Gaming has never been more popular. The breadth of gaming’s audience expands from children to adults and with online multiplayer, diverse communities come into contact often. Making sure the gaming landscape remains sociable, yet safe, for all players has become an increasingly important task for developers, publishers, and gamers alike.
In a joint commitment from the three largest gaming companies – Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony – they laid out three principles to help create a safe environment for players. These three principles are Prevention, Partnership, and Responsibility.
When it comes to prevention, it is largely providing controls and knowledge to players and parents in order to create desired gaming spaces. While a lot of this is communication of available tools, it is also “invest[ing] in technology to help thwart improper conduct and content before a player is subject to harm.”
For partnership, it is collaborating across and beyond the gaming industry in order to create this safe environment. A multi-scalar approach, one that spans from the industry to the community, offers the most wide ranging options when it comes to noting and preventing cases of harm.
Finally, the companies claim they will hold themselves accountable for creating platforms that are safe for players. How they plan to do this is through making reporting features more accessible, removing content, complying with local laws, and communicating policies.
Although the joint agreement is a good sign for a safe gaming environment, these commitments will certainly be tested as there are few, if any, definitive action steps listed. However, if these three companies commit to doing this work, the industry will certainly follow suit and be a safer place for everyone.