Microsoft, 343 Industries fighting sexism on Xbox Live

Xbox Live isn't exactly known as being a wealth of intelligent discussion. In many games, users will find themselves on the receiving end of racist, sexist and demeaning comments. Now Microsoft studio 343 Industries, the developer of "Halo 4," is looking to do something about that.

In a discussion with GameStop UK, two high-ranking studio employees said Microsoft is implementing a zero-tolerance policy against users who make sexist or derogatory comments on Xbox Live. Users found to be making those kinds of comments face a lifetime ban on the gaming network.

Kiki Wolfkill, the executive producer of Halo 4, said Microsoft is carefully monitoring comments to ensure Xbox Live isn't being used as a place where discriminatory comments find shelter.

"It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism," she told GameStop. "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 behavior manifest itself."

Wolfkill and Bonnie Ross, the studio head of 343 Industries, said that in addition to the Xbox Live monitoring, 343 was careful not to create gender-enforced stereotypes when designing characters for Halo 4.

"With 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 question what we were doing and why," Ross said. 

Source: GameStop UK

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