Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony today released a joint statement expressing a collective commitment to ensuring their online spaces are free from hate and harassment, and safe for younger players.
“We believe gaming is for all people of all ages, including our youngest and most vulnerable players,” the companies said. “Technology makes compelling entertainment experiences possible, and we want to ensure that those experiences – especially when they involve interaction with others – are positive and respectful. All players deserve to have fantastic social gaming experiences in settings where respect and safety are mutual.”
The companies said they will “continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying… approaches to user safety,” prioritizing the safety of their most vulnerable players. The trio grouped their commitments under three principles: Prevention, Partnership, and Responsibility.
Under prevention, the commitments made were to “empower players and parents to understand and control gaming experiences” with easy-to-use parental control features, regular communication around codes of conduct, and investing in technology “to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.”
For partnership, the three platform holders have committed to working with the rest of the industry, communities, and governmental bodies to ensure user safety, as well as “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,” they said. “We partner with our community to promote safe gaming behavior and encourage the use of reporting tools to call out bad actors.”
Regarding responsibility, they pledged to hold themselves accountable for making their platforms safe. Beyond reporting and removing bad behavior and bad actors, the console makers said they would notify law enforcement if they see people breaking the law or believe a player is at risk of imminent harm. They also said they would ensure that players who are punished for code of conduct violations “understand the requirements for continued engagement with our platforms.”
“Protecting players can be challenging in a digitally and often instantaneously connected world,” they said. “This partnership signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone.”