Executive VP of Gaming at Microsoft and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer published a blog on promoting inclusivity and online safety in gaming. These are areas which gaming has notoriously struggled as its emerged into the realm of a billion dollar mainstream media empire. The blog, titled “Video games: A unifying force for the world,” details commitments made by the Microsoft team to combating toxic behavior and supporting safety features.
“This widespread embrace of gaming and its global communities have turned video games into the world’s leading cultural industry, bigger than movies or music,” writes Spencer. “But it also comes at a time when digital life includes a growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry and misogyny.”
To that end, Spencer outlines three areas Microsoft is focusing on:
- Proactive and vigilant in regards to online harassment. “We will identify potentials for abuse and misuse on our platform and will fix problems quickly. We are also intent on expanding the composition of our safety team so wide-ranging perspectives can help us identify future safety problems and solutions.”
- Content moderation and safeguards. “We will make it easier for parents and guardians new to console and PC gaming to discover and create Child or Teen accounts. This year, Microsoft Stores rolled out a series of family workshops to help parents understand the tools available to them on console and PC, and this summer we are launching Gaming Summer Camps offering young gamers new ways to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gaming and everyday life.”
- Work with other companies to improve online safety. “Multiple teams working in areas like moderation, user research, data science, and others are already aligning with industry partners to share insights, and best practices in areas of safety, security and privacy.”
Spencer encourages other companies to join in establishing a proactive stance in making gaming a more accessible and inclusive community.