Getting grief online? Here's how to deal with it...
We love online play at PS3 Attitude. The PlayStation Network is so easily accessed in almost every title on the platform, and we don't have to pay any monthly subscription to use it.
But 'the Network' it isn't always a good place to be.
Every now and then one of us will be playing our favourite game only to have it ruined by some fool who has decided that their headset or PS Eye should be used as a tool to spread their bigotted, vile nonsense to whoever is playing at the time.
The good news is that you don't have to just sit there and listen to it. If the nastiness is directed at you, you don't have to put up with it.
But do be clear about what you are dealing with. There is a difference between someone getting a little angry at being fragged for the 50th time or crashing their car into a wall 30 yards from the finish line, and someone who needs to be dealt with.
Here's a few ideas about what should not be tolerated whilst playing online:
- Sexual harassment
- Racial abuse
- Religious Abuse
- Cultural abuse
So here is a guide to how to best deal with the issue and what you should do next:
1. Don't fight hate with hate
If someone is hurling racial or sexual abuse at an individual or the group, by all means ask them to stop in a calm manner. If they don't stop, ask everyone else in the game to quit that session, quit out of it yourself and go find a session that doesn't include the abusive person. Before you quit, take a note of their PSN ID, the date and the time. If they track you down to start up again, add 'Stalking' to the list of things they were doing online.
2. Carry on playing
Gaming is about having fun, so by all means find a different session and carry on gaming, or switch games for a while. The good news is that the idiots haven't taken over the asylum - abusers and griefers are a minority and you are likely to find that you can put the incident behind you for now and carry on having fun online.
3. Report the abuser
Once you're done, or the next day if necessary, report the person. Don't just let them get away with it.
Sony allow you to report anyone playing a First-party title using their Grief Reporting system.
Some third-party developers provide their own mechanisms for now since there is a lack of a standard reporting system inside the PS3's firmware, but we could only find the instructions for EA at the time of writing, which is a shame.
Here's how to make sure the offending person is dealt with:
Visit the PlayStation Grief Reporting website and complete the form.
PlayStation Network abuse
If someone uses the chat facility or another part of the PSN (i.e. when you're not playing a game) there is a PSN Complaint Form you can complete.
- Visit http://support.ea.com and click 'Contact Us'.
- In the Platform & Game drop-down menu, select Sony PlayStation 3, then select the game you were playing (Burnout Paradise, for example).
- In the Category drop-down menu, select Technical Support, then select Connectivity & Lag.
- In the Question text field, provide the following information - 1. Your PLAYSTATION Network Account name and the e-mail address associated with the account - 2. The suspect's PLAYSTATION Network Account name - 3. A detailed explanation of the incident: (i.e., what happened, when it occurred, etc.)
As we discover more abuse reporting systems for third-party developers, we'll update this story.
In the meantime have fun and enjoy the Network. If we all do something positive about the minority, they will find that the PSN is not a place for them to ply their nonsense and abuse.