World of Warcraft wants you to promise you’ll be nice to people

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World of Warcraft wants you to agree to be nice to other players with the introduction of a social contract.

It was introduced in the PTR a couple of weeks ago and was fully implemented with patch 9.2.5 which landed earlier this week. “Azeroth is a living world full of people like you—other players with different backgrounds, cultures, experiences and histories who have all come together to play World of Warcraft,” the contract’s introduction reads. “Every player deserves to have a world that they feel safe in, so please take a minute to read our social contract.”

It’s pretty standard fare: make friends, be nice in dungeons, communicate and behave appropriately, maybe chuck a struggling newbie a heal or lend a hand in defeating enemies. It also goes over some unacceptable behaviours, such as hate speech, spamming, harassment or general abusive language towards other players.

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It feels like something between a gentle reminder and a stern warning against toxic behaviour. It’s mostly the sort of thing you already find buried deep into a game’s terms of service, now given its own spotlight. While that hasn’t stopped some players from getting their knickers in a twist about the entire situation, most players appear either pretty receptive or largely apathetic to the change. 

Checking “I agree” on a box is unlikely to create any wider changes to some of WoW’s core toxicity problems unless Blizzard starts to take it more seriously. Hopefully, the social contract is a sign of that and we’ll start to see some enforcements for crappy behaviour.

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