Sony Teases Shadow Banning System For PSVR In New Patent

The new system would allow the company to shadow ban VR players based on their gestures and language.

According to a patent submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month, Sony is working on a new system that would allow the company to shadow ban players on the PlayStation VR platform.

Shadow banning, aka “stealth banning” or “ghost banning,” is a method used by developers to immediately and discretely ban players from online communities without notification or warning. Oftentimes, affected players aren’t immediately aware they’ve been banned, hence the term “shadow banning.”

Image Credit: Sony PlayStation

First discovered by Game Rant, the patent, “Shadow banning in social VR setting,” would allow Sony to drop the ban hammer on “griefers” based on their in-game actions. Whereas conventional video game developers may ban players based on their language, whether it be via text or voice chat, banning players in VR is a far more complex process due to the inherent physicality afforded by immersive technologies.

This system would allow Sony to track inappropriate actions made by players and ban them based on their in-game gestures, such as their specific movements and proximity to other players, as well as their comments. For each infraction made, a players’ “safety rating” increases. Once said player has reached the designated safety threshold, the system automatically shadow bans the offending party.

Image Credit: United States Patent & Trademark Office

The Abstract states: “Shadow banning a participant within a social VR system includes: receiving and forwarding an identity of the participant, who may be shadow banned; recognizing and tracking inappropriate behaviors including inappropriate language and comments, inappropriate gestures, and inappropriate movements; receiving and processing the recognized and tracked inappropriate behaviors of the participant; generating a safety rating based on the processed inappropriate behaviors; comparing the safety rating to a threshold value; and outputting a signal to label the participant as a griefer and shadow ban the griefer when the safety rating is greater than the threshold value.”

For more information you can check out the full patent listing here.

Feature Image Credit: Sony PlayStation

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Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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