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How Microsoft plans to make Xbox One a friendlier place to play online

by Andrew Yoon, Jul 03, 2013 12:30pm PDT
Related Topics – Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox One

Jumping into an online game on Xbox Live can sometimes be a harrowing experience. If you're not part of a Party of friends, you'll potentially expose yourself to a vocal smackdown of homophobic, sexist, racist, and just generally nasty remarks. Microsoft wants to tackle that with Xbox Live on Xbox One--but how? A new Reputation system will track player behavior and attempt to separate hostile players from the more sportsman gamers.

"What we're looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making," Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin said. "Ultimately if there's a few percent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks."

It appears Microsoft may end up segregating foulmouthed Live players into games they exclusively play in. "You'll probably end up starting to play more with other people that are more similar to you," Lavin told OXM, who jokingly described the quarantined part of Live "the Xbox Live version of hell."

"If we see consistently that people, for instance, don't like playing with you, that you're consistently blocked, that you're the subject of enforcement actions because you're sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don't want naked pictures of you," Lavin said. "Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score."

ProTip: Pretty much no one wants naked pictures. Just don't do it.

The new Reputation system on Xbox Live will have parties assigned an overall score for the group. However, the score will only reflect the player with the lowest score. Lavin suggests that "the weight of peer pressure" may help encourage better player behavior.

"We're one of the only platforms that really takes an interest in exploring and investigating major problems, and this extends from sexual harassment, to age harassment, to gender to everything else under the sun," Lavin added. "Really fostering a sense of community and providing an infrastructure for that is a huge deal."




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