When Code Governs Community

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Kou, Yubo
Gui, Xinning
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Abstract
We present a qualitative study of governance in the community of League of Legends, a popular Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Riot Games. To cope with toxic behaviors such as griefing and flaming, Riot Games initially implemented a crowdsourcing system inviting players to participate in governing their own community. However, in May, 2014, they automated the system, relying heavily on code while minimizing the level of human participation. We analyzed both players’ and Riot Games’ narratives to understand their attitudes towards the relationship between human judgment and automation, as well as between alienation and community. We found stark differences between players and Riot Games in terms of attitudes towards code and value in designing online governance. We discuss how the design of governance might impact online community.
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Keywords
Multiplayer online battle arena, toxic behavior, governance, crowdsourcing, automation
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