The wife went to a "Future of Social Gaming" seminar, to which I replied, "Tell the geniuses at the social gaming thing to make people suck less."
I was half serious, and as she always does, she ignores me when I'm being...being, well like me. Then last night, I'm playing League of Legends, which is a free-to-play competitive PvP game, and the dicks arrived. They started using the N-word, and dropping F-bombs, which is shorthand for, I'm a dick, and I'm going to let you know I'm a dick, and there is nothing you can do about my dickishness.
Then they started "feeding" which is a type of griefing in which a player lets the opposing team kill them over and over again, which in turn makes the opposing team more powerful because kills give experience and gold. So not only are the dicks being dicks with words, their actions are dicky as well.
So the half-serious quip becomes truth.
Now, to be fair to LoL, they have a reporting system (which is ineffective due to the number of complaints vs. the number of employees at their company), and they are implementing a democracy of sorts called the Tribunal System, where we the players may judge other players. Hopefully all of that works out. Perhaps heads will roll, and Viva La LoL! will save us from the dicks, but honestly, that is just sweeping the dicks to another place, somewhere else where they can continue to be dicks to other people (hopefully each other).
My observation about most attempts to corral the dicks away from "normal people" is that they tend to treat the symptoms. Yes, suspensions and bans work, about as well as prison does, which means it's too little too late. As proposed by Penny Arcade in this comic, what gives the dicks their power is the anonymous nature of social gaming. I mean, think about it, how can something be social if the people in question have no idea who they are being social with? Wouldn't that be called "anonymous gaming" or perhaps "gaming with strangers?"
Though the quick fix of attaching your real life information to your game avatar has serious issues, as evidenced by the World of Warcraft Real ID fiasco. So on one hand, we have anonymous dicks, and on the other, we have dicks IRL.
So I'll rehash here what I told my wife (seriously this time), because the entire future of social gaming depends on it--
Hey Geniuses: Fix the Dick Problem.