Gaming giants Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox have shared details on their united commitment to make gaming a safer place for all players.
Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President, Xbox Operations, has shared a new post on the official Xbox website today, highlighting the basic principles that sit at the heart of each company's work. "We believe gaming is for all people of all ages, including our youngest and most vulnerable players," the post reads. "Technology makes compelling entertainment experiences possible, and we want to ensure that those experiences – especially when they involve interaction with others – are positive and respectful."
McCarthy goes on to explain how Xbox is 'aligned' with its industry rivals in this message, sharing the three key pillars holding up its work.
"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. We can accomplish more when we work toward the same goal, and so we will each continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying our approaches to user safety. As we continue this work, we will prioritize protecting the safety of our players, especially those most vulnerable."
Here are those key principles listed in the post:
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 recognize 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.
It's particularly good to see the companies 'holding themselves accountable' for making their platforms as safe as possible here. Incidentally, you can find Nintendo's support page and information for parents at those links should you need any assistance.
"Protecting players can be challenging in a digitally and often instantaneously connected world. This partnership signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone. While the video game industry has a long history of taking steps to protect gamers, especially children, we recognize that no one company or industry will solve these challenges alone.
"We welcome others to make and share similar commitments to players everywhere."
Do you believe that Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox do enough to protect gamers? Do you think more could be done, or that the three companies should accept a higher level of responsibility than they do now? Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.