League of Legends dev creates enforcement unit: “we don’t like players being jerks in games”

Thursday, 6th December 2012 11:51 GMT By Dave Cook

League of Legends developer Riot Games has established a new anti-griefer task force it calls the Player Behaviour and Justice Team. It’s job is to stop being being “jerks” online. Learn more about why the studio felt the team was necessary below.

In an interview with Gamasutra, League of Legends lead producer Travis George explained that the task force was set up to monitor foul play and griefing as a means of better understanding it, and to devise more effective ways of putting a stop to unscrupulous actions.

He said, “Nobody wants to play a game with somebody who’s mean. There’s a line, and that line generally is people being mean for the sake of being mean – telling you what to do, telling you how bad you are. And I think we can actually fix a lot of that.

“We actually have built a team around this. We call it, lovingly, the Player Behaviour and Justice Team. There are a lot of really talented folks on that team, including two PhDs. One’s a cognitive neuroscientist and one’s a behavioural psychologist.

“We’ve actually developed specific trends, and our own set of metrics that we look at for measuring what percentage of times we think that players will encounter a negative experience in a game, and how severe that negative experience is,” says George. “And then we have to build things or be responsive or message the community in a particular way to address those things.”

Policing games to this degree is often seen as a negative approach in some MMO titles – chiefly the rather savage EvE Online. But while it may look brutal from the outside, such freedom to act as you please is why games like EvE have flourished. But how can Riot Games properly penalise offenders fairly?

“We don’t like players being jerks in games. We’ve experienced it all ourselves,” he explained. “But we actually sat down and said, ‘How do we actually more tangibly understand how bad the impact is, or what the impact is, or understand the problem more?’

“And that’s where you’ve got guys who are PhD researchers who can help develop those models, and we have, actually, those models for how we track and trend what we call ‘player behavior,’

“You can apply really good research and science techniques to almost anything. The trick is just finding what you want to actually spend the time on, and that’s where the sentiment for players comes in as a huge guiding factor to that.”

Ah, good old science.

Do you feel that griefing is a real issue in League of Legends? How would you see it dealt with? Let us know below.

Thanks CVG.



  1. AJacks92

    It’s not so much as jerks anymore. The Tribunal system already took care of that problem. The problem now is that while people aren’t putting up in arguing anymore, they also don’t put up a fight in game as well. While frankly arguing is of course bad, at least there’s still a chance of winning. There’s now people who are pacifists who choose not to fight and end up losing whilst not having a good reason to receive the ban hammer. You can’t ban someone (yet) for not trying to win in a game.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. GrimRita

    @1 I’ve always wondered why people who play games like LoL or even pvp in MMOs bother showing up, if they are there ‘just for fun’. People like that should go back to their Wii or stick to The Sims/Farmville

    #2 2 years ago
  3. roadkill

    “League of Legends dev creates enforcement unit: “we don’t like players being jerks in games”” Haha! You can’t even take online flaming without running behind your mommy’s skirts and crying like the little douche-bags that you are. That is pathetic on a whole new level. You are the equivalent of weak but-hurt server administrators who can’t take a loss so they ban the good players. You’re just doing it to an entire community.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    And the internet immediately comes up with examples to why that’s neccesary.

    I think most online games are missing a serious focus on peoples behaviour. I don’t mind trash talking (although a lot of people obviously do) and I don’t care if they say grace, but the best multiplayer games out there are the ones that seem to know who the players are, and how they’re going to act on a map.

    Sadly the ones that pretend to be about teamwork don’t seem to care much. Playing an objective based shooter means you often watch 80% of a lobby run around doing what they’d do in a deathmatch while 20% try to win the game on their behalf.

    It shouldn’t have to be like that.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Puggy

    Well it actually does make sense. Tell a griever not to grief and he will still do so and pay some money. Show a mother that her son actually reading some bad words and they will stop their children from playing, or some sensible people might stop playing due to hurt feelings.
    Well, they might be carebears, but paying carebears. So, in terms of money, I do think the decision makes sense.

    And go back to farmville and the like are the obvious reasons why they do it. They “want” the farmville people. They want those hundreds of thousands of willing, paying costumers from there.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Froseidon

    @2 I play LoL for fun. For the most part, I get that fun. That’s the point of normals, you want to go into a game for seriousness, play ranked in my opinion. People who get made in normals, I just end up muting/ignoring, continuing on with my fun.

    If something isn’t fun, then its a chore. I do not play games that feel like a chore, to me, that is not a game.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    Wow. Some regressive attitudes, here. Are we also supporting clubbing potential mates over the head and dragging them back to our respective cavernous domiciles, too?

    Some people play things for different reasons. I’m not one of those people you hate as I simply don’t play LoL (I prefer Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer), but I have this little thing called sympathy. You might want to try it, sometime. Instead of hating on them and making them feel like third class citizens, how about suggesting ways in which everyone can win?

    How about a match flag for matchmaking? An “I’m joining just for fun!” checkbox that will match them up with other people who just want to fool around and learn the game at a slower pace? If these people aren’t trolling, then they’d make use of that! Then, if they turn up in competitive matches, don’t cuss at them, just report them.

    As for the aforementioned cussing and racial slurs, it’s always occurred to me that there’s a rather obvious solution to this, too. Riot should record the chat of random games (voice and text) and then go over it. For every cuss/slur they detect, they should fine that player respectively. This fine would take X amount of their in-game money away, or stop them from earning X amount until they’ve paid off their fine.

    Banning people won’t do any good. That’ll just make them angrier. Docking their money and their ability to make money will actually help them to get them message whilst not making them so angry that they’d overlook the lesson.

    There are reasonable solutions to most problems. The primary problem is, really, that most people don’t like being reasonable.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dragon246

    Anything removing thrash from mmos is welcome.

    #8 2 years ago

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