As some of us already know, Acclaim games are monitored by authorities in some critical key points to online communities.
Federal Trade Commission released the results of a congressionally mandated report looking into incidence of sexually and violently explicit content in online virtual worlds. Its Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks study, a nine-month investigation led by FTC attorney Phyllis H. Marcus, was critical.
The FTC found that despite the “educational, social, and creative opportunities” virtual worlds offer, explicit sexual content exists “free of charge, in online virtual worlds that minors are able to access.”
In response to the report’s findings, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz was himself explicit. In a statement accompanying the report’s release he said, “It is far too easy for children and young teens to access explicit content in some of these virtual worlds…The time is ripe for these companies to grow up and implement better practices to protect kids.”
In the FTC report made for American Congress ( ‘here’ ) we find the below statements about Acclaim games :
The Commission observed five instances of explicit content when registered as a child in Bots. Four of these observations were of sexually explicit content, and one was of violently explicit content. In addition, the Commission observed two instances of explicit content, both violent, when registered in Bots as an adult. All of the explicit content observed in Bots was text-based.
The Commission found only sexually explicit content in Dofus and Neopets; only violently explicit content in 9 Dragons, Adventure Quest, and My Diva Doll; and both sexually and violently explicit content in Bots and Stardoll.
Again, the only child-oriented world in which the Commission observed explicit content when registered as a child was Bots.
In visiting each online virtual world studied, the Commission’s researchers did not put themselves in the place of an average virtual world user. Instead, the researchers were specifically instructed to search for as many different types of explicit content as possible in the time allotted, performing key word searches using explicit terms, looking for explicitly-themed discussion forums and chat rooms, and observing explicit avatar chat.
Directed to explore for sexually explicit content and violently explicit content for set amounts of time, utilizing any means possible, the researchers did so registered as adults, then registered as teens, and finally registered as children. They recorded their efforts using Camtasia software and in an extensive Access database form, then their findings were replicated by another researcher to ensure a “99.5% accuracy.” Findings are reported in text accompanied by charts and tables, with screenshots of registration screens and more.
The commission made five recommendations to virtual world operators to “reduce the risk of youth exposure to explicit content,” which were:
1. Use more effective age-screening mechanisms to prevent children from registering in adult virtual worlds;
2. Use or enhance age-segregation techniques to make sure that people interact only with others in their age group;
3. Re-examine language filters to ensure that they detect and eliminate messages that violate rules of behavior in virtual worlds;
4. Provide more guidance to community enforcers in virtual worlds so they are better able to review and rate virtual world content, report potential underage users, and report any users who appear to be violating rules of behavior; and
5. Employ a staff of specially trained moderators who are equipped to take swift action against rule violations.
The Commission vote to approve the report was 4-0.
Scored no? The authors of this blog, debate and wrote in many lines and terms – critic, ironic, libel, humoristic- about 9Dragons problems when comes to communicate, moderate and master an online community. FTC report only strengthens what we said in many posts in here. Let’s remember some of my favourite titles : ‘Mods, the bugs in the system’ , ‘Manipulative shortcuts on 9D board’, ‘drakenfyre & the trolls: part 1 & part 2‘ , ‘Psyche the…team’, ‘ Acclaim Communication’, ‘BluFlash in 10 steps’, ‘Where you find help on Acclaim?‘, ‘drakenfyre75 : love, anime & vampires‘, ‘Puppet’s Revenge’, ‘Survey the community’, ‘Bored’, ‘Official Acclaim products : primates’, ‘The future of 9dragons’, VGM Policy&Standards (what we don’t know), VGM Affidavit of Eligibility and Release, not legal?, Unjust bans and others issues, Disrespect to old players, ‘The credibility of Acclaim’, Acclaim the land of all…. , Acclaim bureaucracy… Fugen meets his angry players, 1 & 2, The hate speech against romanians part 1 & 2 Fugen knows no professionalism, Easter Bunny brings veterans war with Acclaim analphabets, azninpo harassed by smoothru, drakenfyre75 vs grammar ninja, Vagabond event…, Hermit & Fugen, the brothers Grimm, Acclaim Games an G from BBB…AND MANY OTHERS.
So, let’s say congratulations to 9DRAGONS OFFICIAL TEAM for how ‘professional’ they manage the community, ending as negative example in US Congress. Only Hermit, Fugen (let’s not forget BluFlash and Historian, Fugen is ‘new’, but he do the things in same way), drakenfyre aka 9D Bleez or whatever she calls herself now and the full bunch of anime, manga, vampire freaks aka the ‘muppets official team’ can have such a performance. Clap hands for you all, you deserve it!
I bet the next nomination for Acclaim, 9Dragons in US Congress will be for ‘DISCRIMINATION’ award. Browsing the 9dragons forum I sow some nice posts in which romanian community leaders points fingers to Acclaim because they don’t take enough measures and are passive against romanian community discrimination : ‘Romanian community of 9d’, ‘Romanian people are not rotards’. The answer from 9dragons official team in those posts was ‘0’. Fugen didn’t even bother to give an answer in General post and start a campaign against that kind of ‘hate speech’ against the players of a nation. In february 2010, our blog wrote about this… ‘ The hate speech against romanians’, ending up with official sorry from the player who started this on 9d forum. Since february 2010 seems that the ‘hate speech’ is not fought at all, but let it multiply.