By Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
My father, a chemical engineer, brought home our first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, which came out in 1981. We played games together and, later, we wrote games together.
Today, for galore people around the world, gambling is the first entry point into technical schoolnology, just like it was for me.
I believe in two fundamental truths about gambling.
First, gambling is for everyone. No one group “owns” gambling. Instead, whether you’re new to gambling or are a traditionalist e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gambling. In this way, when everyone can play, the entire world wins.
If you imagine gamers as preponderantly men and generally teen boys, think once again. We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making mathematics wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers copulative with their parents back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women.
Second, gambling must promote and protect the safety of all. gambling must be a safe environment. Creating community is shared work, and protective community is essential work, so we all carry part of the payload of community safety – game industry and gamers alike.
This widespread embrace of gambling and its global communities has turned video games into the world’s leading cultural industry, larger than movies or music, but it besides comes at a time when digital life includes a growing cyanogenetic stew of hate speech, dogmatism and misogyny.
No different from rock and roll, books and TV before them, video games are often discharged or maligned as airheaded, fraught with violence or filled entirely with hate-mongering. ne'ertheless, gambling is unambiguously designed for equality. We don’t just walk in someone’s place – we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, quality, nationality or ability. gambling doesn’t just bring stereotype-defying gamers together, it unites us through our universal language of fun and answers our human need to play. Research has shown that an effective way to battle polarisation and prejudice is through relationships with people outside our own groups, best-known as intergroup contact theory. This is where gambling excels: formation unexpected friendships with people we mightiness ne'er meet in real life. Dr Linda Tropp, a prof of psychological science at University of Massachusetts Amherst, said: “As an interactive form of amusement, gambling environments have the potential to bring people together for collaborations crosswise differences, and to build sympathy and mutual understanding through play.”
When people call video games a waste of time, I point them to the well-documented health and social benefits of gambling. on the far side pure excitement, gambling helps children with syndrome make new friends and seniors with Alzheimer’s improve their memory. Researchers have found that gambling teaches adults leadershiphip, improves decision-making and reduces stress and depression, and besides teaches kids procedure skills and sympathy. gambling is the entrance to these twenty-first century skills and to STEM (science, technical schoolnology, engineering and mathematics) – teen girls who play video games are three times more likely to pursue a STEM degree. Among teenagers who play games online with others daily, 74% have made friends online and 37% have made more than five friends online.
By uniting as an industry, we can thoughtfully and deliberately continue building a safe and comprehensive gambling environment for everyone. Microsoft, Team Xbox and I are personally committing to this, beginning with the following principles and actions:
We commit to be argus-eyed, proactive and swift. Our Xbox Safety team is nicknamed the “Defenders of Joy” because we will defend you in every humanly and technical schoolnologically possible way, so gambling remains fun. We will identify potentials for abuse and misuse on our platform and will fix problems quickly. We are besides intent on expanding the composition of our safety team, so wide-ranging perspectives can help us identify future safety problems and solutions. Because hate and harassment have no place in gambling, we recently published a fresh version of our Xbox Community Standards to communicate how each of us can keep gambling fun and safe for all and detail the consequences when any of us break these standards. A hospitable community is the key to a safe community, so our 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leadership, stewards and allies – will be engaged to embark on new community missions to help create an invitatory and safe environment for all gamers. We will besides continue to roll out new programs for the health of our entire gambling community.
We commit to empowering you to safeguard your gambling experience the way you want. We believe in arming you with the tools to customise your gambling experience to fit your personal comfort level. This summer, we are empowering our official Club community managers with proactive content moderation features that will help create safe spaces for fans to discuss their favourite games. We plan to roll out new content moderation experiences to everyone on Xbox Live by the end of 2019. Creating a child or teen account is the easiest way for parents and guardians to manage who their kids engage with as well as their family’s screen time, content and disbursement. piece more than 26 million child and teen accounts have been created to date, we will make it easier for parents and guardians new to console and PC gambling to discover and create child or teen accounts. This year, Microsoft Stores rolled out a series of family workshops to help parents understand the tools available to them on console and PC, and this summer we are launching gambling Summer Camps, offering young gamers new shipway to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gambling and everyday life. in addition, we recently launched a new “For Everyone” destination on Xbox.com where parents, guardians and players can learn how we’re making gambling more fun for everyone with our new inclusivity, accessibility and safety features. We’re innovating now in these and other concrete shipway to reduce, filter and develop a shared understanding of cyanogenetic experiences, and to finally put our community of gamers, and their parents or guardians, in control of their own experiences.
We commit to working crosswise the gambling industry on safety measures. Because we intend to protect all gamers, we will openly share safety innovations with our industry the same way Microsoft has made PhotoDNA technical schoolnology universally available to everyone from the police to the technical school industry to fight the spread of child porno. Today, multiple teams working in areas like moderation, user research, information science and others are not yet positioning with industry partners to share insights and best practices in areas of safety, security and privacy.
The gambling community continues to grow quickly, and the at hand roll-out of new game employment so much as Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud, will make gambling available to even more people worldwide. Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to play with our fierce urgency for safety.
We invite everyone who plays games, and industry partners, to join us in following these principles to help unify the world and do our part: make gambling accessible for everyone and protect gamers, one and all.