Microsoft wants to clean up the place a bit.
If we’re being brutally frank about things, gaming online tends to be somewhat of a cesspool. While going online with friends or finding a community around a game can be great fun, when you venture outside that to the wild west of online chat, things get messy. Racial and homophobic slurs are like a second language to many on online platforms, not to mention just much pure raw hatred you can encounter.
The issue is one that’s often noted, but has largely gone ignored and/or sidestepped ever since online gaming exploded in the early-mid 2000s. But it seems Microsoft wants to try to finally combat that a little with new, more specific guidelines about what is acceptable “trash talk.”
As outlined in the Xbox Live Community Guidelines, which you can check out here, the outlines show examples of “acceptable” trash talk contrasted against examples that go too far. Players who constantly break these guidelines will see features on their system suspended, such as not being able to play any games online and/or message anyone, to eventually being permanently banned from the service if they continue to repeat these offences.
Acceptable trash talk includes
Going too far looks like
Of course, whether or not this will do anything at the end of the day remains to be seen. Even though these are more specific, there have been guidelines in some form or another since the service’s beginning. We’ll just have to see if this makes any real difference. I’ll be honest, though, my finger probably isn’t moving off that mute button anytime soon.