Earlier this month, Microsoft shared a few instances of “trash talk” in an Xbox Community Standards update that were interesting in their relative tameness, substitution of “<profanity>” and “<racial slur>” for real profanity and racial slurs, and substantial reliance on “potato” as an affront, which I’ll concede is another one on me. However, the company appears to be serious about tending abusive behavior in games, a point Head of Xbox Phil Spencer underlined in a blog entry in which he composed that “gaming is for everyone.”
“If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and explicitly teen boys, reconsider. We are a 2.6 billion-person solid community of guardians playing with our kids, adventurers exploring universe together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers finding out about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers associating with their folks back home,” Spencer composed. “Most gamers today are grown-ups; about half are women.”
Spencer said that the pervasiveness of gaming has transformed it into the world’s driving cultural industry, yet in addition noted that “digital life incorporates a developing toxic stew of abhorring speech, bigotry, and misogyny.” Unlike “shake and move, books, and TV,” notwithstanding, which throughout the years have additionally been depicted as negligible, violent, and/or hate-filled, the social and intelligent nature of gaming makes it “interestingly designed for equality.”
“Gaming doesn’t simply bring generalization opposing gamers together; it joins us our universal language of fun and answers our human need to play. Research has appeared an effective approach to battle polarization and bias is through relationships with people outside our own gatherings, known as intergroup contact hypothesis,” Spencer wrote. “This is the place where gaming excels: forging unexpected fellowships with people we may never meet in actual life.”
To help encourage a situation where those communications are able to flourish, Spencer focused to three basic standards for Microsoft’s internet gaming communities: To be watchful, proactive, and quick; to engaging gamers to defend their gaming experience the manner they want; and to working over the industry on wellbeing measures. As a major aspect of that, as of now Microsoft launched a new “For Everyone” page at xbox.com, and Spencer said that more projects are coming including new “Gaming Summer Camps” that will give youthful gamers “better approaches to explore life skills and practice solid habits that can be used in gaming and regular day to day existence.”
Spencer said that Microsoft will impart its security innovations to the whole gaming industry, like what it’s done with PhotoDNA, software that recognizes detect and delete child pornography, which it shares openly with other technology companies, developers, non-benefits, and law enforcement. “Today, numerous teams working in zones like moderation, user research, data science, and others are now aligning up with industry accomplices to share insights, and best practices in areas of wellbeing, security, and protection,” Spencer wrote.
“The gaming network continues to grow quickly, and the approaching roll-out of new game services, for example, Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, and Microsoft’s Project xCloud will make gaming accessible to much more people worldwide. Our industry must now answer the savage urgency to play with our wild urgency for safety.”