If Ubisoft has anything to say about it, cyberbullies will be made to reconsider their behavior and learn some manners.
On the heels of its Zero Harm In Comms campaign, in which Ubisoft and Riot gather data to help keep post-game chats clean, Ubisoft has announced a dedicated anti-bullying course.
The Fair Play Program is “designed to be beneficial for players of all genres, from multiplayer FPS to single-player RPG,” Ubisoft writer Brittany Spurlin says in the announcement post (opens in new tab).
“Players can understand cheating as a disruptive behavior,” director of player safety Jeremy Marchadier adds. “But talking offensively in chat, harassing other players, or even not following a team leader during competitive play are all also disruptive behaviors.” the course is designed to walk you through all kinds of toxic and disruptive behavior.
By helping players spot their own possibly toxic habits, Ubisoft is doing its bit to help keep online gaming a safe place for everyone.
With many gaming companies and studios tackling toxic gamer culture this year, “It’s important to manage the emotional aspect in gaming,” Marchadier says, which is at the heart of many an internet troll’s nasty words.
“The modules are intended to help players understand situations that cause negative behaviors,” Spurlin writes. “[As well as] the behaviors themselves and the impact they have on other players.”
Taught through a series of videos and on-screen text quizzes, the Fair Play Program is “designed to teach by example rather than give an exact definition of toxic behaviors with no room for nuance.”
It will also feature interviews with professional esports players and coaches, each sharing their own experiences of online harassment to show how fostering a positive atmosphere benefits everyone – not just the people you’re playing against at that moment.
Leading by example
Trolls and bullies are a much-aggrieved and persistent problem regarding online gaming. The pressure to not come across as a “noob” still prevents many from taking advantage of online gaming opportunities, even with Xbox Live’s streak of account bans or PS5’s voice chat reporting option.
Ubisoft is making significant strides in promoting healthy interactions, but initiatives like the Fair Play Program would go much further if they were more widely implemented. The platform has landed just in time for this year’s PlayStation Tournaments; perhaps players will take some time for self-reflection before jumping into a challenge.