343 Industries head Bonnie Ross and Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill say sexist behavior on Xbox Live is unacceptable; also say developers have a responsibility to wipe out sexism in the industry.
Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill and 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross have denounced sexist behavior on Xbox Live, revealing that Microsoft does its best to monitor and ban players who abuse others over the network.
Speaking to GameSpot, Ross and Wolfkill said there is zero tolerance for Xbox Live players who are found to be making sexist or discriminatory comments against others, with a lifetime ban from the network as penalty.
"I've seen many of the sites that have documented some of the more gender-specific slanderous comments," Ross said.
"This is behaviour that is offensive and completely unacceptable. I'd like to think most of our Xbox Live players don't support this kind of behaviour."
"It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism," Wolfkill added. "There are always going to be jerks out there, and if you give them a way to express that side of their personality without being seen, you're going to see this type of behaviour manifest itself."
Ross and Wolfkill said that developers have a responsibility to stamp out this behaviour by putting more thought into how their games will be perceived.
"As developers, we have a personal responsibility to think about how our games come across," Ross said. "With Halo 4, we were very deliberate in thinking about who should be female and who should be male in the game, and if we came off stereotypical, we went back to question what we were doing and why."
Wolfkill agreed, saying that while games can often reflect the culture of the studio that's building them, the success or failure of games can also reflect consumer responsibility. Part of this responsibility includes changing perspectives about the games industry as an exclusively male-dominated area.
"Most people look at a franchise like Halo, and automatically assume it's run by a guy," Ross said. "People are surprised to learn that it's a woman who's running the Halo 4 show. When Microsoft created 343 Industries to take over Halo, I was given first choice to run the studio because I had proven myself. My gender played no part in it."
Halo 4 is due exclusively for Xbox 360 on November 6 worldwide. The game is a direct sequel to 2007's Halo 3, and is the first numbered entry in the series developed outside of Bungie Studios. It is the first instalment in the Reclaimer Trilogy, which will span Halo 5 and Halo 6.
To everyone arguing their "right to free speech" read this by someone named Ally Fogg, start quote:
"What you fail to understand is that the use of hate speech, threats and bullying to terrify and intimidate people into silence or away from certain topics is a far bigger threat to free speech than any legal sanction.
Imagine this is not the internet but a public square. One woman stands on a soapbox and expresses an idea. She is instantly surrounded by an army of 5,000 angry people yelling the worst kind of abuse at her in an attempt to shut her up. Yes, there's a free speech issue there. But not the one you think."
Think about this, that's one smart comment right there. I've been following the case of Anita Sarkeesian and that case exactly is what Microsoft is trying to prevent with this policy.
I am more then sure that this sort of adherence to such a matter wont end well for many users and spark a crap storm like no other on xbox live. If it is becoming a misandric paradise then I'm opting out of Gold membership forever. They will not have my dollars...
What's wrong with talking to others online with respect? Get over it. If you want to publicly offend others go outside and yell those things.
Women in 21st century. Fighting for an issue that isn't really an issue.
Thats why no one takes them seriously!!
I don't want to hear a single word about this more until I see both males and females treating womanhood with due dignity. You just sound like gaudy demagogues out for cheap, worthless kudos from more people that don't really care about doing anything about the problem but are just fine with screaming, whining and making legal issues with a very fickle and, anymore, capricious matter over which much more concern should be exercised. Of course by exercised I mean 'DO SOMETHING!' and of course doing something is only good if you treat the illness and not just salve the transient little symptoms. Can we all just grow up already?
Well, I'm glad to see that things like this will be dealt with. But whatever happened to just Muting the offensive player and moving on? :P
I went into options and made it so I can only hear my team and party. People should do the same. Just saying...
That'll be awesome, the 13 year old losers will be banned from online play and I can finally play this game online with other mature adults :D
I apologize if this has already been addressed in the comment thread, but have Microsoft or the developers specified how they intend to monitor the voice chat feature for unacceptable speech? The article doesn't mention any specifics. This is great if they're serious about this, but it's the follow-through that's really important.
