While developers are often credited with doing their best to punish bad player behavior and cheating within their online gaming communities, it's rare that anyone gets rewarded or even acknowledged for engaging in good and often helpful behavior. Riot Games hopes to change that with a new "Honor System" for its popular MOBA game League of Legends. Below are the details from the League of Legend forums:
"We here at Riot have been hard at work trying to improve player behavior in League of Legends. Historically, we’ve reacted to toxic players through systems like LeaverBuster and the Tribunal that are great at identifying and punishing the worst of worst. However, players will often challenge Team Player Behavior and say, “Dr. Lyte, how are you a doctor?? Don’t know you know that positive reinforcement can also improve player behavior?” We agree with you! We know that we have a great community, but we haven’t done a great job providing tools to empower this community to proactively be even more awesome.
Today, we’d like to introduce Honor, our positive feedback initiative. We’re well versed in research done on concepts in psychology such as positive reinforcement and how it can improve behaviors, and we’ve also found that some of the most meaningful, memorable moments in League come from the positive interactions players have with each other. Everyone’s had one of these days: You are struggling in a game and find yourself in a situation where a teammate could have easily trolled or flamed you, but instead goes out of his way to be a helpful, compassionate team-player. He says, “Hey, don’t worry about the first blood.” You may not friend this player or ever play with him again, but this small, kind gesture made a difference and is something you remembered.
Through Honor you’ll be able to give something lasting back to those players who went out of their way to make your game experience better. Keep an eye out for Honor with the next PBE update, and expect to hear more about it in an upcoming patch!"