- Sony Interactive Entertainment may potentially be working on a system to analyse player behaviour in online multiplayer video games to determine whether it is abusive or praiseworthy and punish or reward the player for it accordingly.
- The system analyses player behaviour based on several factors, like chat comments made by the player, the player’s profile, and the help provided to other players, and compares the probability that the behaviour is praiseworthy to the probability that the behaviour is abusive to classify.
- For praiseworthy players, the system may provide virtual points, accolades and medals as a reward, and for abusive players, the system may notify the accused players and potentially restrict their access to certain features.
- The system may also provide accused players with an option to appeal and have their report manually reviewed by a moderator to make the final decision if they believe the system inaccurately determined them for abusive behaviour.
Earlier today, we came across a recently published patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment titled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR VERIFYING ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A PLAY OF A GAME,” filed in September 2022 under the name of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. The patent, published earlier this week, describes a system for monitoring the online behaviour of players in multiplayer video games, receiving and analysing characterisations of the behaviour as being praiseworthy or abusive, and implementing actions based on the determination of accuracy.
This system is primarily aimed at determining whether the characterisation of the player is accurate or confirming that the characterisation of the player is praiseworthy, but it also mentions punishments and rewards for associated players and providing feedback and an option for appeal.
“A method for verifying behavior associated with play of a game is described. The method includes receiving a characterization of a first player from a user account as being abusive and accessing a recording of the behavior of the first player stored for a pre-determined time period in response to receiving the characterization of the first player,” reads the abstract for the patent.
“The method further includes analyzing, by an artificial intelligence model, the behavior of the first player to determine whether the behavior is abusive. The operation of analyzing whether the behavior of the first player is abusive is performed to determine whether the characterization of the first player is accurate.”
According to the claims made by the patent, the online behaviour of players in multiplayer video games is analysed based on several chat comments made by the player, the player’s profile, the help provided to other players, or a combination of these factors.
It also adds that the method includes receiving a characterisation of the player as being abusive from another player’s account and recording additional online behaviour, and further analysis may be performed on the recording of additional online behaviour.
Additionally, the analysis includes comparing the probability that the behaviour is praiseworthy to the probability that the behaviour is abusive and making a determination of accuracy based on this comparison.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, the patent also mentions rewarding players whose online behaviour is accurately determined to be praiseworthy. As it clarifies, “implementing the online action directed towards the first game player includes providing virtual points to a user account assigned to the first game player.”
In addition to virtual points, the system may reward praiseworthy players with accolades and medals, as suggested by the flowchart mentioned in the patent. Likewise, if the online behaviour of the player is accurately determined to be abusive, they may receive feedback regarding it.
Additionally, players accused of abusive behaviour in online multiplayer video games may be provided with an option to appeal the determination of the characterisation by the system, which, at that point, would be manually reviewed by a human moderator for legitimacy.
Players who have been accurately determined for abusive behaviour in online multiplayer video games would, accordingly, receive notifications with messages like, “You have been reported as an abusive player” or “User ID2 has reported you as an abusive player,” with of course, an option to appeal with a message like, “You can appeal this report.”
Likewise, once the human moderator has reviewed the appeal and has decided whether to agree with the explanation or not, the players would also receive a final decision after the manual review. On the other hand, players that would have reported the abusive players may also receive notifications about the progress of the report and the decision taken accordingly.
However, if the abusive behaviour is detected even by the human moderator, accused players would, likewise, be punished with actions like “a notification to take further action against the player 1 or to cancel the user account 1 or prohibit game play by the player 1 or a combination thereof.”
This patent could potentially lead to an innovative and effective method of managing player behaviour in online multiplayer video games. It could provide a more efficient and accurate way of dealing with abusive players while rewarding players who exhibit praiseworthy behaviour. However, it is important to note that the patent is, well, a patent, and it is not clear yet when or if Sony Interactive Entertainment will implement this system into its video game franchises.
While this patent is a significant development in online multiplayer video games, and it will be intriguing to see how Sony Interactive Entertainment chooses to utilise the system in the future, the potential implementation of this system would raise questions about privacy, as well as the accuracy and fairness of the artificial intelligence model used to analyse player behaviour.
What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!
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