From tea bagging to tap dancing
With Halo, Bungie introduced a lot of what defines console shooters. Two weapon slots, stable online play, as well as whole host of other less than desirable online behavior. Speaking with Edge, Bungie’s Chris Butcher admits that, “If you look back at online multiplayer gaming for the last ten years I think the dominant thread has been adolescent males shooting each other in the face and squatting on each others corpses.”
With Destiny, Bungie is making an effort to encourage more cooperative and sporting behavior. For starters, every user will have a series of emotes mapped to their D-pad, allowing you to salute, dance, wave, among others. Of course doing a little dance instead of tea-bagging won’t be enough to curb the trolls, which is why the highly touted public events will have safeguards set in place to deal with griefers. The details on these remain nebulous, so fingers crossed this is more than a revamped reporting system.
Ultimately, it’s hard to expect any measures to be totally impervious, but it is nice to see these types of issues actually addressed in a game’s design. As Butcher puts it, “I don’t think you can ever design toxic behavior out, you can’t ever stop players from being toxic but what you can do is prevent them being able to ruin other players’ experiences.”