We wish we could say otherwise, but unfortunately, sexism is something that runs rampant in our online gaming communities like Xbox Live and PSN. It seems that women who take their game online risk becoming the target of some kind of sexist comment every time they do, but fortunately, 343 Industries and Microsoft are going to do something about it. Trolls be warned, because if you begin flinging sexist remarks around in lobbies or in private messages while playing Halo 4, you might just earn yourself a lifetime ban from Xbox Live.
This crack down on sexism was revealed by 343 Industries lead Bonnie Ross and Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill in an new interview with GameSpot. It sounds like these new rules against sexist remarks don’t just apply to Halo 4 either, but rather Xbox Live as a whole. “It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism,” Wolfkill said. “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 behavior manifest itself.”
Apparently this is a zero tolerance policy too, so if you’re found to be making sexist comments, don’t expect to get away with just a slap on the wrist. Wolfkill and Ross say that developers have a responsibility to break through gender stereotypes and stamp out sexism in the games industry too. It’s sad that it has to come to Xbox Live bans just to get people to act civil toward one another, but that’s unfortunately what you get when everyone is hidden behind a veil of anonymity.
Of course, there’s one easy way to avoid the banhammer altogether: just don’t be a jerk. It’s fine to get angry when you’re losing a match or can’t seem to get a decent shot in, but there are plenty of other ways to express that anger without resorting to bigoted or sexist remarks. What do you think of this new Xbox Live rule? Is the harsh punishment for the best?