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Halo 4 devs speak out against sexism

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Speaking to GameSpot, Ross and Wolfkill said there is zero tolerance for Xbox Live players who are found to be making sexist or discriminatory comments against others, with a lifetime ban from the network as penalty.
I approve of these measures. Receiving such comments is not fun and I've gotten more then my fair share. It's a big problem in gaming culture, followed by homophobia and transphobia. I also approve of the indication of "if found guilty". We likely won't have that many false positives, but it's good to know a judgement of review is in place on some level. "Oh, but I was just joking!" often is a good hint the offender doesn't realize or care just how dehumanizing whatever remarks are said while the victim is pushing for authoritative help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlictoatl View Post
"This is behaviour that is offensive and completely unacceptable." - from the quoted article.

If this is the belief of the developer, than mute buttons aren't sufficient. One does not change the climate of a culture with a mute button.

It's fairly simple to identify specific words and forms of speech that are bannable offenses. If people want to play that game, they aren't allowed to use those words and phrases. It seems pretty straightforward to me.
Same here. If you don't like the rules, don't play Halo 4 multiplayer. Personally, I'm really glad that developers are speaking out against the rampant sexism that occurs in many (most?) online gaming communities. MW is an exception to the rule, partly because we have a zero-tolerance policy (or pretty damn close to one), and that makes our community better. The sexist, racist, homophobic bullcrap in gaming needs to stop, and it won't until developers start taking steps like these, as anything less has proven ineffective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedronai
I'm not generally a big fan of the things that tend to be labelled 'zero-tolerance'. I am a supporter of reasonable action being taken against transgressors, which certainly can include such things as 'lifetime bans' or their counterparts in other venues, but reasonable action can also include things such as warnings and lesser punishments for edge cases, whereas 'zero-tolerance' policies promote a binary perception of the situation.
I disagree. There have been enough warnings, mutings, and other lesser actions taken and the community hasn't changed. I'm generally not a fan of zero-tolerance policies either, but in this specific case I think it's warranted.

I'll reiterate my question:
Can you get a person banned because you take offense at a comment, or only if the administrators agree that the comment is offensive? And given the volume of comments, would they do it in personally or pass it off to a program?

Now, I don't think I've ever been sexist in any game, nor racist except in the context of the game (for example, in Pendragon, my character hated Saxons [based on a random roll in character creation], so I was overbearing and obnoxious to Saxon characters in the game - not, however, the player). So I'm clean in that respect.

But what if someone misinterprets a comment as being either sexist or racist? Or uses a word that *could* be considered sexist or racist but in a context which isn't? Who decides whether what was said is a bannable offense or not? Zero-tolerance implies that something happens the moment it comes to the attention of the admins. Do they go through the logs and decide to ban or not? If so, I have no serious problems with it. I would just prefer that things be dealt with on a case-by-case basis for comments that are not obviously sexist or racist, a warning about behavior if they're in the grey area, then the banhammer. And if the banhammer is used, consider using it on the IP address, not just the account.
Or do they use some kind of automatic 'banned word filter' the way Yahoo did on their message boards, which would automatically recognize any word that could be offensive? (and that was a piece of junk, let me tell you. You couldn't use the word Japan because it had Jap in it. You couldn't scrape something off your shoe. And don't try to shorten "who are".)

I think these are all valid concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggie2 View Post
And if the banhammer is used, consider using it on the IP address, not just the account.
While I agree with most of the rest of the concerns brought up in your post, I, personally, would rather not be banned simply for sharing an internet connection with someone who's a jerk. But maybe that's just me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedronai View Post
While I agree with most of the rest of the concerns brought up in your post, I, personally, would rather not be banned simply for sharing an internet connection with someone who's a jerk. But maybe that's just me?
Oh, I totally understand. On the other paw, I play in one game where one of the most irritating people I've ever seen broke the rules and had his characters banned one after the other, eventually had the entire account banned, then created free account after free account doing the same thing. I think that if someone does that, IP address banning might be the answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggie2 View Post
I'll reiterate my question:
Can you get a person banned because you take offense at a comment, or only if the administrators agree that the comment is offensive? And given the volume of comments, would they do it in personally or pass it off to a program?

Now, I don't think I've ever been sexist in any game, nor racist except in the context of the game (for example, in Pendragon, my character hated Saxons [based on a random roll in character creation], so I was overbearing and obnoxious to Saxon characters in the game - not, however, the player). So I'm clean in that respect.

But what if someone misinterprets a comment as being either sexist or racist? Or uses a word that *could* be considered sexist or racist but in a context which isn't? Who decides whether what was said is a bannable offense or not? Zero-tolerance implies that something happens the moment it comes to the attention of the admins. Do they go through the logs and decide to ban or not? If so, I have no serious problems with it. I would just prefer that things be dealt with on a case-by-case basis for comments that are not obviously sexist or racist, a warning about behavior if they're in the grey area, then the banhammer. And if the banhammer is used, consider using it on the IP address, not just the account.
Or do they use some kind of automatic 'banned word filter' the way Yahoo did on their message boards, which would automatically recognize any word that could be offensive? (and that was a piece of junk, let me tell you. You couldn't use the word Japan because it had Jap in it. You couldn't scrape something off your shoe. And don't try to shorten "who are".)

I think these are all valid concerns.
Too many hypotheticals. Wait until the policy is explained further, outside of a sensationalized interview.

I'm really happy to see devs making a serious effort to cut down on the sexist, racist and homophobic demeanor that has, unfortunately, become pretty much the standard in many online gaming communities. It not only drives away players (both targets of the sexist/racist/homophobic remarks and people who just don't want to listen to it) but continues to portray video games as a whole as the realm of the stupid and immature.

Like others are mentioning, I'm curious about what the actual process for banning players would entail. But I really appreciate someone taking a step to objectively ban offensive language in multiplayer games; even if it doesn't work out well, it's a great step at trying something new, and hopefully it'll start a dialogue amongst other devs about what can be done (and what should and should not be done).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlictoatl View Post
Too many hypotheticals. Wait until the policy is explained further, outside of a sensationalized interview.
Agreed. There are obviously many areas where this policy could have flaws; I'm simply glad that developers are taking a strong stand against the rampant hate in the Halo community, and I hope it spreads to other gaming communities.

Anyone that knows what they are doing will be able to circumvent these bans regardless and I believe nothing will be fixed. Things like selective mic muting, black lists, and giving more power to the players will always have greater effects than bans from the leading authority.

In my opinion I consider their attentions good, but the execution ultimately flawed and will probably be manipulated and extorted by trolls than used by any honest players.

Merdle's argument against muting doesn't really hold any weight as you can select which players to mute specifically in most games with online. If you end up on a team with more than half of them on your mute or black list, chances are you probably don't want to play with them anyway.

Apologies, Nexus, I will disagree with you. Muting a character seldom works as everyone else hears them and comments. You only catch their comments second hand. I have a pretty high level of annoyance that I can take, but you may not. You block player c, who continues to make the same remarks about what ever race or sex they want. It they know that their account can go away if they get complaints then just warning them that you will report them for their comments might change their attitude. If it does not and they get banned, they are the only one at fault. The problem with groups and mutes is that you likely do not have them muted before you group. After a few comments you mute them off and do not have to listen to them any more, but by the same token they cannot tell you about something coming. If you kick them from the group then other problems come up rapidly, you become the bad guy because you kicked him for "nothing".




 

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