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Xbox Boss Phil Spencer promises new features to make gaming online less hostile

“Hate and harassment have no place in gaming,” were the words Xbox boss Phil Spencer used in a blog post that he wrote back in May this year. These words made it clear to any that read the post: online gaming would need to change, and Phil Spencer seemed keen to be one of the individuals to make that change.

As Kotaku found out during their interview with Spencer back at this year’s E3, this blog post was a way to “articulate the Xbox team’s values while putting potential critics and skeptics on notice as new moderation tools and standards roll out.”

Spencer further added that “Xbox Live is not a free speech platform. It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything. And as we’re working to ensure it’s a safe and inclusive environment for everybody, I don’t want to be opaque about it.”

Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer understands that not everyone will like his and Xbox’ stance.

In his previous post, Spencer talked about the use of parental controls. However, in his interview with Kotaku, he talked about control beyond just being ‘a parent’ that would allow players to limit what sort of content they see.

Spencer also mentioned how it was possible to filter “LFG [Looking for Groups]” through Club affiliations. This would be a way to express your preferences through simple, but important restrictions based on your preferences, such as a “no-swearing club”.

For gaymers out there, these sort of features opens up a way to form connections without being put on blast by homophobic and/or transphobic players. Often the LGBT community, as well as women, are meant to feel like outsiders online and can suffer abuse through the mic, as well as in-chat.

Of course, Spencer acknowledged that this wouldn’t be easy, far from it, but seems determined to make online gaming a safer place for everyone using an Xbox.

For more information, we recommend checking out the full interview Spencer had with Kotaku.

Xbox plans to roll out new content moderation by the end of 2019.

Gayming Staff

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