In March of last year, a whole truckton of video game companies announced the formation of what they called the Fair Play Alliance, a group intended to “provide an open forum for the games industry to collaborate on research and best practices that encourage fair play and healthy communities in online gaming” in “a world where games are free of harassment, discrimination, and abuse, and where players can express themselves through play.”
We haven’t heard a whole lot out of the group as a whole since, but its individual member companies are pushing forward, and that includes Electronic Arts. This week the company held a Building Healthy Communities Summit at its E3 shindig, stuffed with both experts and influencers discussing toxicity and community. Ultimately, the company says, the summit was a “pressure test” for its three-pronged plan, and it’s working on a developing a “Building Healthy Communities Player Council,” new tools for combating toxicity, and reporting on its progress.
Of course, this isn’t the first video game company making lots of noise about cleaning up the gunk at the bottom of the gaming community’s player well; a quick skim of our toxicity tag shows everyone from Blizzard to Ubisoft claiming to make it a priority in recent years. And as GIbiz implies, talking up toxicity efforts while one of your major sponsored community members was just booted off Twitch for filming people in bathrooms maybe isn’t the best timing, but it’s something.