Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The future of free-for-all PvP

One of the more interesting aspects of The Mittani's drunken "let's harass that depressed guy into suicide" rant is how many people think that this is totally acceptable behavior. Syncaine even says that "Killing off the weak is not always a bad thing". Many others say that because The Mittani apologized, everything is okay now. From this reaction one can extrapolate and predict the future of games like EVE:

 Here is what I think will happen, not necessarily tomorrow, but over next few years: People will continue to play free-for-all PvP games which encourage bad behavior. Cyber-bullying will continue. At some point some bullied player will actually commit suicide, leave a letter explaining why, and his relatives will file a lawsuit. Between legislators thinking that bashing video games is always good politics, and courts thinking that there is no difference whatsoever between cyber-bullying in a game and cyber-bullying via other online platforms, we will end up with laws against game-related cyber-bullying. Game companies that can be shown to have encouraged cyber-bullying, or at least not sufficiently intervened, will get into legal trouble. At some point the extra cost of having your game support free-for-all PvP will become greater than the benefit of attracting the minority of players who actually enjoy being allowed to be cruel to other players in a game. Free-for-all PvP games will then either close down, or change their rules to only offer consensual PvP. Bullying in-game or on official game forums / game events will become a bannable offense in every online game. Free-for-all PvP will die or at least be driven far underground into games nobody plays.

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