The League of Legends community is often perceived as being unsporting, to put it mildly, but Riot Games announced that it will reward players who played nice in 2014.
Positive League of Legends players will be getting a Mystery Gift in the next few days. This is Riot’s way of saying “thank you” for making the online realm a better place. To earn a spot on the list, players must not have received a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban or permanent ban in 2014. There must also be 10 skins that they don’t own and they must be Level 5.
RiotLyte further explained the reward in a Reddit post:
“One, a few players are wondering why we are giving out an extrinsic (tangible!) reward for positive behavior when they might have heard we were against it in the past. This is a misunderstanding! We've always said that our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement. There's no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix of punishments and rewards. You can read more about our design philosophies here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/player-behavior/exploring-player-behavior-design-values
However, to give more context about this extrinsic reward, the key is that it is a surprise and not deterministic. What I mean by this is that it isn't some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift. If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.”
Interestingly, they added that Riot will be surprising players every so often over the course of 2015. RiotLyte said “Because players aren't sure what the next reward is (or when it is), players will strive to be sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises. For positive players in the game, this won't really affect them and they'll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise.”
Here’s hoping that this positive reinforcement approach pays off.