It'll be nice when I can one day enjoy games without pretending my voice is high because I'm a 13 year old boy.
Good Luck - it is an admirable effort and it should be easier to report and get rid of the worst offenders - those who repeatedly use threats and offensive language.
I have reported the most offensive in the past and it doesn't always mean bad language - young girls play the games too and the way they are talked to can make or break their love for online gaming.
if this were true wouldn't he be against cortona? I understand it could be said its portraying femininity but, it could be done in a less gender based way
There's not much that can be done really and they would have to ban quite a hefty amount of people to even begin to make a dent. There's too huge factors here. One is that well is the internet where most people are faceless and thus do and say crap that they wouldn't dare to in real life. Second, is the fact that male gamers far outnumber female gamers and in that situation you're always gonna get that boys club effect quite frankly its human nature and unavoidable. Just like a guy would have issues being surround by nothing but girls. I'm not saying its right but you're not gonna change human instinct and biology. The only thing that can change things is a increase in the number of female gamers and that's gonna take time but it is going up. Only when there are more females playing will dudes actually maybe think about acting properly. Until then a female playing online is often like throwing meat to the wolves.
"Microsoft does its best to monitor and ban players who abuse others over the network."
Yeah Right, explain why theres still hundreds if not thousands of Racists, Sexists & Biggots on XBL?
@Norrie91 XBL has a few million subscribers, so it's impossible to stamp them all out. The best thing you can do is report them as you see them, because if you don't, XBL might never find out about them.
My lobby experiences on both COD and Halo disagree with Microsft lol
So that's why Master Chief is kicking ass, chewing gum, firing massive guns, and saving the world while Cortana is his support that makes him sandwiches during off time.
Next thing you know and people will try to claim their right to beat their neighbors with a baseball bat and to peep at their teenage daughter while she is in the shower. needless to say this behavior is fortunately not allowed.
Great, that just leaves infinity - 1 ways to be offensive on Xbox Live. But unless you're a girl you just need to suck it up.
You know, equality.
Funnily enough, these comments demonstrate EXACTLY the point that Bonnie and Kiki are making. GameSpot itself is a hotbed for sexism, never mind Halo 4...personally I think it's down to unresolved insecurities.
...Or they're single.
I'll start caring about sexism in pop culture the moment feminists and girls like these two start defending men from sexiest images and comments. But since that will never happen, I have to be a men's rights activist and defend my own gender. So im kinda busy to care about sexiest comments about women on xbox live.
Personaly I like xbox live for these sexiest comments because it's the only place that allows open free speech. Free speech protects the speakers right to say ANYTHING he/she wants to say. Free speech does not say you have to agree with what they are saying. This right was important because at the time the founding fathers wanted protection to say anything and everything they wanted about the king.
In closing I hate women like these two because they represent something that I highly disagree with. Feelings being more important than facts. Well I prize facts more than feelings. I prize the first amendment over feelings as well. If some one says something to try to hurt me. I'll grow a pair and ignore it, or laugh if it's truly a funny joke.
@themedianerd You do know that feelings can be facts? and going so far as to hate someone because she/he prizes feelings? well I'd be sorry if I was any sort of family to you.
And the existence of feminism shouldn't surprise anyone when everybody on this board is telling each other to grow a pair. Women won't grow balls no matter how much you's like that, the thing is that patriarchy is still the statu quo and in the videogame world this is even more evident.
@themedianerd "This right was important because at the time the founding fathers wanted protection to say anything and everything they wanted about the king." Right. I can see how this has anything to do with sexist jokes.
@themedianerd THAT IS NOT FREE SPEECH.
I do not understand how so many people can so so utterly ignorant on how it works. You do not prize the First Amendment. Not even close.
First Amendment protects you from GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION in the act for speech. You can say what you want, when you want (withing reason, "threatening speech" for example, is exempt), and the police will not barge in your house, put you in cuffs, and lock you away.
