A paper I co-authored with Thomas Grace, and Katie Salen entitled “
Policies of Misconduct: A Content Analysis of Codes of Conduct for Online Multiplayer Games” will be presented and published at CHI-Play 2022.
Update: you can now read the full paper here:
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the conference in-person, but I am very much looking forward to attending virtually.
Here’s an abstract for the paper:
In this paper we searched the websites of 60 popular online multiplayer games to locate their codes of conduct and then performed a content analysis on 32 unique codes of conduct. Our analysis consisted of a two-cycle coding process including initial coding, and then pattern coding for clustering categories and themes together. Our aim was to better understand how game companies include codes of conduct on their websites and what content they include in the codes of conduct. The two-cycle coding process identified five main themes: (1) game company values, (2) expectations of players, (3) bad behaviors and rules, (4) moderation practices, and finally (5) document structure. Our findings suggest that codes of conduct are routinely inaccessible, if present at all, and that codes of conduct are often framed around punitive legal language that reflect policies of misconduct rather than expressing communal values and expectations. Our findings can help contribute towards community management in online games and make codes of conduct more accessible for all stakeholders in online gaming communities. We have also provided design recommendations and a design process that should help guide game companies looking to create value focused codes of conduct.