Friday, April 16, 2010

Language Barrier

Looks like an increasing problem in the gaming world is not the violence in games themselves, but the language of the gamers. With online gaming on the rise and over 23 million members on Xbox Live alone, players are exchanging racist, homophobic and various profanities over gaming sessions. Even some gamer tags and screen names are plays on racial slurs. Founder of the website Flynn DeMarco said that more policing is needed in the online community. He is working alongside gaming corporations to help eliminate the problem. Microsoft is asking people to be their own police force in these cases and report those gamers using the language. The charges on the gamer will be reviewed and punishments can include suspended voice capabilities or banishment from the online service. The company is even considering having its users register with their actual names though it would be in clear violation of privacy for the gamers and a potential safety risk. After all this, I'm left wondering where we went wrong as players. I rarely play online without other people I already know personally but am definitely aware there are those out there who are online merely to boast their skill and ego. Time will only tell the way this war will go. What side are you on?

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