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Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft Share Commitment to Safer Gaming

In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President, Xbox Operations spoke about the big threes commitment to safer gaming, according to the new release from today. Both Nintendo and Sony have posted the same statement.

The initiative has been launched to protect those who game on each platform, specifically the “youngest and most vulnerable players.” While reading over the presser, the sentiment is a bit vague but we know that there will be guiding principles that will be adapted by all three companies.

“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,” Dave McCarthy wrote. “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.”

The first principle is 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 continually inform our parents and players through our codes of conduct, terms of use, and our enforcement practices.
  • We invest in technology to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.

Next is 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.

Finally, the last principle is about 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.

Protecting players is a huge challenge in today’s landscape but it is also necessary as more of us head online. With this partnership being established, it feels like the online world is more inclusive and open to people of all ages.

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Bobby has been gaming since he was old enough to walk. Since then, the interest has only grown stronger, and here we are today. Follow Bobby on Twitter, and just go with it. @bpashalidis

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