Is “League of
Legends,” a game about destroying your enemies
on the fields of justice, teaching us to be good citizens? Actually, yeah. [THEME MUSIC] Do you play “League of Legends”? No? Are you sure? Well, you’re looking like
minority more and more each day. Basically a cross between
Capture the Flag and the battle sequence from “Braveheart,”
“League of Legends” is one of the biggest games on
the planet with more than 70 million registered users
and 32 million playing on a monthly basis. But what comes after you develop
the 19th most populous country in the world? Trolls, trolls, and more trolls. Trolls, or griefers
as they’re known, thrive on disrupting
other people’s good times. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] [SNEEZE] PLAYER: Dude, what the hell? TROLL: Oh. I sneezed. [END PLAYBACK] So in basketball,
if a cheater someone who goal tends or
throws elbows, a troll is someone who just
walks away the ball. In fact, they’re
just waiting for me to finish to say
something really awful. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] Oh my God, you [BLEEP] loser! I know you hack! I’m gonna tell the admin on you! [END PLAYBACK] In “League of
Legends,” trolling could be anything from using
crude and abusive language, abandoning your
teammates mid-match, or intentionally feeding–
also known as dying on purpose, which is just [GROANS]. And although it may seem
like a minor annoyance, trolls can have a serious
effect on our lives online. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] PLAYER 1: I can’t! PLAYER 2: I’m gonna lose it. I’m gonna [BLEEP] lose it! [END PLAYBACK] A study in “The Journal
of Computer-Mediated Communication” found
that uncivil comments not only polarize readers
but actually change the reader’s interpretation
of the news story itself. That’s right. The behavior was so nasty
that it actually altered people’s perception of reality. Different online communities
have tried different things to make sense of bad behavior. 4chan just ignores everything
except child pornography. Xbox Live just bans people. And Reddit has moderators. But “League of Legends”
has done something unique. And, weirdly, it
seems to be working. So what’s the story? Well, for starters,
“League of Legends” has posted a code of conduct. [ANGELIC MUSIC] So what? Lots of places have
codes of conduct, and people ignore them. But in May 2011,
“League of Legends” introduced something
new, The Tribunal. Here’s how it works. You just finished a
match, and you got smoked. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] PLAYER: (HIGH PITCHED
SCREAMING) What the [BLEEP]! [END PLAYBACK] It’s frustrating, of course. And you’ve been berating your
teammates over the last hour over chat with things like,
just [BLEEP] kill yourself you [BLEEP] [BLEEP] [BLEEP] noob. No big deal, right? It’s just words. And maybe you’ll get
away with it one time. But be toxic enough
on a consistent basis, and you’ll get flagged. Then the tribunal automatically
builds a case of your misdeeds. And you’re voluntarily judged by
a jury of higher-level players. Finally, your punishment
is meted out anonymously– think Judge Dredd. So, does it work? Well in The
Tribunal’s first year, 47 million votes
were handed out. And 75% of the people
who were judged never had to be disciplined again. The most important
thing is that discipline is a collective responsibility
available to all who choose to participate. Offenders even get a
Tribunal reform card that shows exactly why they
reported and a chat log explaining their offenses. They can be quite damning. But they force you to
confront your bad behavior and understand how your
nastiness affects other people. But there’s a big reason why
The Tribunal works at all. The impulse to
punish bad behavior triggers something
deep inside of us. A group of Swiss researchers
using brain scans during a set of games
found that the decision to punish cheaters stimulated
the dorsal striatum, a brain region associated with
processing rewards. It’s called
altruistic punishment. And it means that some people
enjoy keeping the peace even if there’s no other reward. Now, I know what you’re going
to say in the comments, so slow down. You’re going to very
politely write, “Dear Jamin. Lots of communities
suffer from trolls. And they do exactly
the same things. And none of it seems to
work, you [BLEEP] noob.” And you are correct because it’s
something much deeper than just discipline. “League of Legends” doesn’t
just punish those who do bad. It actually
encourages and trains them to become better
online citizens. As psychologist BF
Skinner has noted, there are two ways
to motivate people. You can punish them,
or you can reward them. Most communities only focus
on the negative– warnings, bans, things like that. But “League of
Legends” has decided to focus on the
positive, as well. So how do you incentivize
people to play nicely? Well, there’s the Honor
Initiative, a point system instituted last October. If you earn enough honor
from positive play, you get a fancy
