It's a sad fact that when playing an online game, be it League of Legends, Overwatch, or Call of Duty, toxicity and harassment aren't just likely, they're expected. To try and combat the problem, over 30 different gaming companies have come together to form the Fair Play Alliance.

In addition to game makers such as Riot, Blizzard, and Epic, other members of the coalition include streaming platform Twitch, Intel, Xbox, and Unity Technologies. According to its mission statement, the group aims to "provide an open forum for the games industry to collaborate on research and best practices that encourage fair play and healthy communities in online gaming."

Riot senior technical designer Kimberly Voll told Kotaku that the Alliance wanted to create a consistent set of behavior standards between companies and investigate the underlying issues behind toxic online behavior.

The Fair Play Alliance's first action was a day-long summit at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) yesterday, where the members discussed research, issues, and what they've learned during their years dealing with toxicity.

The group's work is still in the very early stages. Right now, it's more about sharing resources and focusing on what classifies as poor online behavior; there's a fine line between trash talking people and actual abuse.

Many people avoid online multiplayer titles purely because of their toxic communities. While the Fair Play Alliance is unlikely to eliminate the problem entirely, its formation is a welcome step toward addressing the issue and could ultimately help improve the reputation of online gaming.