Halo 4 studio calls Xbox Live sexism 'completely unacceptable'

By Steve Watts, Oct 31, 2012 1:00pm PDT

Halo 4 is due out in less than a week, and you'll be able to hop onto a game on Xbox Live and hear insults you didn't even know were still in use. Gendered insults are among the popular past times on the service, and developer 343 wants users to know that is not cool. In fact, you guys shaming ladies are flat-out "jerks."

"I've seen many of the sites that have documented some of the more gender-specific slanderous comments," 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross told GameSpot. "This is behavior that is offensive and completely unacceptable. I'd like to think most of our Xbox Live players don't support this kind of behavior."

Executive producer Kiki Wolfkill took it a step further. "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."

She added that developers have a "personal responsibility to think about how our games come across," which came up during the development of 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 the question what we were doing and why."

Obviously, the game heads calling out sexism isn't likely to curb sexism, but good on them for making the attempt to get through to jerks. Halo 4 is due November 6.

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