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Destiny designed to counter trolls

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Just thinking about playing a shooter online with other people makes me want to assume the fetal position and hold myself while ignoring the incessant demands for sandwiches.  Bungie’s new MMO shooter, Destiny, has a plan to combat the trolls.

In an interview with Edge, Bungie’s technical director, Chris Butcher, explains:

“If you look back at online multiplayer gaming for the last ten years I think the dominant thread has been adolescent males shooting each other in the face and squatting on each other’s corpses. And that emerges from design decisions which… some of which were intentional, some of which were not, but the community gets attracted towards that, and that is popular to a lot of other people and so it kind of tends to exclude others.”

Destiny will encourage players to collaborate through a system of rewards for positive interactions.  In-game gestures such as waving and saluting are mapped to the D-pad, showing Bungie’s desire for improved cooperation and communication in game.  However, Butcher doesn’t expect to eradicate trolls entirely:

“I don’t think you can ever design toxic behaviour out, you can’t ever stop players from being toxic but what you can do is prevent them being able to ruin other players’ experiences. You give people these tools that encourage them to interact positively with each other and then if someone is interacting negatively with you, well, they can’t ruin your experience.”

I’m interested to see how this works in a practical sense.  Destiny is really looking incredibly cool and has tons of awesome ideas.  However, plenty of cool games can be ruined by the online population.  Just look at Dota 2.  Here’s hoping that Destiny pulls this off!

Last Updated: August 8, 2013

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