Today the three big names in the world of consoles – Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox – have announced a kind of partnership aimed at making and keeping videogames open and safe for everyone under the post “Our Shared Commitment to Safer Gaming“.
This has been penned by Corporate Vice President, Xbox Operations, Dave McCarthy who explains that interactions online should be positive and respectful.
“At Xbox, we are aligned with both Nintendo, on behalf of the community of Nintendo Switch players, and PlayStation in our belief that protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach – one that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight,” McCarthy.
That multidisciplinary approach has been outlined in a guide that we’ve copied in below which has three areas of focus: prevention, partnership and responsibility.
Reading through this guide and it really just seems to be a summary of various odds and ends of good practices from various areas of gaming, especially when it comes to children.
While we like to see such commitments put in place – and in plain writing – there’s nothing in the announcement saying what any of these three bodies will be actually doing to uphold these guidelines. For now it seems to be lip service about future conduct that we hope they stick to.
Aside from Nintendo, Xbox / Microsoft and PlayStation / Sony, McCarthy also invites other companies in the industry to take on these commitments.
Prevention: Empower players and parents to understand and control gaming experiences.
- We provide controls that let players customize their gaming experience. We support parents with the tools and information necessary to create appropriate gaming experiences for their children.
- We recognise that for safety features to be useful, they must be easy to use. We will promote the availability of our safety tools through our platforms, support channels, services, on our websites and in retail stores to reach more players and parents.
- We invest in technology to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.
Partnership: We commit to partnering with the industry, regulators, law enforcement, and our communities to advance user safety.
- The industry’s commitment to safety is central. We believe that we have an opportunity to collaborate for the benefit of the video game industry and all players to offer a safer gaming experience.
- We work with industry trade organizations, industry members, regulators, law enforcement, and experts to develop and advance online safety initiatives.
- We commit to conducting shared research for the benefit of the industry.
- We believe that hate and harassment or exploitation of younger players in any way have no place in gaming. We partner with our community to promote safe gaming behavior and encourage the use of reporting tools to call out bad actors.
- We partner with ratings agencies such as the ESRB and PEGI to ensure that our games are rated for the appropriate audience.
Responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for making our platforms as safe as possible for all players.
- We make it easy for players to report violations of our code of conduct and, in addition to removing content, we take appropriate enforcement actions for violations, including restricting players from using our services for misconduct.
- We comply with all local laws and will respond to all lawful requests from law enforcement. We promptly notify law enforcement if we observe unlawful conduct or where we believe a player is at risk of imminent harm.
- We publish our rules and requirements and we ensure that players who have been reported understand the requirements for continued engagement with our platforms.