Battlefield V is a month away from launch, and the game’s developer DICE has decided they want to study toxic behavior in their game when it launches.
The job posting (Archive link: http://archive.is/tDk1i) reads as follows:
“We want everyone to have fun playing Battlefield and participating in its community. Occasionally some players will behave… less than great though. This projects aim is to give engineers and producers a deeper insight into our players behavior on the Battlefield to help deliver a better experience for everyone.
- What type of disruptive behavior do we see in Battlefield today?
- What drives or triggers people to disrupt other players games?
- How can we prevent disruptive behavior in our titles and community?
- What are some experiments we could conduct to measure benefits of punishing bad or rewarding good behavior?
An objective thinker with a passion for games is preferred. The Master Thesis needs to be associated with a Swedish University education or any other type of education that has a Master Thesis or internship period planned into the curriculum, in an area of study in human behavior such as psychology, medicine etc. Please apply online with a CV and Cover letter in English.”
As you can see by the job description this is part of a Master Thesis program and is unpaid in DICE’s Stockholm, Sweden office. This type of program is similar to programs in the United States where schools partner with companies and non-profits in exchange for school credit. I did something similar to this many moons ago when I worked in a congressional office in exchange for credit hours towards my own degree plan.
This is a brand new ripple in the video game industry. Multiple media outlets have been hounding the major publishers to punish behavior they deem “toxic.” And a number of the gaming companies have follower suit. We’ve seen Ubisoft ban users for language they deem toxic. EA/DICE implemented their own censorship during the [easyazon_link identifier=”B07FKVZD39″ locale=”US” tag=”boundingintocomics-20″]Battlefield V[/easyazon_link] beta.
The conversation surrounding video games usually involved its connection to real life violence. Numerous academic studies indicate there is a lack of connection. Given the facts seem to have won in that argument, the next line appears to be the language and behavior people use while playing video games. And it looks like the folks at EA/DICE are looking into controlling people’s behavior. Their last questions specifically states they want this person to come up with a number of experiments to measure punishing bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. That sounds a whole lot like treating your players as children or your pet.
This isn’t a good look for the company especially considering their recent actions where they disrespected and insulted their customers, which might have impacted their pre-sales for the game.
What do you think of this job posting? Is this a great way for someone to get their feet wet in the field of gaming/human behavior? Or is there something a bit more nefarious going on?