Gabe Newell Has The Perfect Solution For Online Gaming Trolls

Online gaming is a total crapshoot, mainly thanks to the 50/50 chance that the random strangers who join your game turn out to be professional jerks out to cheat, insult or generally annoy the hell out of everything they encounter. The problem is bad enough that I reserve my online gaming strictly to my friends except under very rare circumstances. Valve’s Gabe Newell agrees and in an interview with Develop, he offered a novel solution to the problem. In short: enforce an @sshole tax.

We need to give customers, all of them, a robust set of options regarding how they pay for their content.

An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with. Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community.

So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.

He’s probably (mostly) kidding but it’s a fantastic idea, kind of a digital swear jar that hits idiots in the one place they’ll actually notice – their bank accounts. Imagine how awesome it would be for 12 year old homophobes to have to explain to their moms why their XBLA habit suddenly jumped 50% in price.

There’s much more worth reading, and you can do so over at Develop’s full interview.

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2 Comments on Gabe Newell Has The Perfect Solution For Online Gaming Trolls


On May 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

It kind of is a funny idea.

But then again, behavior is a doubled edged sword in this case. People who get upset over a word shouldn’t be playing if they can’t handle it. But often times you get child-minded powerhungry admins that ban and abuse power at the drop of a hat, even if you try to reason with them. Those folks who ruin experiences based on users not following their overly strict rules, or other pointless admin-sucking-off exercises.

Either way, dropping an N bomb shouldn’t result in people crying like children over a word (usually white kids, at that) let alone bannings/extra fees.


On May 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I’m already scared for poeple who are actually good at the games they play. So many players who ain’t trolls will be using this system against the players that are better then them to report them.

Are you ready to pay more for ModernWarfare3 because you badly outskilled players in Mordern Warfare2.

Concept is good. It’s just really hard to apply it without flaws for people to abuse. People will abuse, always did, always will.