When it comes to online interactivity, gaming communities the world over are at the forefront of fostering relationships both positive and negative. Xbox
head Phil Spencer
is acutely aware of the issues relating to online interaction but is also an optimist, and a firm believer that "gaming is for everyone". In a new blog post, he outlines the steps Microsoft
is taking to live up to this ideal.
"No one group “owns” gaming. Instead, whether you’re new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gaming," Spencer begins. Adding, "If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and specifically teen boys, think again. We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home."
And on that note he then outlines some of the measures being taken to foster this reality, alongside providing a detailed list of research and evidence to back-up the positive aspects of gaming as part of an online community. In addition to the recent Xbox Community Standards
which outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, Phil Spencer confirms that an Xbox Safety team has been created to "identify potentials for abuse and misuse on our platform and will fix problems quickly". This mission will extend to the reported 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors comprised of community leaders and "allies", through initiatives and "new community missions to help create an inviting and safe environment for all gamers".
The post then goes onto detail the parental controls and safety measures available as part of the Xbox platform, and the company's focus on improving both the underlying technology and the human resources available.
For those interested, it's well worth a read
- and definitely showcases Phil Spencer's knowledge and passion on the subject.