The Latest Word from Microsoft: Don’t be an Ass on Xbox One

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chris-littlechild - August 6, 2013

As anyone with functioning ears and/or eyeballs can attest, Xbox Live isn't the friendliest place. Obi-Wan Kenobi himself once said "you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy," and --even if his beard is, frankly, a bit shit-- you don't argue with that guy. Not even when he's talking about something entirely unrelated to the matter at hand.

We've all heard or experienced firsthand the horror stories of the service: incessant swear-age from minors who have no clue what ‘effing son of a badger-bollocked bitch' even means (nor do we, come to that), trash talk, tirades, griefing, trolling and anything else you can put under the broad banner of come on, don't be such a dick all the time. With Xbox One's much-ballyhooed focus upon the social aspects, connectivity and all that business, are we simply multiplying the opportunities for jerks to be... jerks?

Apparently not. A few choice info-nuggets have emerged this week, showcasing Microsoft's commitment to ‘cleaning up' Xbox Live. IGN recently brought us news of the overhauled reputation system that will be utilized. They report that Michael Dunn, Xbox Live's program leader, explained: "If you don't want to play with cheats or jerks, you shouldn't have to... our new reputation model helps expose people that aren't fun to be around and creates real consequences for trouble-makers that harass our good players. The more hours you play online without being a jerk, the better your reputation will be; similar to the more hours you drive without an accident, the better your driving record and insurance rates will be."

What does this mean? Presumably that people who both refrain from talking on cell phones/scratching their balls with both hands while driving and aren't assholes online are Microsoft's favorite people. Perhaps they're all invited for a big ol' party at Bill Gates' summer house. We just don't know.

Use it responsibly, now.

The report goes on to say that a green/amber/red light system will be in place, an at-a-glance guide to player etiquette that is determined by a complex series of algorithms. Still, a sentence that ends with a phrase like ‘complex series of algorithms' can make you want to shoot your own brain right in the face, so let's just say there's some science involved here and move on.

Meanwhile, Xbox Live's new ‘Enforcement United' program is not the Nazi soccer team its name suggests. Instead, it's a peer-review sort of thing, which allows applicants to check out Gamertags and report those they find offensive. If, for some unholy reason, you should want to do such a thing voluntarily. Take a look at that --and an unhealthy amount of references to weed, STDs and gang-banging moms-- here.

In short, Xbox execs are beginning to stride through the Live-verse; dispatching outlaws like the beardly gunslinging sheriffs of the Wild West. Good for them.

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