It does NOT, however, protect you from privately owned businesses, and personal functions. I reserve the right to kick you out of my house for saying something offensive. You have the right to leave my house and say what you want, or stay and keep silent, but you have a choice. In a similar vein, this is a privately owned business. In order to join, you have to agree to their rules; their Terms of Service. YOU AGREED TO IT WHEN YOU CLICKED "I AGREE". You had the full right to not use their service, but you willingly submitted yourself to it on your own accord. If you chose not to read that contract, your problem, but the law does not protect you from your own willing ignorance.
So no, you do not appreciate the First Amendment, for if you did, you would not be upset that this company, these devs, are operating THEIR American given rights, and your rights to be pleased does not go over their rights to run a business, unless they are violating a few Amendments of their own, which, to date, they are not.
I do not understand how so many people can so so utterly ignorant on how it works. You do not prize the First Amendment"
Actually, "free speech" is a concept that also exists independent of the First Amendment. So even when private businesses are not directly and legally bound by it, it still can make sense to appreciate and ask for free speech. It appears this is what is the case here.
Furthermore, accepting a legal agreement does not necessarily mean disavowing or negating moral beliefs. One can "accept" legal terms and still deem them morally problematic. One can accept legal terms and still try to negotiate (future) change.
@l777l @LinkLuigi @themedianerd except that in the ToU it specifically says not to harass other players and all that other stuff. negotiating change is fine, but you are not entitled to it, as so many posters here seem to believe they are. they are only entitled by the legal meaning of free speech within the realm of the first amendment.
do they have the right to complain? sure. but saying that xbox CAN'T enforce their own rules (which, by the way, appear to have been the same since 2010, so yeah these two women likely didn't create them) because these commenters have "freedom of speech" is just plain wrong.
@l777l @themedianerd That's what I figured. The only one here rambling is you. And after I went out of my way to give you a dignified response to your drivel. Please, don't respond, because you really don't have much of a leg to stand on.Good bit of hypocrisy, however, and "rambling" with rambling.
That said, I go by legal description, which was the point of my "ramblings". I understood fully in what you have meant. That is ONLY your opinion. That is what free speech means to you. You are the only one here who seems to have a confused attachment to morality and law, it does not mean what you assume it to mean. I have understood fully what you have meant, and have argued that it is meaningless; nobody cares what your morals are. I have stated that multiple times.
It is because your definition of free speech is so loose, is the reason why it has no value. Should they be forced to carry out your "free and unrestricted" speech?
And this is why it is you that is rambling here. You seem to want to have your morals heard. I'm glad you have an understand the difference between a legal and moral agreement. Understand that only one is of actual value. Whether the law was created in regards to morality is irrelevant in its entirety.
And as for "acceptance". As I as stated, only one form of acceptance is...acceptable, and that is in legal terms. You seem to understand this, yet argue moral disagreement as if it meant anything. Ironically, in terms of the law, if you agree to one, you agree to another. This is an optional contract. You can feel free to accept, or you may not, if your moral objection is that strong. However, the fact that you do accept means that whatever moral disagreement you might have felt must not have been important enough to you.
So yes, it seems you haven't a clue on morality and law. That you decided to insult proves that you are nothing more than an over emotional guy, upset that the world does not work the way you want. I didn't want to insult, but hey, you opened that door. It'll be great to actually read what the person has wrote, rather than whine that they are "rambling". Seems your just mad that somebody responded intelligently to your post, rather than rave at you like you were expecting.
@LinkLuigi @themedianerd Well, apparently it is. You are mistaken. I stated that there may be no legal obligation. Free speech is a concept that still exist. It means what it says when it says "free", it means unrestricted speech. As such it is a neutral description. People will discover moral relevance worth or "unworth" in it.
I don't know where you found it necessary to attach your confused considerations of morality and your lectures as to law (I made a distinction between law - formal legal obligation - and ethics - moral obligations. Somehow you found it necessary to add your ramblings).
I refer back to what I said. Just a few more things: Law acts in reaction to feelings. Many things we codify are influenced by considerations and feelings or morality. Law is codified morality. Here it is democratically codified morality. (I consider stare decisis/precedent as a form of codification.)
