EA is setting a path toward better online interactions with its new Positive Play Charter.
Unveiled the day before the big EA Play Live event, the Positive Play Charter is a document that lays out EA's expectations for players of its games and members of its online communities. It's basically a code of conduct that's written to be clear for the layperson rather than a wall-of-text Terms of Service that's written to be enforceable for the legal team.
"The last few weeks have been a stark reminder that we have a responsibility to stay vigilant in this effort," EA wrote in a news post explaining the charter. "We won’t tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, harassment or any form of abuse. We can build better, healthier communities inside - and outside - our games, and that’s what we are here to do. Last week we included important anti-racism messaging in many of our games, reaching millions of players. Every step towards a healthier community is a positive one."
When we all take on toxicity, we can create positive experiences, interactions, communities. Learn more about our Positive Play Charter: https://t.co/vt1c29IcCM pic.twitter.com/sTOKAVGzxOJune 17, 2020
The EA Positive Play Charter comprises four main points: treat others as they would like to be treated, keep things fair, share clean content, and follow local laws. It drills down to further specific examples of what you should and shouldn't do, like using reporting tools to call out toxic behavior and not being, well, "a jerk". Thankfully, it does get even more specific on that fairly open-ended term, though it's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.
It all sounds nice, but what's EA doing to make sure jerks listen? The Consequences section warns that breaking any of its Community Guidelines or User Agreement could result in a short-term ban or suspension - while repeat or severe offenders could have all of their EA accounts permanently banned.
This seems like a restatement of EA's values and expectations rather than a bold new initiative. Thankfully, EA also says it's "applying additional resources and tools" to its moderation teams and abuse reporting programs. Charters are nice, but hard work at the community level is the only way to make sure spaces remain tolerant of everything but intolerance.
Petitions, donations, education - there are plenty of ways to help the cause of Black Lives Matter.