The Big 3 announce a joint commitment to offer safer interactions to maximize our “shared joy of play.”
This morning Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft announced a major effort to build a safer gaming experience for all ages, especially when dealing with other players online. Via the official Xbox Wire blog Microsoft VP of Xbox Operations, Dave McCarthy stated, “We believe gaming is for all people of all ages, including our youngest and most vulnerable players. Technology makes compelling entertainment experiences possible, and we want to ensure that those experiences – especially when they involve interaction with others – are positive and respectful. All players deserve to have fantastic social gaming experiences in settings where respect and safety are mutual.”
The agreement outlines 3 pillars that will help the the mega corporations fulfill their promise to the gaming community: prevention, partnership, and responsibility. The Xbox Wire blog explains…
Prevention: Empower players and parents to understand and control gaming experiences.
- We provide controls that let players customize their gaming experience. We support parents with the tools and information necessary to create appropriate gaming experiences for their children.
- We recognize that for safety features to be useful, they must be easy to use. We will promote the availability of our safety tools through our platforms, support channels, services, on our websites and in retail stores to reach more players and parents.
- We invest in technology to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.
Partnership: We commit to partnering with the industry, regulators, law enforcement, and our communities to advance user safety.
- The industry’s commitment to safety is central. We believe that we have an opportunity to collaborate for the benefit of the video game industry and all players to offer a safer gaming experience.
- We work with industry trade organizations, industry members, regulators, law enforcement, and experts to develop and advance online safety initiatives.
- We commit to conducting shared research for the benefit of the industry.
- We believe that hate and harassment or exploitation of younger players in any way have no place in gaming. We partner with our community to promote safe gaming behavior and encourage the use of reporting tools to call out bad actors.
- We partner with ratings agencies such as the ESRB and PEGI to ensure that our games are rated for the appropriate audience.
Responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for making our platforms as safe as possible for all players.
- We make it easy for players to report violations of our code of conduct and, in addition to removing content, we take appropriate enforcement actions for violations, including restricting players from using our services for misconduct.
- We comply with all local laws and will respond to all lawful requests from law enforcement. We promptly notify law enforcement if we observe unlawful conduct or where we believe a player is at risk of imminent harm.
- We publish our rules and requirements and we ensure that players who have been reported understand the requirements for continued engagement with our platforms.
This is extremely welcome news considering the volatility that can be found in some gaming circles. Hopefully this can be the start to some greater change within the gaming community, and as McCarthy writes, “…signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone.”
That’s what the console makers have in mind, but let us know, Deer Reader. How can The Big 3 tangibly create change for the better within gaming circles? Sound off in the comments below.