Thursday, 3 December 2015

MMO Agendas: Rehabilitation vs. Punishment

[Part of my MMO Design Folder]

Based on the ATITD Test of the Coalition I thought it might be fun to see how the rest of you feel about the following agendas when it comes to MMOs. I not only invite but encourage you to post your own thoughts on your respective blogs or if it's more convenient, in the comment section below.

Today's Agenda: Rehabilitation vs. Punishment

When someone gets caught breaking the laws in your game, how many chances do you think they should get before receiving a severe, game-ending punishment? Perma-bans are rather rare these days as companies only see dollar signs but pretend money wasn't an issue and you had it your way.

For me, that number is zero. Any crime, no matter how mundane or severe should be result in immediate perma-ban. Forever. And possibly black list that registration email / person from any other games from that publisher. While I might be swayed on some instances to give people a second chance, there is nothing that will ever grant anyone a third.

How strict or lenient would you be?


  1. See, now this one is tricky. In real life, I'd definitely say Rehabilitation over Punishment, as if you can reintegrate the person into society, they are less likely to feel like they have no avenue but crime.

    In a game though, I'd still say that -proper- rehabilitation means designing systems so that there's no incentive to engage in undesirable behavior, so that you don't even have to punish because a) they just can't do whatever it is they want to do, and/or b) receive no reward/feedback from the action.

    If the company is incapable of implementing proper rehabilitation (and it's much harder than punitive punishments, certainly), then yeah, ban away.

    Though imo, the ban is less about punitive punishment for the transgessing individual (they probably don't care, enjoy the attention or the rewards from whatever they were doing, and will just buy another account to do it all over again) and more about just trying to protect the rest of the population from whatever said individual was doing.

    Oh, and taxing the guy for transgessing is a bonus.

    1. Hehe if games only had said systems in place right? To be fair it's hard to cater for natural douche bags. I suppose if perma bans are off the table then the idea of taxing perpetrators is a pretty good alternative. :)