Microsoft wants to stamp out toxicity, harassment and abuse in gaming, and it called on fellow tech giants to help out.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlined Microsoft’s commitment to make gaming a more welcoming environment for the more than 2.6 billion gamers around the world in a blog post Monday. Spencer mentioned tech giants Apple and Google and urged them to follow suit as the companies prepare to release cloud game streaming services. Microsoft’s new Project xCloud service, as well as new offerings from Apple and Google figure to increase the gaming population.
“The gaming community continues to grow rapidly, and the imminent roll-out of new game services such as Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud, will make gaming available to even more people worldwide,” Spencer wrote. “Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to play with our fierce urgency for safety.”
Spencer laid out what he called “two fundamental truths” about gaming that he believes in: Gaming is for everyone and it must “promote and protect the safety of all.” Spencer acknowledged that video games have risen at a time when “digital life includes a growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry and misogyny.”
Spencer pushed back on the notion that gamers are predominantly men and teenaged boys. Microsoft has pledged to further diversify its safety teams to bring in different points of view and better represent the gaming community.
Later this year, Microsoft will roll out new content moderation experiences to Xbox Live’s more than 63 million active users to let them snuff out toxic content and keep their spaces positive. Xbox also recently updated community standards and pledged to share safety innovations with others in the industry.