Pros and Cons
Last week, I discussed a GameSpot interview with Halo 4 execs Kiki Wolfkill
and Bonnie Ross
, in which it was stated that discriminatory behavior in-game — specifically sexism — would result in a lifetime ban. Given Xbox Live’s high profile, the interview had done the rounds at many major tech and gaming sites, and a lively debate ensued. As I mentioned in my original article, there were a lot of questions being asked, primarily regarding whether or not this rule applied to other forms of abuse, and how this new policy would be implemented. On Tuesday, Destructoid reported that they had contacted Microsoft
in order to clear things up. The verdict? Xbox Live views all types of harassment as equally reprehensible (hooray!), but they won’t be making any changes to their existing Code of Conduct (hmm).
Start a discussion about harassment in games, and two words are bound to come up: Xbox and Halo
. Seeing as how the latter is one of the most successful game franchises ever, which runs on one of the world’s most popular consoles, this perhaps has to do less with the game itself and more with the fact that it represents a huge chunk of the gaming community. Heated competition undoubtedly plays a part as well, but whatever the reason for it, if you want to show someone just how bad things can get in multiplayer gaming, Halo’s
the poster child.
Which is why it was a pretty big deal earlier this week when Gamespot published an interview
with Kiki Wolfkill
, executive producer of Halo 4
, and Bonnie Ross
, head of Microsoft subsidiary 343 Industries (the game’s developer). With Halo 4
poised for launch next Tuesday, they had a message for their players: Sexist language on Xbox Live will get you a permaban.