As for the quotation marks around "accept". They signify that acceptance happens in purely legal terms. The extent of moral agreement is not necessarily identical. It means to accept in terms of law, not to accept in terms of morality.
And terms are generally negotiable. They are in democratic processes (influencing legislation) and they are in contractual relationships; the other part merely has to be convinced, which occasionally can not be done but is not out of the question here.
All this because you are confused about law and morality. It'd help if you actually payed attention and thought instead of rambling. I don't have more time to waste on you, unless you bring up something surprising, relevant, and of quality.
@l777l @themedianerd To be blunt, and forgive me for my insulting tone, for an insult is not what I mean to purvey , but nobody cares about your "moral" concepts, simply because everyone's sense of morals are different. This is why the laws do not act upon what we, as the individual, deem "fair".
You can argue what YOU feel "free speech" means, but that means diddly squat, as they do not have to uphold how you feel it should be.
"So even when private businesses are not directly and legally bound by it, it still can make sense to appreciate and ask for free speech. It appears this is what is the case here."
I must quote this sentence in particular. What is your definition of "free speech", and why should they bend to your demands on what they are? Schools don't allow you those demands. Stores don't. You are even at the mercy of residential areas; if my cousin was a Packers fan (thank God she's not), she has full reign to kick me out of her house for saying that the Packers rightfully sucks. It would be absolutely wrong of me to demand that I get more rights in her house than she does, at last in these manners.
The same goes here. These are privately owned developers. Your taxes do not pay their salaries the way they pay firemen; they do not have to serve you. You agreed to that contract, you agree to their terms, and it was your right as an American citizen to disagree and not use their service.
As to your second paragraph, that is exactly why the law does not work on feelings. As stated, and I apologize for my rudeness, but nobody cares how you feel about your moral beliefs. If that is how you felt, then you should negotiate the terms of that agreement before signing. If those terms were non-negotiable (and they weren't), then you don't sign.
In legal terms, and this is coming from a guy who only studied law in high school a few years back, not one who has taken law as their major, there is no quotation marks in "accept" (not counting grammatical accuracy, of course). Either you accept it or you don't.
And it seems that, as stated, their terms are non negotiable. These were ALWAYS the rules. I put always in ALLCAPS for themedianerd's sake. In Xbox Live, those were always the rules - they were never enforced properly. In those terms, they also state that they have every right to change the rules out of the blue, without warning, whenever they see fit. As much as that scares me, I agreed to it, and this is one of those changes.
@l777l You make a good point that accepting an agreement doesn't mean you should disavow your beliefs I agree with that, but the developers are only asking you to behave properly within the boundaries of their service they're not asking you to hunt for slaves or torture someone. In fact what they're trying to do is the opposite of morally problematic, the people that have their morals twisted are the ones who need to insult and slander other people.
I'm against violence of any sort be it verbal or physical.
@themedianerd The first amendment doesn't apply to message boards of video game communities. They can set whatever rules they like.
All these comments...
It consistently amazes me how often straight men whine whenever someone tells them they can't be sexist homophobic (or racist) pigs anymore.
I just wanted to say, that since this article has to do with Halo, and they feel that they need to change the representation of games, Halo is probably the only online shooter I know of where you can make your character female.
@bmart970 This is 2012. Borderlands 1 and 2 have been released (for instance) and I am sure that there are many others on PC, Xbox and PS3 that have that feature.
There a feature that mutes EVERYONE that not on your friend list , there can we grow a pair already? jesus.
@Jestersmiles I can do that. And get you banned. Quit your whining and get over it.
The devs do not want an environment where people feel the need to mute everyone not on their friends list, simply to make a few people - that aren't even following their rules in the first place - happy.
Waaawaaaaaaa : some one call me this and that they so mean....
So mute them plain and simple.
or play with like minded folks simple as that, stop wanting some one else to do everything for you.
@Jestersmiles If you walked into an arcade and started calling every woman you saw a b*tch and ever black person you saw the n-word, you'd be kicked out. Same thing here.
