Coping with Verbal Abuse in Online Games

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  • 1. Design Project 3 Who Am I? Managing Gamer Identity HCI/d Class 2015 Team F: Yao Bao | Denique Ferguson Jordan Jalles | Anusha Radhakrishnan
  • 2. Table of Contents 3 – Predispositions 5 - Research 11 –Insights 12 – Concepts & Concept Systems 15 – Prototype 31 – Strategies 34 – Appendix 2
  • 3. Predispositions What is our perspective? Our identities unfold over time. Identity management involves coping with the experiences that we use to define ourselves First impressions are important In online games, the first impression of the community happens when the player is still bad at playing. This sometimes leads to more experienced players getting angry and yelling at new players. It isn’t always possible to avoid negative experiences like verbal abuse; how we cope with these experiences contributes significantly to how we define ourselves. Sports have been around for a lot longer than online games. Verbal abuse in online games is analogous to trash-talking in sports; systems and strategies used to cope with trash-talking could be a useful framework for coping with verbal abuse in online games. 3
  • 4. What is our design challenge? Help new players cope with verbal abuse in competitive online games 4
  • 5. Research How did we explore this challenge? Online Surveys Interviews Literature Review Observation - League of Legends Forums, Official Documentation, Game Play Videos 5
  • 6. What did we learn? What our target group is like • Gamers 67% of U.S. households play games [esrb] • “All gamers” was still very general group, so we decided to focus in on a more specific audience • League of Legend Gamers 90% of players are male 85% of players are between 16 and 30 How athletes deal with trash-talking • View it as a part of the game; you have to focus and ignore it • Reacting with more trash-talk causes you to risk getting punished • Taking trash-talk personally can make you play poorly, and doubt your abilities • Post-game critique re-affirms abilities, identifies ways to 6 improve weaknesses
  • 7. What did we learn? How people react to abuse while playing online games • They feel “frustrated”, “annoyed”, “angry”, “peeved” when they experienced abuse (based on survey of 13 online gamers) The clarification to be made is that this type of verbal abuse in online games isn’t necessarily the deeply scarring, personal type that can be received from people we know; it comes from people who don’t really know anything about us, and so it is only targeting the specific gamertag sub-identity which we are using to have fun. • Mute communications, “rage quit”, lose on purpose, report players 7
  • 8. What did we learn? League of Legends (LoL) as a case study • Notoriously mean to poorly performing teammates Dying isn’t just bad for the score, it actually makes enemies stronger and therefore makes the game more difficult for your entire team Teams of 5 are essentially locked into the game with each other for an entire 40 minute match. Even if a player quits, they have to wait until the match is over before they can play again. Muting communications can hinder game play, as teams that communicate cooperatively tend to win more games. 8
  • 9. What did we learn? • The “Tribunal” The LoL community is self-moderated by a system called the Tribunal. There are no specifically set rules. Players are flagged by other players for negative conduct and then ranked community members get to vote on the punishment they receive. This is how players get banned and so-on in LoL • Banned players can always create new accounts This puts toxic, skilled players in the same matchmaking pool as new and unskilled players. Making it more likely for newbies to be abused right from the beginning. 9
  • 10. What did we learn? Technologies we could use to identify abuse • Text analysis: Connotation dictionaries Emotion detection • Audio analysis Emotion detection 10
  • 11. Insights How did this inform our design? We can identify players that are abusive • Immediately with text/audio analysis • Over time as they are flagged by other players 11
  • 12. How did this inform our design? Replicate the strategies athletes use to cope with trashtalk: • There is no one talk players through the abuse as it’s happening The supportive role present in athletic team games can go missing in online games. This is a key problem worthy of addressing in our design. • Pre-emptive intervention; the player doesn’t have to explicitly ask for help We don’t want players to interrupt their gameplay. Our design will attempt to pro-actively identify these cases and deliver help fluidly where it is needed. • Provide a post-game review for players to provide a context for teamwork in games Help them focus on the gameplay instead of the trash talk. • Recast verbal abuse as part of the challenge of the game. 12
  • 13. Concepts & Concept Systems Newbie games with abusive chat are automatically flagged for intervention by mentors • We will take advantage of the technology means available to direct help where it is needed most Middle-upper ranked banned players serve as mentors to recover their accounts • This gives them an alternative rather than starting a new account (and likely raging at newbies again) • These players have more time and energy invested in their accounts and therefore more likely to take this option • The higher rank will give their mentoring a tone of authority and make new players more likely to listen 13
  • 14. What are we proposing? New players are mentored through abusive chat • Turns a negative first impression into a positive one Players can review their game performance in relation to chat: • For the current match Shows how the chat affects individual plays in the match Along with highlights to positively reinforce good behavior • Over time To provide a context so that individually, bad games don’t ruin a new player’s impression of a community 14
  • 15. Prototype What did we design? 15
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  • 27. Post Game Screen 1. chat and performance history. 2. game highlights. 3. timeline of the kill/death/assists and chat stuff 1 2 3 27
