Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlines plans for fighting toxicity in gaming

The head of Microsoft's Xbox, Phil Spencer, says he is well aware of the problems facing the gaming industry from a cultural perspective: issues such as toxicity, abuse and harassment, and exclusionary attitudes that can prevent the benefits of the game from spreading beyond its more radical and traditional demographics.

So today, Spencer says that Microsoft is launching an industry-wide initiative to combat these problems by sharing solutions and technology and committing to aggressive enforcement.

"First, the game is for everyone, no group" owns "the game, however, whether you are new to the games or a fan of electronic sports, you can play and be welcomed to all the fun and the development of skills that the game entails, in this way, when everyone can play, everyone wins, "writes Spencer in a blog titled" Videogames: a unifying force for the world ".

Spencer says he believes in what he calls two fundamental truths for games: that the medium is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality, orientation or skin color. The other is that, for the benefits of the game to be accessible to everyone in the world, companies like Microsoft and others need to foster a safe game culture and an online environment, both through policies and tools and through changes positive in the community and in the industry.

"The game must be a safe environment." Creating community is a shared work, and protecting the community is an essential job, therefore, we all carry part of the burden of community safety, both the industry of games as players, "he writes." The game is the gateway to these 21st century STEM skills, just consider: teenage girls who play video games are three times more likely to get a STEM title. " teens who play games online with others on a daily basis, 74 percent have made friends online and 37 percent have made more than five friends online. "

Spencer says Microsoft will now commit to a series of new ones initiatives aimed at making games more accessible, less toxic, and safer, the first of which was announced earlier this month, when Microsoft publicly updated its Community Guidelines, guiding the behavior to of Xbox Live and how it applies suspensions and bans. Going further, Microsoft says it will expand its security team in the coming months to include more diverse voices and a set of broader solutions for common problems.

"Our Xbox Safety team is nicknamed" Defenders of Joy "because we will defend it in all human and technologically possible ways, so the games are still fun," says Spencer. "We will identify the potential abuse and misuse of our platform and solve the problems quickly. We also intend to expand the composition of our security team so that wide-ranging perspectives can help us identify future security issues and solutions. "

In addition, says Spencer Microsoft will provide community managers on Xbox Live with new moderation tools that will help them better regulate behavior within the Club's platform system, and the company will also simplify the process of creating a children's account. And he says he will give resources to his Xbox Ambassadors program of 150,000 people to help create a welcoming and safe environment for all players. "

Part of that will involve organizing family workshops in Microsoft stores and providing information through its new "for everyone" center on, which is dedicated to educating parents and fathers about inclusion, accessibility and safety.

Most important, however, is Spencer's plan to share this knowledge, in the same way that Microsoft shares knowledge to combat the worst forms of online criminal activity and abuse.

"Because we intend to protect all players, we will openly share security innovations with our industry in the same way that Microsoft has made PhotoDNA technology universally available to everyone, from the police to the industry. of technology, to combat the spread of child pornography, "Spencer says. "Today, several teams working in areas such as moderation, user research, information science and others are already aligning with industry partners to share ideas and best practices in areas of security, security and privacy. "

Closing your comments, Spencer specifically declares the promise of cloud games and names services such as Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia, as it offers new and exciting possibilities to expand the game to new audiences and new risks. "Our industry must now respond to the fierce urge to play with our fierce urgency for safety," concludes Spencer. "We invite everyone who plays games, and industry partners, to join us to follow the principles that help unify the world and do our part: make games accessible to everyone and protect players, one and everyone".

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