While there are millions of video game players who are perfectly nice people, there are enough jerks out there to give the gaming community a bad name, so much so that some folks refuse to play multiplayer games just to avoid dealing with the schoolyard bullying that can sometimes come over the Internet. Last year, Microsoft promised that its new Xbox One console would have a way to minimize jerks’ access to online gaming, and the company says it is now ready to start issuing warnings to users who behave badly.
The Xbox One’s “reputation” system uses a color-coded system to let other users know about whether or not you’ve been a good little gamer. Green means you’ve gotten positive feedback (or no feedback at all, which is a good thing) from the community; Yellow means your reputation “Needs Work,” indicating that you ticked off some people along the way; Red signals “avoid me” to other users.
Until now, these reputation statuses have just been indicators for other users to employ in deciding whether or not to play with a certain person. But Microsoft says it will soon be taking more active steps to keep misbehaving users from sinking into the red.
Later this month, users who fall into the “Needs Work” category will begin receiving reputation warnings from Microsoft.
“The purpose of these communications is to remind players about their effect on the community and encourage them to have more positive interactions,” explains the Xbox Live Program Manager in a blog post. “These warnings are based on community feedback collected since Xbox One launched.”
Those who continue to wear the scarlet “Avoid Me” on their avatars, will begin to experience penalties, says Microsoft. These users may have fewer options for matchmaking in online games or may not be able to use the Xbox One’s Twitch broadcasting functionalities.
So what about the vast majority of us who have done nothing wrong? Don’t we deserve at least a pat on the back?
To that end, Microsoft only reiterated previous statements about having future plans to reward users with solid reputations.