  • 28. This chart has information for the past 20 games. As the user flips through the different games, the one they are currently viewing is highlighted on the chart along with the associated date and time. The solid line represents the Kill/Death ratio for that particular match, and the dotted line represents the positive/negative chat ratio. 28
  • 29. We wanted to give the user a 60 second replay of the good/ bad moments of the match to give them a morale boost and time to strategize as appropriate. By limiting the total replay time to 60 seconds we were lowering the perceived time cost for the player to something manageable. 29
  • 30. The timeline at the bottom shows how the performance of the user and his team relates to the chat behavior. 30
  • 31. Strategies What is the vision? Platform independent • Mentorship and post-game review system works across multiple games, allowing players to uncover their “gaming style”, and better determine what strategies work for them. Turning the trash talk into a challenge • The natural state of a gamer is rising to challenges. Re-casting the verbal abuse as a challenge with the help of the in-game narrator was part of our early iterations, but didn’t make it into our final presentation because of priorities and time constraints. 31
  • 32. Appendix 34
  • 33. Resources Literature • Video Game Industry Statistics http://www.esrb.org/about/video-game-industry-statistics.jsp • League of Legends has 32 Million Monthly Active Players http://www.destructoid.com/league-of-legends-has-32-million-monthly-activeplayers-236618.phtml • Voice Analysis - Emotional http://www.beyondverbal.com/home-page/ • Connotation Dictionary http://www.connotative.com/EmoDict.htm • Emotion Mining from Text http://www.slideshare.net/shakthydoss/emotion-detection-from-text-usingdata-mining-and-text-mining • Toxic Behavior Gets Entire League of Legends Team Booted from Tournament http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/toxic-behavior-gets-entire-leaguelegends-team-booted-tournament-1C8118274 • XBox Live and Verbal Abuse http://theresidentanthropologist.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/xbox-live-andverbal-abuse/ 35
  • 34. League of Legends Artifacts • LoL Post-Game Screen (Highlighting account names based on expletives; banned player using a new account) http://i.imgur.com/lGkCQ.jpg • LoL Honor System FAQ (About 1.5 percent of players have been punished by the tribunal) https://support.leagueoflegends.com/entries/22083111-Honor-System-FAQ • LoL Tribunal FAQ http://na.leagueoflegends.com/tribunal/en/faq/ • Honestly i know i need to improve but don’t know how http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/c/gameplay/baQJVNrk-honestly-iknow-i-need-to-improve-but-dont-know-how • What is it about this game that brings out the worst of us while we play? http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/c/behavior/es9TikY3-what-is-itabout-this-game-that-brings-out-the-worst-of-us-while-we-play • Learn to Play League of Legends (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFSXipO3SMA 36
  • 35. Interviews Tony K. Baseball player Harassment was from opposing team fans Harassment targeted family situation from things they researched online Verbal abuse affects younger/new players more than experienced ones. Danny D. Online Gamer (Casual) Random player on an online game abused her, for no fault of hers. Did not return back to the game. Was pretty pissed/annoyed. Mo Game player for 8 years. Keeps her gender identity undisclosed, because she does not want to get targeted. Was called names by fellow players, when she made mistakes. Would deflect their anger by blaming network issues for her poor performance. Plays almost exclusively with her close online friend because “random people are mean” C. C. Experienced Soccer player Ignores taunting/trash talking whenever it occurs Hated ‘name-calling’ within her team, which caused her anxiety. 37
  • 36. Personas • Just graduated college • currently looking for a job. • Lives with her parents. • Experienced with online games • But is trying a new genre (LoL) What does she want? • Self-esteem boost • challenge herself without being harassed Chrisanne Whyte Age: 23 Status: New gamer (to a specific game) 38
  • 37. •Loves his Xbox. •Got a new laptop for his birthday. What does he want? •To make friends online. •To get better at gaming. •To have fun. Patrick Gusse: 39 Age: 15 Status: Intermediate game player
  • 38. •Married. •Works part time. •Often gets banned in online gaming communities. What does he want? •Bragging rights. •To win! Trey Weaver 40 Age: 30 Status: New gamer
  • 39. Concept iterations Initial sketches that helped us ideate. 41
  • 40. Initial sketches that helped us ideate. 42
  • 41. Initial sketches that helped us ideate. 43
  • 42. Iteration 1 - During Game play 44
  • 43. Iteration 1 - ‘You died’ screen to get user feedback. 45
  • 44. Iteration 1 - Abusive chat 46
  • 45. Iteration 1 - Encouraging words that pop up during gameplay as said by the narrator. 47
  • 46. Iteration 1 - After Game over sketch (Refection page) 48
  • 47. Iteration 1 - After Game over sketch (Refection page) 49
  • 48. Iteration 2 - ideating 50
  • 49. Iteration 3- Ideating 51
  • 50. Iteration 3- Ideating - during game play 52
  • 51. Usability Testing Usability Test Script - Round 1, 2013-10-16 Hi my name is __________ I am doing a class assignment, do you have time to give your opinion on some sketches? It will take at most 5 minutes. I will ask you to act out some scenarios with these sketches, thinking aloud as you go along. Say whatever comes to mind – I’m not testing you: you are helping me test the design. Just a warning, our test has to do with abusive language in videogames, so there will be some language that you might find offensive. Remember, you can quit the test at any time. My colleagues will take notes as we go along, and may also take some pictures as part of a requirement to show the work we’re doing. You can choose to stop at any time. Before we begin: Do you mind telling me your age/age-group? Do you play games online? Have you ever played League of Legends online? To the moderator: is the participant male or female? 53 What is League of Legends? League of Legends is a birds eye view, 5 vs 5 fighting game played online game. Matches are about 40 minutes in length.
