30 games companies including Riot, Blizzard, Twitch and Epic Games, have teamed up to form the Fair Play Alliance, in a bid to counter toxic behaviour in online games.
The Fair Play Alliance, whose members also include the likes of Supercell, Xbox, Intel, Rovio and Roblox, describes itself as: “A cross-industry initiative spanning over 30 gaming companies whose mission is to foster fair play in online games, raise awareness of player-behaviour-related issues, and share research and best practices that drive lasting change.”
Speaking to Kotaku at GDC, Riot Games’ senior technical designer Kimberley Voll said: “There’s no IRL and online anymore. This is just all reality now. A lot of these challenges today are super-intimidating. These are big cultural shifts. As an industry and as a society online, we’re trying to find our way. This is an opportunity for all of us to say ‘What if we walked together as an industry?’”
It’s very early days for the Fair Play Alliance – it held its first event, a day-long summit at the GDC conference in San Francisco on Wednesday 21 March – and Voll admitted there are plenty of fundamental aspects which will have to be worked out: “There are a lot of challenges when you’re trying to determine what good behaviour looks like—or at least what bad looks like—on a global scale.”
But few would disagree that a coalition of games companies getting together to work out a co-ordinated approach to the knotty problem of toxic online behaviour in games is a step forward to be applauded.