Friday, September 30

Phil Spencer wants to help game companies improve behavior, proposes cross-platform systems for silencing

Phil Spencer is no stranger to making big statements to the media, whether it’s about the scam potential of NFT games or the importance of game preservation. But a recent interview with Los New York Times’ Kara Swisher gave Spencer the opportunity to speak of all kinds, including the potential of the metaverse and Microsoft’s relationship with companies like Activision Blizzard going forward.

That ongoing relationship with Activision Blizzard in particular was one of the highlights of the interview. Considering Spencer’s earlier comments criticizing the company’s history of harassment and discrimination, when pressed by Swisher on the matter, he seemed a bit more cautious. He reiterated that he was “sad and disgusted” by the treatment of Activision employees, but only said that Xbox “had changed the way [it does] certain things with them, and they are aware of that ”. He went on to say that he would rather share how things have changed and improved on Xbox than get involved in “finger wagging” at other companies, adding, “I don’t think my work is there to punish other companies.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Spencer recounted the ways Xbox had tried to counter toxicity in their own communities and reflected on what the future might look like in that regard. One solution he was interested in, while admitting it would be “difficult as an industry,” was a cross-platform ban apparatus, eliminating toxic items entirely rather than encouraging them to move from one community to another.

Spencer had a lot more to say on various topics in the interview, from the metaverse to the lingering effects of GamerGate to the effects of the pandemic on the gaming industry as a whole.

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