Yesterday, Microsoft published an op-ed in Xbox head Phil Spencer's name, entitled “Video games: A unifying force for the world”. The post outlines Microsoft's commitment to “building a safe and inclusive gaming space for everyone”. I don't really know what the impetus of the post is—Microsoft updated their Code of Conduct over a year ago and it was no big deal (contrary to reactionary hysteria). I guess I can't judge ‘em, since KoopaTV is untimely all the time.
Perhaps it was spurred by the ESA's recently released 2019 Essential Facts survey, since Microsoft indirectly cites their high-level (and misleading, especially given that Xbox doesn't have casual smartphone-player demographics) conclusions about gender and game playing. Maybe Phil Spencer got really excited about how Microsoft collaborated with the Special Olympics, especially when he wrote that, in terms of games, disabled people stand on equal footing with non-disabled people. (Sincerest good luck to the disabled in trying to play complicated games.)
The op-ed boils down to these three action items:
- The Xbox Safety team will moderate the Xbox ecosystem, per the code of conduct/community standards
- Club community managers and parents will be able to curate member/children experiences
- Microsoft will share safety, security, and privacy best practices with other game industry companies
I've read and watched takes where people say Phil Spencer is a full-blown male-hating, anti-white crybaby social justice warrior. One such bad take is from this YouTube channel called Geeks + Gamers, which I'll only hyperlink because the thumbnail is idiotic and it'd be a stain on my article to embed it. I'm only giving attention to it because it's plenty more popular than KoopaTV is, but with logarithmically less insight, nuance, or entertainment value. It's eight minutes of an obnoxious host doing a very terrible impersonation of how Rush Limbaugh mocks hyperventilating liberals crying about unfairness, but without any comedic timing, and he seems really confused about whether or not to attack the secondary source (some random website talking about the op-ed) or the primary source (the op-ed itself, which I don't think he read in full, just the quoted parts on the secondary source).
The closest thing to a constructive point the guy has is that all of your problems would be solved with the use of a mute button. That's completely untrue and indicates that the guy doesn't keep up with gaming news or even read the op-ed. It's not just bad things being said on voice chat that Microsoft is concerned with.
|Microsoft's search engine caption for this picture is, “Xbox avatars showing a diverse group of people in different outfits.”|
I guess this is all Rare Ltd. ended up being good for?
Let's see what topics would fall under Phil Spencer's initiatives that KoopaTV has happened to already write about as existing problems. None of these would be resolved by applying the mute button, though Microsoft considers the mute button's existence to be an extension of this initiative:
- Terrorists collaborating via online games for real-world plots, which logically is behaviour that goes under law enforcement's radar
- Or terrorists trying to recruit gamers to join their cause
- Bomb threats to players’ schools and other community establishments
- Hoax calls to law enforcement about other players so they send SWAT teams at their houses
- Financial fraud, like hacking credit cards attached to your gaming account
- Or other kinds of hacking activity targeted towards gaming communities
- Promotion of piracy/viruses
- Flooding a community space with pornography
- Accessibility features like a narrator or bigger, better-contrasting text
- Preventing kids from spending money on things they don't understand
I just wrote about how important free speech is for public debate and how lamentable it is that Internet communities are forbidding free expression. However, I don't hold it against Nintendo or Microsoft for trying to keep a tight, controversy-free family-friendly ecosystem and asking for controversial material to be discussed elsewhere (like on KoopaTV's comments section).
And believe me, Microsoft has every reason to be as family-friendly as Nintendo. Last I checked, their average ESRB game rating is sub-teenager.
Ludwig really doesn't understand why anyone would watch some obnoxious repetitive YouTuber discuss this topic in an uninformed way when you could instead read this well-prepared article experience that you can customise to be a short read or a long series of reads with all of the hyperlinked content. Plus, any comments you make on Ludwig's articles will be responded to. Promise! Anyway, assuming you took the time to read Phil Spencer's op-ed, are you put off by it in any way? Do you think it's great? Or do you just shrug and wonder why anyone would care? Go ahead and respond how your mind wants in the comments section.
As a quick rule, KoopaTV is inclined to stand with Phils.
Ludwig had a similar take on the Gillette commercial and how people reacted to it wrong because they didn't actually listen to its message.