News: Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo pledge a Shared Commitment to Safer Gaming

Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation have all announced a joint partnership to pledge a safer gaming environment for gaming communties across all console platforms in a statement today.

Posting on the Xbox Wire, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Operations Dave McCarthy said that “All players deserve to have fantastic social gaming experiences in settings where respect and safety are mutual” and that Xbox was “aligned with both Nintendo, on behalf of the community of Nintendo Switch players, and PlayStation in our belief that protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach – one that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight.”

To that end, the pledge covers three major principles, along with bullet point guidance on how the companies intend to meet those, which are stated as follows:

Prevention: Empower players and parents to understand and control gaming experiences.

  • We provide controls that let players customize their gaming experience. We support parents with the tools and information necessary to create appropriate gaming experiences for their children.
  • We recognize that for safety features to be useful, they must be easy to use. We will promote the availability of our safety tools through our platforms, support channels, services, on our websites and in retail stores to reach more players and parents.
  • We continually inform our parents and players through our codes of conduct, terms of use, and our enforcement practices.
  • We invest in technology to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.

Partnership: We commit to partnering with the industry, regulators, law enforcement, and our communities to advance user safety.

  • The industry’s commitment to safety is central. We believe that we have an opportunity to collaborate for the benefit of the video game industry and all players to offer a safer gaming experience.
  • We work with industry trade organizations, industry members, regulators, law enforcement, and experts to develop and advance online safety initiatives.
  • We commit to 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. We partner with our community to promote safe gaming behavior and encourage the use of reporting tools to call out bad actors.
  • We partner with ratings agencies such as the ESRB and PEGI to ensure that our games are rated for the appropriate audience.

Responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for making our platforms as safe as possible for all players.

  • We make it easy for players to report violations of our code of conduct and, in addition to removing content, we take appropriate enforcement actions for violations, including restricting players from using our services for misconduct.
  • We comply with all local laws and will respond to all lawful requests from law enforcement. We promptly notify law enforcement if we observe unlawful conduct or where we believe a player is at risk of imminent harm.
  • We publish our rules and requirements and we ensure that players who have been reported understand the requirements for continued engagement with our platforms.

McCarthy closed the statement by recognising that protecting players can be challenging, but hopes this partnership “signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone. While the video game industry has a long history of taking steps to protect gamers, especially children, we recognize that no one company or industry will solve these challenges alone” and finally welcomed others to make and share similar commitments to players everywhere.

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