Friday, February 01, 2013

Modifying Game Player Behavior Using Positive Reinforcement

What does a game developer do when its players have a bit of a reputation for being insufferable jerks? It hires a team of psychologists to tackle complex behavior modification problems with one of the oldest tricks in the book...I recently learned about efforts by Riot Games, makers of League of Legends, aimed at improving player behavior. Riot actually has a "Player Behavior Team" consisting of psychologists, human factors specialists, statisticians, and similarly educated folks who stand around in lab coats and experiment with ways to make League of Legends players act with greater sportsmanship. It's a hugely complex problem, but Riot seems to be using a simple behavior modification trick straight out of Psych 101 to tackle it: operant conditioning through positive reinforcement of desirable behavior. more

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