Recently Microsoft announced that they would begin adding descriptions to profiles, such as race, gender and sexual orientation. This will further enhance the social aspect for Xbox Live.
I can understand the potential for getting more descriptive with your online community, but there is an issue no one seems to be bringing up.
Who is going to police the hate that will happen on the network once a cowardly person sees race or gender of another gamer? I call it digital hate, and it’s something that has been around longer then multi-player gaming – but it’s not something that we just have to ignore and put up with.
Ok, it’s 2010 and we all want to be better people, right? So we hate injustice, we vote for change, and no one should have any prejudices over anyone else. Unfortunately, that is still not the case with the internet and it hasn’t even been attempted in the online world of multiplayer gaming.
I’m pretty sure that everyone’s experience has been the same. Racial and sexist derogatory statements are said all the time. We all know how “brave” or “funny” a person can be once they are faceless online. Most games can remember a time when they were playing an online game and someone would start using those disgusting words (I don’t even have to reference them, you know what they are) to talk about another person online.
I know where some of you may go to next – 1st amendment / Free Speech. I can agree with you on that. The difference with this is that Xbox Live is a paid subscription service, so according to the Terms and Conditions you have to abide by their policies.
Xbox Live is becoming the “premium” online service, so I’m sure they have a plan in place to guard their interests and make sure that paying customers are comfortable. Maybe they can lead the way for the other big publishers to clean up their multi-players servers from people who abuse these privileges and takes the fun out of the gaming experience.
In the end, isn’t that the whole purpose on online gaming – fun?