If you’re one of the many many gamers on Xbox Live that can’t help but spout a bedroom or kitchen joke when you meet a girl online, then you may want to steer clear of Halo 4.
“I’ve seen many of the sites that have documented some of the more gender-specific slanderous comments,” Ross said.
“This is behaviour that is offensive and completely unacceptable. I’d like to think most of our Xbox Live players don’t support this kind of behaviour.”
Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill (I want that last name) and 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross have spoken out against sexism on Xbox Live. They have said that there is a zero tolerance policy for any and all Xbox Live users who make sexist or discriminatory remarks towards others. Anyone found doing so is issued a lifetime ban.
“It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism,” Wolfkill added. “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 behaviour manifest itself.”
“As developers, we have a personal responsibility to think about how our games come across,” Ross said. “With Halo 4, we were very deliberate in thinking about who should be female and who should be male in the game, and if we came off stereotypical, we went back to question what we were doing and why.”
“Most people look at a franchise like Halo, and automatically assume it’s run by a guy,” Ross said. “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.”
Halo 4 is due exclusively for Xbox 360 on November 6th.