Know Your Customer (KYC) policies have become the regulatory standard across a number of industries, notably in financial services. As organizations look to gain better visibility into who their customers are and the risks associated with serving them, it’s become apparent that many other industries can benefit from enacting these types of policies.
More specifically, the gaming industry is a community-based environment that thrives on the contributions of its players. But, at the same time, bullying, harassment, trolling, and other mistreatment from bad actors are now commonplace in gaming, posing potential risks for those who participate honestly.
With Know Your Gamer (KYG) policies, gaming companies can accurately verify the identities of those who are active on their sites. By implementing identity verification platforms, these companies can lessen their exposure to bad actors who want to sabotage the game or are looking to defraud the platform or other players. As you continue reading below, we will discuss the importance of KYG policies and explore some of the possible benefits they can provide to both gaming companies and their players.
The Significance of KYG Policies in the Gaming Industry
The popularity of the online gaming world is nothing new; however, as the world becomes increasingly more connected and technology advances, more people participate in the gaming industry than ever before. According to some estimates, about 3.09 billion people around the world are active video gamers.
It’s true that many gamers are drawn to the excitement of individual games and the challenges and exploration that come with them. But, community building and connecting with players from around the globe is also a major aspect of gaming. These virtual communities don’t come without controversy, though, as some have accused them of being breeding grounds for racism, bigotry, and hate speech. In fact, a July 2022 study notes that 86% of gamers had encountered online harassment.
There are many possible explanations for these troubling conditions, including the veil of anonymity that gamers feel they have or the lack of enforcement due to the large prevalence of such incidents. Even if players’ accounts are banned after violating the game’s code of conduct, oftentimes they can easily create a new account and rejoin the community with a different username, avatar, and email and resume their malicious activity.
In other words, gaming platforms themselves have often struggled with discovering ways to prevent these types of toxic environments from forming in the first place. That’s where KYG policies come into play. They can help gaming platforms establish security within their communities, ensuring that they’re able to verify the identities of their players upon account creation. Enacting these policies can keep players more accountable, and foster a sense of trust and safety as players interact with one another on the platform.
Ensuring a Safe Gaming Environment: 4 Benefits of KYG Policies
KYG policies can provide a wealth of benefits to both gaming companies and legitimate players. They can discourage malicious activities, and encourage responsible gaming behavior. Below, we will explore some of the specific advantages that KYG policies provide to the gaming community.
- Preventing Fraud and Cheating
Cheating and fraud in online games are quite prevalent, creating an unfair or discouraging environment for the players that are following the rules. But, with KYG policies, gaming platforms can better deter cheating and ensure fair play among all users.
If players feel like there will be real consequences for their actions, and that they won’t be able to simply create another account under a new username or email address, they will likely be more willing to abide by the platform’s rules for fears of being permanently banned.
- Protecting Minors
The goal of age restrictions within games is to keep minors safe from inappropriate or harmful content. Thus, KYG policies including age verification can help protect young and vulnerable players by ensuring only players of the appropriate age can create an account on the platform.
- Building a Positive Reputation
Gaming platforms that develop and enforce strong KYG policies are viewed positively for their efforts to protect legitimate users. Platforms with these policies can attract responsible gamers and content creators, and discourage those who intend on acting maliciously.
Some games may feel like they’re losing out on the players that don’t want to verify their identities. However, there is a balance that platforms must find in order to protect the majority of their users who want a more positive gaming experience.
- Collaborative Community Building
Again, KYG policies can promote a more trusting and positive gaming community. There is a sense of support and community building that can occur on a platform that only admits users who will verify their identities.
As we mentioned above, platforms that enforce KYG policies attract a certain type of gamer, ones that are more interested in the game itself and the positive interactions they can have with other like-minded players. By weeding out a good portion of the trolls and harassers with KYG policies, gaming platforms can create a more encouraging and safe community for its players.
Final Thoughts on KYG Policies
KYG policies will likely become more widely enforced throughout the gaming industry as platforms see all the value that they offer. These policies can contribute to safer, fairer, and more positive gaming experiences for all and reduce the risk and liability that platforms face from incidents of harassment and abuse that occur within their games.
The continued adoption of KYG policies will lead to the betterment of the gaming community, something that both the platforms and users have been seeking. Because of the lack of regulations in the gaming industry, it is largely up to the individual gaming platforms to create these policies that will foster trust and safety among their users.
Identity verification platforms can offer peace of mind just not for gaming operators, but gamers themselves. For expert advice on how to create and enforce KYG policies, contact us.