Riot Games considers its Tribunal system, which dobs in League of Legends players who take trash talking too far, to be a great success.
“The Tribunal, and an associated code of ethics and conduct that we have, essentially, called the Summoner’s Code, is a pair of features and systems that really try to reinforce to our players that, ‘Hey, this is a game, you’re supposed to have fun, and be respectful,’” Riot Games president Marc Merrill told Gamasutra.
“The great thing about that is all the feedback we’re getting about the Tribunal, even when they get judged and banned temporarily and whatnot, they recognize it. They go, ‘Wow, yup. I was a jerk there. I’m sorry. I should change.’
“And it’s really actively changing player behavior. They recognize that there are consequences to their actions, so they should be good. Just as people in real life tend to be nicer when they think that there’s meaning to their decisions and there could be consequences.”
Merill said the Tribunal is intended to “reinforce positive cultural change in the community”.
“The Tribunal has been great for us is because our philosophy is our game, in many ways, is analogous to a sport. Just as you can get competitive with pick-up basketball, and guys can start pushing each other, getting a little aggressive, in a competitive game, oftentimes, people get pretty invested in it,”
As one of the fastest-growing eSport scenes, League of Legends has become notorious for its steep learning curve, fiercely competitive play, and confronting trashtalking. The Tribunal system allows players to flag others as troublemakers, and those above level 30 can review the case and vote on it.