Important news for parents of teen and younger Xbox Live users may have slipped under the radar this week. Microsoft rolled out two initiatives that are designed to make Xbox safer for young users, and identify users who are playing and communicating in a way that is unpleasant or unsafe.
According to Microsoft’s Xbox Wire blog:
We have built in a series of carefully designed controls so no individual participant can wield unchecked power over another. The system will also continually calibrate itself to understand how reliable the data is and the sources it comes from.
The first initiative is called Xbox Enforcement United, and users who sign up will be encouraged to provide their opinion on whether in-game content violates the Xbox Live Code of Content. While reportable content may initially be limited to Gamertags (user names) this is a great step in the right direction.
The second initiative is called Xbox Community Level, and qualifying users can register now and contribute opinions and information designed to improve the Xbox experience. Users contributing the best feedback will be eligible to receive rewards and recognition.
Parents may not be aware of the fact that young users are chatting in-game, either by voice or text, and in many or most cases do not know who they are chatting with, how old they are or what their intentions might be. Xbox Live has a team of agents dedicated to improving the online gaming experience, but in our view they can’t reach the next level without user input. According to a recent Microsoft announcement, Xbox live has 48 million registered users. Undoubtedly, thousands of those are bullies, trolls, use language that would make parents cringe or in the worst-case scenario, are child predators. Microsoft’s new announcements should be welcome news for parents of online gamers.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.