@Jestersmiles I don't want anyone to do anything for me. I want MS to do what they agreed to do in their contract. No more, no less. Moreover, I don't get to pick and choose who I play with when I sign up for a random game. By all means, lobby MS to label everyone according to their speech, and filter out those who use disrespectful language. I'd love to just click a button and have nazis, baby rapers, and incest peddlers all off of my list of gaming partners BEFORE I start playing with them.
@nagarond @Jestersmiles @Khasym @l777l yeah.... i really wouldn't want my address posted. i don't even put it on my business cards (had a few creepy males i had to visit, told my boss never to send another female there and am thankful my address isn't on my cards). i get the original point, though, it's just a scary thought because of these people who say such idiotic, vulgar and sexist things online, some of them ARE unstable and might drop by to say it to my face....
@Jestersmiles @Khasym @l777l But I do agree that telling people they are babies and whiners isn't really an argument and if you try to make your point with those kinds of comments you started your argument with the left foot.
I understand Jester's point with the mute button and it's a partial solution but I find that particular part of his comments positive. We can get along, we just have to get the points across without any needless hostility, same with XBL.
I'll end it on this Jester:
You came into this conversation, insulting people, and telling them what THEY should do about this problem. It's not their problem, it's not my problem, it's not your problem. It is THIS problem. Some of your more outspoken suggestions were "Stop whining," "just mute everyone," and "quit being so childish"
I came into this conversation, approving the decision set forth by others, and speaking on my experienes with this problem. WE got into conflict, because you kept trying to tell me what I SHOULD do, and I told you what I WILL do.
@Jestersmiles @l777l Amazing, I keep saying this and it doesn't sink in. I have no way of knowing who you are, or where you are from. I have no way of knowing what your prowess is in manipulating Xbox live code. So again, why should I believe anything you "say" you can prove, over a system designed specifically to elude identity?
@Jestersmiles @l777l And as I said sir, you hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. You can say "care to prove it," because you know I can't. That tracking down your Gamertag, persuading Microsoft to release all your text messages, and any voice chat logs they MAY have, is a violation of your privacy. So, you can say whatever you want, and never fear being brought to task over it.
Me? I'd say the same things I've said here, to your face. And I wouldn't think twice about it.
@Jestersmiles @l777l Why not. I'm not afraid to back up what I say. The ones without the heart to back up racist insults, yet spew them all the same, are you and your friends. I can respect someone who is a racist and just admits it. I may not like it, but I can respect them for having a clear view. You on the other hand, want to toss vile speech over the internet, and then claim privacy because you don't want to face the consequences.
Because if I find out a person who said that kind of thing lived near me, I'd be more than pleased to just deal with the matter myself.
WOW it seem your the one with problems not the people on the internet.
LOL so your true colors reviled themselves.
Your no different from the rotten apples you claim you want to be taken away.
@l777l @Jestersmiles They already do. What they are failing to do, is live up to their code of conduct. But again, my personal solution iss till my favorite. Just have everyone ID'ed by their real names online. Publish their addresses, and let people spew whatever they want. I won't care then. Because if I find out a person who said that kind of thing lived near me, I'd be more than pleased to just deal with the matter myself.
there is , there a feature that mutes anyone that not from your friend list but your to busy crying to even know about that right?
@Jestersmiles @Khasym a goal of MS is to create a community and a wider user base so that they make more money. if you must everyone not on your friend list, your community will usually only be tied to people you already know and will not likely grow. it's not in their interest to have that be the main function to deal with harassment, either.
When I found out about mute everyone not on your friend list , plus having the party feature, I actually gone back to play COD4 back when that games was relevant.
the party feature plus the mute any one not on your friend list actually made go back to games I did not want to deal with 12 year olds.
See it works, just do it. -_-
@Khasym w/e your naivete is hilarious have fun pursuing your rights over something so meaninglessness
@Jestersmiles And you're whining over a right you don't realize you don't have. I know my rights, and the recourses I have to pursue them if I choose. You're the one telling people to just shut up and deal with it.
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