Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill and 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross have spoken out regarding the issue of sexist abuse over Xbox Live, and offered reassurances that everything is being done to find and ban offenders.
The world of the first-person shooter is always seen as a land dominated by adolescent males, which leads many women to hide the fact that they are female while playing and can create a very unfriendly environment. There are several sites documenting the sort of sexist and abusive remarks that are sent to female players once their gender is discovered. Of course not all players are like this and it would be very wrong to tar them all with the same brush, but a minority of Xbox Live users paint a very bad picture for the rest of the community.
“I’ve seen many of the sites that have documented some of the more gender-specific slanderous comments. This is behavior that is offensive and completely unacceptable. I’d like to think most of our Xbox Live players don’t support this kind of behavior,” Ross told Gamespot in a recent interview.
“It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism. There are always going to be jerks out there, and if you give them a way to express that side of their personality without being seen, you’re going to see this type of behavior manifest itself,” Wolfkill added.
According to Ross the subject of gender came up several times during the development of Halo 4‘s campaign with the team questioning which characters should be male and which should be female at certain parts.
“Most people look at a franchise like Halo, and automatically assume it’s run by a guy. People are surprised to learn that it’s a woman who’s running the Halo 4 show. When Microsoft created 343 Industries to take over Halo, I was given first choice to run the studio because I had proven myself. My gender played no part in it,” Ross concluded.
Do you feel that female gamers get a rough time? Should abuse be tolerated at all regardless of gender? Share your thoughts below.