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Microsoft plans to isolate homophobic Xbox gamers in online multiplayer games

Joseph McCormick July 3, 2013
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Microsoft last month announced plans for its new Xbox console- Xbox One, and has gone further to say it intends to tackle abusive players online by separating them from other gamers.

The new Reputation system, will track the behaviour of gamers playing online multiplayer games, and intends to separate hostile games, who use homophobic, sexist, racist, or other abuse remarks against other players.

“What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making,” Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin said to OXM.

“Ultimately if there’s a few percent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks.”

He jokingly went on to say that the “segregated” area of Xbox Live containing the abusive players would be “the Xbox Live version of hell,” saying: “You’ll probably end up starting to play more with other people that are more similar to you.”

“If we see consistently that people, for instance, don’t like playing with you, that you’re consistently blocked, that you’re the subject of enforcement actions because you’re sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don’t want naked pictures of you,” he said. “Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score.”

The system will also have parties assigned an overall score for their group, which will reflect the player with the lowest score, in the hope that “the weight of peer pressure”, will encourage better behaviour.

“We’re one of the only platforms that really takes an interest in exploring and investigating major problems, and this extends from sexual harassment, to age harassment, to gender to everything else under the sun,” Lavin added.

“Really fostering a sense of community and providing an infrastructure for that is a huge deal.”

This most recent announcement comes after years of efforts to tackle abuse in Xbox Live.

Previously Xbox Live policy manager Stephen Toulouse met with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to discuss the issue of homophobia in the system.

Related topics: abuse, abusive language, Americas, Homophobia, homophobic language, microsoft, racism, sexism, US, Xbox, xbox live

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