crest to show people you’re an honorable chap. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] GAME CHARACTER: I
said good day, sir! [END PLAYBACK] I spoke to Daniel Molden,
an associate professor of social psychology
at Northwestern. And he told me that
the Honor Initiative does something very powerful. Although there are
no in-game benefits, honor establishes
your reputation. This may not seem like much. But in well-functioning
communities, reputation is the
basis of trust. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] PLAYER: I just got a ribbon. [HAPPY SQUEALING] [END PLAYBACK] In real life, there are lots of
social systems– like gossip– that let you quickly gauge
someone’s reputation. But when you’re
dealing with millions of anonymous online
players, you have to create a system
that lets you quickly know what someone’s rep is. And that’s what Riot’s
doing with the honor system. But they went even
further than that. In “League of Legends,”
good behavior– or at least cooperative behavior–
gives you the best chance that the most important
thing, winning. Winning. Think about the structure
of “League of Legends.” It’s not a
superstar-driven game. The team that’s working
together the best is normally the team that wins. There are more than 110
different champions. And they all do
different things. You could be a tank like
Rammus and take a lot of damage or a support player like Janna. Everyone has a job to do and
a lane to attack or defend. “League of Legends” players
even have a term for it, “playing the meta.” It’s just shorthand for
having a balanced team. This doesn’t mean, of
course, that everyone you meet in “League of Legends”
is going to be a good sport nor did Riot invent
the mobile genre. But they are working both
sides of Skinner’s equation. That’s what’s so fascinating. The game treats punishment
as a collective effort. It rewards players
with a good reputation. And, most importantly,
teamwork increases your chances of winning. Winning. And it looks like
Riot’s method is popping up elsewhere in games. Even “Call of Duty”–
the ultimate, selfish, army-of-one game– is
making some changes. Last year, Treyarch published
a list of bannable offenses in “Call of Duty Black Ops II.” [VIDEO PLAYBACK] PLAYER: [LAUGHTER] I
made him kill himself! [END PLAYBACK] But they also tweak
the multi player to reward certain types of team
behaviors, not just head shots. And perhaps “League of Legends”
approach should make its way outside the world of games. In the real world,
we see a lot of stick but not a lot of carrot. In school, if we’re bad,
we get sent to detention. But if we’re good, our reward is
not getting sent to detention? In fact, there’s a
great example of what a “League of Legends”
style system would look like in the real world
from Richmond, British Columbia. In 2002, the city
decided that it would give out positive
tickets for good behavior. This led to a 50% drop
in calls to the police. Next stop, replacing the
Hague with The Tribunal. So what do you think? Has “League of Legends”
figured out a way to inspire good citizenship? Or are we always destined
to suffer the trolls? Let us know in the comments. And if you like what you
saw, please subscribe. I’ll see you next week. [ELECTRONIC TONE] Last week, we talked about
violence in video games. Let’s check the comments
and see what you had to say. Cptstarcrunch1
wonders if we’d still be into violence if it
was as realistic as it is in real life. That’s an excellent point. Graphical violence, I
think, is a relative thing. I mean, people really freaked
out over “Death Race,” and it’s not really
that realistic. And I know, when I was
a kid, “Mortal Kombat” seemed really disgusting
but not so disgusting now. So I think it’ll always be
kind of a shifting scale. Regardless, games have a long
way to go compared to film. I mean, there’s some really,
really bloody films out there. Supersamurai9000 thinks that
violence is context specific, that it depends
on who’s playing. That’s an excellent,
excellent point. And it really depends on
what mindset you’re in. Some people sit down. They play “Call of Duty.” They just want to
blow off steam. Some people sit down
and play “Call of Duty” and they really want
to think about what’s happening or about
the interactions between the players. So, yeah. It’s really context
specific, totally right. TheJOKG points out that
violent video games have helped with collaboration skills. That’s awesome, great to hear. Chris Burnham points
out that violence is a staple in other
mediums, including storytelling like literature–
excellent, excellent point. I’d like to think that games are
part of that larger community. So, yeah. Sweet, cool, man. So a bunch of you pointed
out that my glasses don’t have lenses in them. You’re right. Look, these are the
ones I wear on camera. These are the ones
that I wear at home. See all the glare? That’s why I wear
lenseless glasses. Tiago Junges points out that
I look like Moss from “The IT Crowd,” AKA Richard Ayoade. All right, so I wasn’t in total
agreement about Toro y Moi one, but I will give you that one. [THEME MUSIC]