It's not too often that we see the Big Three (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony) come together with things. Usually, when we do, it's reserved for things like awards shows or hardware-related ideas. In this case, we've got something a bit more wholesome. The three companies released a joint statement the other day completely out of the blue on Microsoft's very own Xbox Wire. While the entire statement lacks any sort of specifics, speaking mostly in broad strokes, the overall goal is an inspiring one and one that's easy to forget about when it comes to gaming: Online harassment.


"At Xbox, we are 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," the statement reads, "one that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight. We can accomplish more when we work toward the same goal, and so we will each continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying our approaches to user safety. As we continue this work, we will prioritize protecting the safety of our players, especially those most vulnerable." The statement was written by Dave McCarthy, corporate VP of Xbox.

The statement goes on to give some examples of what can be done, such as giving parents more information on video game safety tools and child controls, working with local law enforcement, etc. They even encourage players to report any bad behavior they witness on their respective online networks, be it Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Network, or Xbox Live. And, naturally, they aim to make use of the better tech with each passing day to spotlight instances of abuse. While it may seem random, the timing of the statement makes sense with the recent release of the next-generation consoles. A new PlayStation and new Xbox means yet another new wave and generation of gamers entering into the fold, which certainly includes both younger gamers and those vulnerable to online hostility and harassment. Playing online is fun, but it should always be done responsibly.

"Protecting players can be challenging in a digitally and often instantaneously connected world," the post finishes. "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. We welcome others to make and share similar commitments to players everywhere." From the looks of things, it looks as if the three will be working more closely together in the future on these sorts of things. It's an honorable goal, to be sure, and I do hope something good comes of it. 


Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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