Q&A with Riot's Jeffrey Lin, Ph.D.

on Jul 2, 2013
As part of our coverage of this year's Game Developers Conference, I offered a summary of Jeffrey Lin's (Lead Designer of Social Systems for Riot Games) talk on research-informed design and his teams's work managing toxic player behavior in League...

GDC: Riot Experimentally Investigates Online Toxic...

on Mar 31, 2013
Riot Games has gotten a fair amount of press in recent months regarding their empirically-based research on the nature of “toxic” player behavior in League of Legends.  As a result, I wasn’t surprised to find standing room only for Jeffrey...

Making failure less fail in World of Warcraft

on Dec 26, 2012
In my time doing a World of Warcraft ethnography, I have had to acquire many skills; perhaps the most valuable of these was the fine art of failure. Let's back up. I've been reading John Ferrara's Playful Design: Creating Game Experiences in...

How to Reduce Antisocial Behavior

on Nov 2, 2012
Recently Bungie (Halo 4)  and NCsoft (Guild wars 2) have both taken a very aggressive stance on antisocial behavior in chat channels. Both companies have begun to ban players who use hate speech. Now, as far as I can tell banning such behavior can...

Virtual Economies: Is less information better?

on Jun 26, 2012
In the first of his promised weekly reports, Yanis Varoufakis, Valve’s new economist-in-residence, released his first analysis of a Valve game economy on Friday. In his inaugural post, Mr. Varoufakis analyzes the persistent opportunities for...

Community in Games an Interview with Ron Meiners

on May 1, 2012
During a recent trip to San Francisco, Jim Cummings and I had the privilege of sitting down with veteran community manager Ron Meiners. Ron has worked in online community for fifteen plus years, from Myst to Burning Man, from Splinter Cell 3 to The...