  • 52. For games you can play with friends or be matched with players of the same rank. Scenarios You’ve logged on to League of Legends for the first time, and you’re in the middle of playing your first game with Juggernaut, Lakilla, and Shomum, whom you’ve never met before. All of a sudden, your team starts losing the fight. You die for the first time and you are unsure why. Show the participant “You Died!” screen What would you do now? What do you think this screen does? When you get back into the game, your teammates are upset that you died. Not only do they blame you for the team starting to lose, but they begin to use abusive language to demean you. What do you think of this? Show the participant “Game play” screen with abusive chat insert 54 The match continues to go downhill. You and your teammates die many times without making headway against the enemy. Your team mates verbally abuse you the entire time because they are upset. Eventually, the match ends. Your team lost.
  • 53. Show the participant “Post Mortem” What would you do now? What do you think this screen allows you to do? Do you have any other comments? Round 1 Results Participants were not motivated enough to write down their reflections and keep a journal. They wanted to quit game when it became abusive, and were reluctant to replay video of a game that was abusive. One participant did not realize he was being offered the opportunity to play a recording of the game; he thought he was being offered the chance for a rematch. The narrator’s intervention was wellreceived: people felt that the intervention would prevent them from quitting the game. Some participants thought that the “Abusive team-mates” option on the re-spawning screen survey would report the abuse to the game administrators; some also confused submitting a reflection with submitting a report of the abuse. 55
  • 54. Usability Test Script - Round 2, 2013-10-20 Scenarios You’ve logged on to League of Legends for the first time, and at the beginning of the your first match you see this starting screen. Show the participant “Game Start!” screen (with griefer warning) What do you think of this? The match heats up pretty quickly. You’re playing with Juggernaut, Lakilla, and Shomum, whom you’ve never met before. All of a sudden, your team starts losing the fight. You die for the first time and you are unsure why. This is the screen that shows up when you die. Show the participant “You Died!” screen (with narrator feedback) What do you think of this? When you get back into the game, your teammates are upset that you died. Not only do they blame you for the team starting to lose, but they begin to use abusive language to demean you. Show the participant “Game play” screen with abusive chat insert 56
  • 55. This gets under your skin. You continue to play, but you’re not on your top game and things aren’t going well even though you get a few kills. What do you think of this? What would you do now? If you respond to them, what would you say? The Narrator speaks up. Show the participant “Game play” screen (with the narrator’s constructive feedback according to user response) What do you think of this? The verbal abuse intensifies. For the rest of the match, Lakilla does little but curse on and on about how terrible of a gamer you are, even though his score is worse. What do you think of this? What would you do now? If you respond to Lakilla, what would you say? In the end, Juggernaut and Shomum finish the game with scores higher than you. Lakilla was the worst, and you came in third. Even though you had some good plays in the game, your team lost by a significant amount. 57
  • 56. Show the participant “Post Mortem” What would you do now? What do you think this screen allows you to do? Do you have any other comments? If the participant clicks on view journal, continue to the next task. Otherwise, say this scenario is complete and there is one more short scenario. Show the participant the “Journal” What do you think this screen allows you to do? This is the archive of all the post-game reviews you have left. Your current goal is to look up a game of League of Legends that you played in last week to review what went wrong in a particular situation. Would the search by tags function change the things that you enter for tags on your next post-game review? Any other comments? 58
  • 57. Round 2 Results Some participants found the narrator unconvincing as a motivator, as it was not human; they would have preferred to quit the game. They were also not motivated to use the journal feature, as they didn’t understand what it was or what it was useful for. Conclusion Based on these results, we decided to remove the reflection area and use it to show enhanced game statistics instead, which would inform the user of their progress in relation to chat events. To add the human connection, we decided to use actual people to coach/mentor a gamer, and with the narrator’s voice playing a supplementary role. Instead of offering a replay of the entire match, we offered only 1 minute of video clips highlighting the best and worst of the player’s performance in the match, and improved the labeling of this screen to reduce confusion. A clip of the one of the player’s good performances would start playing automatically when the player visits this screen. 59
  • 58. Design Process 60
  • 59. Selecting problem space 61
  • 60. Interviewing User 62
  • 61. Selecting problem 63
  • 62. Usability test round 1 32
  • 63. Usability test round 2 33
  • 64. Creating prototype 34
  • 65. Putting them together 35