I, for one, am interested to see how this plays out, beginning with the social contract acceptance window upon logging in. I’m wondering whether it will be a collection of concise statements (with some educative value for those unaware) or some unruly wall of text, reminiscent of any ToS most just blindly accept. I think if it’s the latter, this entire exercise is just a means to further legitimize the ban bat and not truly aimed at improving player behavior. Either way, I’m guessing we’ll see, this evening?
I believe the bigger issue, however, is not what we players actually see but, rather, what goes on after we send a report. Historically, I think enforcement has been inconsistent. Over the years, I’m sure many of us have seen people get away with bloody murder, griefing, spamming, yelling obscenities, bullying, etc., with seeming impunity. This is not to mention the botting boomchickens that litter the landscape…or skycoach, wowcarry, and their ilk that infect our LFG on a daily basis. But your friend types characters that translate into something about an orc mother’s rear to the Horde during PvP, and he gets the ban bat for a week. (Oddly specific, I know.)
Now, I don’t know exactly what is going on behind the scenes, because…I don’t work for Blizzard. However, given what we do see (i.e. the results of that behind-the-scenes goings on), I tend to believe that Blizzard likely does not employ enough people to moderate effectively; staffing is not commensurate to the workload. Given that I’ve had some very…special…interactions (not even disciplinary) with GMs, myself, and I’m guessing a great many of you have, as well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that consistent training and oversight are likely lacking. Moreover, I don’t mean to suggest that it’s the GMs’ faults, because I would also assume that, as an organization, Blizzard may not have clearly set standards for enforcement…or even behavioral expectations for interactions with consumers.
As I said, I’m interested to see how this plays out, but I’m not sure labeling consumers as the problem, as undesirables that need to be purged, is the way to go. That sort of jumps all the other steps of effectively managing people.
- Clearly state expectations.
- Identify performance issues.
- Identify the cause of the issue. (Is the person unable to meet standards? If so, educate, train, offer assistance/accommodations, etc. Is the person unwilling to meet standards? If so, proceed to progressive disciplinary action, while attempting to maintain a positive rapport.)
- Terminate the relationship as a last resort.