines for player behaviour for all of its games, services and platforms such as forums. The charter itself is pretty basic stuff—so basic in fact it’s a bit surprising some what’s in it didn’t exist before. Guidelines include “don’t be a jerk,” “provide useful feedback,” and “maybe think twice before posting that”.
The charter also outlines what kinds of content are deemed inappropriate, and what language you should use while playing with others. Violation of the rules will result in short-term bans, and banned users will receive an email explaining why the action was taken. Repeat offenders can expect to be banned permanently.
While none of this is unusual, it’s still nice to see EA set some ground rules in clear language. The accompanying news post on the official EA website is a bit more interesting, as it talks about the specific measures that will be taken to help ensure toxicity can be curbed.
“We have created new ways for players to report abuse, improved our internal escalation policy to deal with harmful behavior in our games, and created new training programs for our own internal teams that are working directly with our communities,” the post says. It also mentions EA has established a player council to make its gaming communities more pleasant, although no details have been provided on what the council looks like and how it’s set to achieve that.
Works seems to have already begun, as EA teams have removed “more than 3,500 player-generated assets from our games—inappropriate and hurtful names and language—and took action with the players that had posted the content.”
The post also stresses that these measures are a long-term commitment, and measures will be evaluated and tweaked if necessary.
You can find the Positive Play charter on the EA website.