Player rating systems

Peer-2-peer rating systems work quite well in systems like eBay and Slashdot.

But they do so because User A has no real interest in User B’s future. In brief: A has no real reason to be dishonest.

Not so for online gamers. Here a rating can be used strategically. You may get angry with someone, but you may also see a personal advantage (in terms of relative score) in bad-mouthing that person.

Thus, we essentially need a system which can

  • distinguish between fair and unfair ratings OR
  • in which ratings cannot be used strategically

But what on Earth, I ask you, would that look like?

What about (just brainstorming):

  • Limited number of total karma points (you can’t just toss them aroud for the heck of it)
  • A player can only give a limited amount of points to any given player (to minimize the consequence of evil ratings)
  • The rating is given secretively (you can’t trust/threaten someone to be nice if you are)
  • Karma points cannot be given at all until you’re fairly high-level (or whatever) to avoid people making dummy accounts to boost their own rating
  • You only see ratings of your friends (or those you’ve rated positively) so the truthfulness of your rating actually affects your friends

Any good ideas?

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