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Microsoft encourages trash talk, just don’t be racist/sexist/offensive about it

Get wrecked, kid.

People playing xbox one with headsets on
Image: Unsplash

If you’ve been on Xbox Live for any length of time, you probably have thick skin towards trash talk.

I mean, go jump into any lobby of a popular FPS series that rhymes with “doody” and you’ll get racial epithets, slurs for disability, and multiple offers to do nice things to your mother (at least, I think they’re nice things). The team at Xbox wants the community to clean up its act, with a new set of community standards that were published this week.

Among reminders that “You are the community” and other phrases that wouldn’t be out of place on your average episode of Captain Planet, is a list of seemingly-approved trash talk. +

Here’s a small selection of how Microsoft wants you to moderate your speech:

  • Get destroyed. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
  • That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.
  • Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.
  • Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.
  • That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d’s over 1.

As is usually the case, trash-talking Redditors noticed the changes, which went up on Tuesday. The overall gist of the new community standards is “Don’t be a dick.” Pretty good advice, in-game as it is in the real world.

A little trash talk is an expected part of competitive multiplayer action, and that’s not a bad thing. But hate has no place here, and what’s not okay is when that trash talk turns into harassment.

The community standards document is pretty well written too, almost like the author(s) read r/explainlikeimfive. Really, probably a good thing. The prior terms and conditions pages were written in barely decipherable legalese, which no self-respecting 13-year-old is going to understand, let alone read all the way through.

We needed this, like almost 20 years ago when Xbox Live first arrived on the OG Xbox

Wrapped in the inherent-anonymity of a gamertag, some parts of the community turned into the worst versions of themselves. Think of 4chan being given microphones and unleashed on tween gamers and you’re part-way there.

Now the guidelines explicitly ban the normal staples of sexual threats, profanity aimed at others (that means swearing at yourself is fine, I guess), and racism. Even one occurrence could land you in the sin bin, with a suspension from the service. Repeat offenders might even wake up to find their gamertag or Xbox console blacklisted, which also removes access to any games, DLC, or other items bought on Xbox.

The ten pillars of the community are also well thought-out, so while we reproduce them here, click through to the page to find out more context and also examples of what not to do.

  • Keep it legal
  • Do your part to keep everyone safe
  • Turn that spam into substance
  • Keep your content clean
  • Fraud benefits no one
  • Where there are limits, there’s a reason
  • Harmful behavior has no place on Xbox
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Always respect the privacy of others
  • Be a force for good, even when others aren’t

Surprised it took Microsoft this long to lay down the law in plain speak? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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