It seems that big companies like Microsoft have to teach players something that they should already know by now.
Since they’ve updated their Xbox Community Standards, certain parts sound pretty comedic. Valuing the privacy of others, not getting into any illegal trouble, avoiding harmful behavior like exploiting glitches. Are they also trying to show people the difference between trash talk and verbal abuse? Yes, they are, and for a good cause. If you’ve ever played any type of competitive game, you’ve run into complete douchebags. Racists, homophobes, angry little kids that don’t even know what kind of words they’re using. It should sound very familiar to all gamers, as everyone played a game of Call of Duty or Fortnite or PUBG or any sort of game where one side loses and another one wins, where someone tried to verbally abuse their opponent.
A lot of problems plague gaming communities, one of them being toxic communication between the players. You see, in a competitive game, it doesn’t feel nice to lose. Instead of using that experience as something to learn from, most players get annoyed. Then they say some pretty mean and offensive things.
There are many ways to make your opponent feel humiliated even if they’ve won. Using homophobic and racial slurs, making fun of their appearance or voice, use harassment, and so on. There’s a fine line between trash talking your opponent and just being an asshole. Microsoft wants its community to know the difference with the new Xbox Community Standards:
Trash talk includes any lighthearted banter or bragging that focuses on the game at hand and encourages healthy competition. Harassment includes any negative behavior that’s personalized, disruptive, or likely to make someone feel unwelcome or unsafe. To qualify as harassment, the behavior doesn’t have to be drawn-out or persistent. Even a single abusive message could harm someone’s experience. Know when to draw the line, when to back off. Know and respect the other player.
It’s sad that a company as large as this actually has to spell out this difference for its users. But, maybe that’s what the players needed, someone to tell them which line should not be crossed.
What do you think, will this help at all, or will some people just continue being toxic and abusive nonetheless?