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It’s time we take away that megaphone.” At the end of the video, viewers were encouraged to e-mail Microsoft’s Xbox Live’s team, asking for changes to communication tools and improvements to reporting systems. Microsoft confirmed it was working toward improvements to its community tools.
“For the longest time, people have seen games as a children’s pastime, and we as an industry have stood behind this idea,” said Mr.
In February, shortly after the Cross Assault tournament, Level Up, an Internet broadcaster of gaming events, barred two commentators who made light of sexual harassment on camera and issued a formal apology, including statements from the commentators.
Even so, Tom Cannon, co-founder of the largest fighting game tournament, EVO, pulled his company’s sponsorship of the weekly Level Up series, saying that “we cannot continue to let ignorant, hateful speech slide.” “The nasty undercurrent in the scene isn’t a joke or a meme,” he said. Bakhtanians, whose actions during the Cross Assault tournament were captured on video, later issued a statement in which he apologized if he had offended anyone. Sarkeesian responded by documenting the harassment, posting online the doctored, pornographic images of herself that her detractors had created.
When Miranda Pakozdi entered the Cross Assault video game tournament this year, she knew she had a slim chance of winning the ,000 prize.
But she was ready to compete, and promised fans watching online that she would train just as hard as, if not harder than, anyone else. Pakozdi, 25, an experienced gamer, has said she always expects a certain amount of trash talk.
Executives in the billion-a-year industry are taking note.
One game designer’s online call for civility prompted a meeting with Microsoft executives about how to better police Xbox Live.
Sexism, racism, homophobia and general name-calling are longstanding facts of life in certain corners of online video games.
For instance, many of the site’s recordings feature deep voices captured from the chat features of online games, debunking the widely held belief that bad behavior begins and ends with 13-year-old boys.
Jessica Hammer, a longtime player of video games and a researcher at Columbia University, said the percentage of women playing such games online ranges from 12 percent to close to half, depending on the game type.
Portnow, who will be speaking on a gaming convention panel later this month called “Ending Harassment in Gaming.” “But that’s not true any longer,” he added.
“We are a real mass medium, and we have a real effect on the culture.