Toxicity is a very big issue in online gaming and companies are constantly looking for new ways to make things more hospitable. A newly discovered patent from PlayStation indicates that the company is trying to do just that, with a system that would reward players for good behavior and punish those who make games less fun for others. Rewards are things like medals and “virtual points,” while toxic players have their actions reviewed by a human moderator, and players have the chance to appeal potential punishments.
A graph of the patent can be found below.
A 2021 study conducted by Lenovo and Reach3 Insights found some disturbing statistics about women being harassed while gaming. Of the 900 women who participated in the study, 59% said they hide their gender while gaming, and 77% said they experienced harassment based on their gender. That same year, Twitch streamer Grenade Queen shared a video of the harassment she received while playing Halo infinity, prompting Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley to call on Microsoft and gamers to make a change. The fact is that this kind of harassment drives players away, and video games are supposed to provide escapism, not another place where people feel harassed or unwelcome.
Unfortunately, just because a patent has been filed doesn’t necessarily mean the feature will be released. PlayStation has filed many patents that for one reason or another never materialized. At one point, the company applied for a patent that would allow players to use household items in place of a controller, including a banana. While that patent sounded intriguing, nothing has come of it for the past two years, and it’s possible the same is true for this reward system. It’s unclear if PlayStation’s patent will eventually be implemented, but it’s encouraging to see the company taking the issue seriously and taking steps to fix it!
What do you think of this PlayStation patent? Do you think more should be done about toxicity in online gaming? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!
[H/T: Top Tier List]
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