The Spirit of Slytherin House is Alive and Well at Pottermore
In HP and the Philosopher’s Stone the Sorting Hat said that members of Slytherin House will use any means to achieve their ends, and if recent reports on the Pottermore blog are true then some members of the Pottermore community are really getting into the spirit of the game.
When Pottermore launched last year it was billed as the exclusive online destination for the ongoing adventures in the Harry Potter universe. In addition to selling Harry Potter ebooks and audiobooks, Pottermore also offered an online role-playing game in which players were sorted into the 4 Houses of Hogwarts. Players compete to earn points for their house with the goal of winning the House Cup, much like in the novels.
Unfortunately, some players are putting a little too high of a value on winning. Over the past few weeks, Pottermore Insider has mentioned that they’ve caught:
For example, we’ve addressed cases with questionable activity, such as a user account that seemingly completed 1,560 duels in less than 6 hours, a spell cast every 14 seconds without pause, winning every one! Another user account had won two duels a minute for 24 hours without rest.
And those are just a sample. The Pottermore staff are responding to the incidents of cheating as they encounter by deducting the points earned, but so far they have not taken any more permanent action like banning players or assessing penalties.
There’s no evidence that the harsher penalties are being considered, but based on my experience in helping to run the online community MobileRead, I would expect Pottermore will find it necessary to adopt more extreme measures. After all, if a particular player keeps breaking the rules there will come a point where coping with the recalcitrant player takes too much time away from running the community.