Before we move forward with anything else, I’m going to throw a few disclaimers in this.
First off: Geektrum is not a femanazi blog site. We believe everyone should be treated fairly and equally in all things; regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexual preference, or if you hate vegetables or not. We want the Geektrum to be place where members can host intelligent conversations, be open minded to one another’s opinions, and treat each other respectfully.
Second: Just because I have a vagina, I do not feel entitled to ANYTHING; except that it’s my body and I could do whatever I damn well please with it. But that’s a different can of worms. Point being: because the player who suffered an abusive online experience is a female, I do not want readers to think that I am up in arms about this because we have the same sex organ. No. If this were to happen to a male player, I would be as equally appalled and upset.
That being said!
Originally, this blog post was intended for the new player reward system on the Xbox One and my thoughts on it. However, with some serious cases of online abuse being reported to Xbox Live and nothing being done about them, I began to honestly wonder if this new “system” the Xbox One is trying to install into the online community would work. Furthermore, I began to question if Microsoft is even TRYING to change their online community, or giving us pretty words to make us think they will.
The incident in question can be found here: http://gamersagainstbigotry.org/2013/08/from-jenny-hanniver-lots-of-words/
Things like this make my stomach turn upside down. Look, I’m a gamer, I understand the culture. Smack talking comes with the turf; you grow a thicker skin, learn to banter, and shut a douche bag down by blowing them away on the scoreboard. But full blown rape threats, is absolutely unacceptable. After reading the blog post, I wasn’t sure if I was more disgusted with the poor excuse of a human being who initiated the threats, or with Xbox Live for NOT doing anything.
Like I had said, this post is not entirely dedicated to how frustrated I am with the online gaming culture, but rather I question if the Xbox One’s new player reward system will even do a damn thing for the community, and how well is Xbox Live going to follow up on their promise to make their online communities better. At this point, I’m calling bullshit. Shame on you Microsoft.
The Xbox One promises gamers a better, safer, more enjoyable Xbox Live experience by tantalizing us with a system that you think will work. But, Microsoft can’t even get their head out of their own ass to take care of the online community they have NOW. What in the world makes Microsoft think that these new “systems” on the Xbox One will improve something in the future, if they can’t take action now.
Don’t get me wrong, its not necessarily a bad idea what the Xbox One is trying to accomplish. Utilizing your players as a tribunal of sorts is smart, the community feels involved, feels heard, and it cuts down on company pay roll costs.The Enforcement United program, where gamers can weigh their opinions on whether something violates Xbox Live/Microsoft terms of service, is a great idea (that seems like it’s clearly ripped off from Reddit and their votes up and down system). For now United only allows the community to pass judgment on gamer tags, voting if names are offensive or not. But honestly, it would be interesting if Xbox Live will let the community pass judgment on trolls, because clearly Microsoft is failing on taking action. (Unless you have a case that goes viral on the internet.)
I’m more wary about the Xbox Community Level- it’s great that players can reward one another for being awesome (and something that is clearly ripped from other gaming communities) but this can be seriously misused. A band of trolls can go shit on someone’s game, add insults and abuse, and leave the game patting each other’s back. Trolls feeding trolls, and they’re going to get good scores/ratings, because their core of united assholes will just keep rewarding one another.
It’s step forward in the right direction, I will give the Xbox One that much. However, it is flawed and can be taken advantage of. I don’t necessarily feel more positive about gaming online with Xbox live because I have the voting right to make someone change their gamer tag. I would much rather have Microsoft put their time and efforts into hiring more people to actually INVESTIGATE reported cases of abuse and mistreatment, then being able to give players reward points.
If anything, after reading about this incident, I’ve lost even more faith in Microsoft and their online team; as a result I will not be renewing my subscription to Xbox Live. What the hell is Microsoft doing? What is the Xbox Live team doing? They seem more concerned with a tile design for the dashboard, rather than following their TOS. I feel like their efforts are in all the wrong places, and Xbox Live is focusing on useless “changing online experience” bits, that do not contribute to positive online experiences.
Xbox One has the right intention, yes, and for that I applaud them- but the execution and the commitment to follow through on those plans is where this company always botches up.
Jenny Haniver, the blog writer who reported her case to Xbox Live, has been documenting the progress of her request since the out pour of support. It seems, that Microsoft has decided to finally reach out and DO something about it. Of course, expect Microsoft to actually take action when they are involved in any kind of negative media. How safe does that make me feel? I have to cause a ruckus across the world wide web and get press attention, so Microsoft has follow their own terms of service for Xbox Live.
You can read Jenny’s updates here: http://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com/lots-of-words/
I knew Xbox live was not the kindest of place- any kind of competitve online community can get really nasty. I’ve had several experiences, but have always shrugged them off and still renewed my subscription to Xbox Live. However, what happened here, is what I consider to be my final straw. Yes, it did not happen to me; but, someday is might very well COULD. The fact that Xbox Live let this kind of violence be tolerated tells me that they are willing to take my money, but not provide me with the services they promised to keep me safe.
Like everybody else on the grand interwebz, I am left to question Microsoft and Xbox Live. Is this corporation so starved for money that it will allow indecent players to keep spreading violent threats, instead of doing the right thing and issue a ban? Money over moral. What will Microsoft do- and in the near future, not for the next console- to fix their enforcement on policies, so players who file complaints on Xbox Live know that their case is being worked on. This is not something that can sit on the back burner, and I hope to god after all this negative media attention Microsoft realizes it. Sugar coated voting systems and reward points is NOT what the online gaming community wants, and I certainly hope that was made clear.
Quick side note: All images are kindly provide by Not In the Kitchen Anymore, dipicting the constant abuse avliable on Xbox Live.