Games News

Xbox head Phil Spencer announces anti-toxicity initiative

Microsoft
Original Xbox Logo
Original Xbox Logo

Writing in a recent blog post, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, reminded that gaming is meant to be a universally fair and stress-free pastime and how Microsoft are intent on ensuring that toxicity is nipped in the bud whenever possible.

And to be fair, his post deserves a read regardless of the platform of your choice, and it's a really great place to start pondering the greater importance of gaming. 

Spencer stressed that he believes in two fundamental truths. Firstly, gaming is for everyone and second, gaming must promote and protect the safety of all. 

"We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women", Spencer reminded.

Unfortunately, having grown so extensively in the past few decades, gaming also grew to include " a growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry and misogyny.

He also emphasised that in spite of common perceptions of gaming as a frivolous or violence-oriented pastime with very little value, equality is actually one of the main principles of gaming. 

"We don’t just walk in someone’s shoes – we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, or ability", he said.

As a solution, Microsoft promised to "vigilant, proactive and swift" to make sure that harassment has no place in gaming, both via its Xbox Safety team, who are apparently nicknamed "Defenders of Joy", and via Xbox ambassadors.

Their second step will be "empowering [their] official Club community managers with proactive content moderation features that will help create safe spaces for fans to discuss their favorite games".

Microsoft will also be rolling out a series of family workshops, so as to help parents with the tools at their disposal on PC and consoles.

XboxOriginal Xbox LogoPhil Spencer

Spencer also said that Microsoft will be working with the rest of industry leaders and sharing their safety innovations such as PhotoDNA, a proprietary technology that aids in the fight against child pornography.

You can find Spencer's entire post here