Microsoft’s video game platform, Xbox, is revamping its “hate speech” and “profanity” rules, introducing a strike-based system to ban gamers from games they have purchased if they use the wrong words.
Once a place where young people could blow off steam, online gaming is now a place where gamers have to walk on eggshells for fear of a ban from a gaming ecosystem that often represents hundreds of dollars in purchased games and gaming equipment.
Via the Verge:
In an interview with The Verge, Xbox player services corporate vice president Dave McCarthy explained the new enforcement system and its place in Xbox’s overall community management strategy. “This is all about player transparency,” McCarthy said. “We didn’t have a way to show our players what their standing was in our community. And this makes it completely clear.”
In the new system, if a player violates the Xbox community standards, they’ll receive a strike. The severity of the violation determines the number of strikes and the length of the punishment. If a player receives a total of eight strikes, their account will be banned from using Xbox services like voice chat or multiplayer for a year. The strike program starts today with everyone on the platform getting a clean strike-less slate.
McCarthy shared that only about 1 percent of the Xbox player base receives any kind of enforcement action and that only a third of that 1 percent goes on to receive additional enforcement actions. Without any kind of standardized program in place, McCarthy said that players would express confusion as to why some enforcements earned daylong suspensions while others would ban a player for a week or a month.
McCarthy said the goal was to create an environment where “everyone feels welcome” — except, apparently, the large number of gamers who enjoy a boisterous atmosphere of trash talk over a corporate world of artificial politeness.
Already occupying a massive position in the video game market, Microsoft may soon extend its dominance even further with a proposed acquisition (highly scrutinized by competition regulators around the world) of Activision-Blizzard, owners of the blockbuster World of Warcraft and Call of Duty franchises.