Why developers believe abusive vitriol is the cost of doing business with games

When is it appropriate to send verbal abuse to someone you don’t know personally? When is it appropriate to tell someone that you hope they lose their job or suffer significant personal injury? The obvious answer to these questions should all be “never,” and yet a new article by small indie developer Morgan Jaffit points out that in the game industry, dealing with vicious targeted abuse is part of the cost of doing business. Development across the board is dealing with people who feel that there is a point when all of this is appropriate, even if they differ on the circumstances when it’s appropriate.

Needless to say, this has a pretty huge impact on development, and it spills over to related fields. (Is it appropriate to say awful things to a community manager over a feature you don’t like when the community manager is not a developer and had nothing to do with it?) The article cites the omnipresence of social media and the popularity of personalities who “tell it like it is” (read: spew invective and curses at top volume), and it’s the sort of thing that everyone who cares about the future of games should read and consider.

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EVE Online’s Project Discovery gets an update to combat abuse

It’s been a while since EVE Online released its Project Discovery minigame that rewards players for participating in real-world scientific research into cell biology. The project organisers at the Human Protein Atlas have been taking player feedback on board and have released an update designed to combat abuse of the system. The update is a response to the discovery that players could advance in rank and farm rewards from the project by rapidly selecting responses even if they weren’t correct.

To reduce the exploitability of the mini-game, developers have increased the number of training images with known results that are displayed to users and will calculate the player’s accuracy rating on only these images. Players have pointed out that these changes may not be enough to prevent the system from being exploited, as the training images are usually very obvious and can be predicted from the sample’s ID. Developers promise that the sample ID will be hidden from users in a future update, and further changes may be made based on feedback.

Source: EVE Forum