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Need to brush up on your tasteful trash talk in online games? Microsoft's new community guidelines provide examples on how to cleanly diss opponents

Try again Kiddo

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 5, 2019 at 4:34 p.m. PDT • Comments: 60

The online fighting game ecosystems often lead to intense matches and heightened emotions, both positive and negative, which can get us so amped up or frustrated that we feel the need to tell the opposition exactly how we felt about their play.

Microsoft recently updated their Community Standards page where they outlined new guidelines that players on Xbox should try to keep their conduct within for online interactions, messages, cheating, clubs and more. They also give some examples as to what sorts of trash talk the company finds as acceptable banter and what crosses the line into being harmful, toxic or harassment.

Telling players that they have "potato aim," to get good, that they had a cheap win or to get wrecked are all perfectly fine to use in these scenarios though they are just simple examples.

Microsoft views typical trash talk as "lighthearted banter or bragging that focuses on the game at hand and encourages healthy competition." Mixing in threats, slurs, personalized attacks or telling players to harm themselves are a step too far for the platform holders.

"Harassment includes any negative behavior that’s personalized, disruptive, or likely to make someone feel unwelcome or unsafe" according to Xbox's Community Standards.

This doesn't mean that you'll get banned for disparaging your buddies or being crude with players that you're familiar with by any means, however. Microsoft appears to be aiming to try and make matches between strangers a more positive experience and environment to continue playing in without muting everyone players come across.

Xbox's examples go beyond messaging as well, as they also warn players not to make clubs to shame others, start a stream with the intent to make fun of someone or do things like flooding voice chat with music or other sounds.

"The standards are not a new set of rules, but are a call to action that empowers every player to evaluate their behavior and adjust accordingly in order to be a force for good," said Microsoft via Polygon and reported by The Verge.

Players who go against the code of conduct and are reported can face punishments like warnings, limited / suspended access to online services and messages, and restrictions to joining / accessing parties and clubs. Microsoft may also permanently ban repeat and / or severe violators' accounts causing them to lose all content associated with it.

Below you can check out some of Microsoft's examples for acceptable and harmful trash talk along with the potential punishments for offenders based around different violations.

Xbox new code of conduct image #1
Click images for larger versions

Potential Profile or Account Restrictions for Violations
• Restrictions on the use of online multiplayer gaming
• Removal of the ability to send text and voice messages on Xbox
• Blocking real-time voice and text communications on Xbox
• Preventing the broadcast of live game play
• Restrictions on the use of parties and clubs

Potential Xbox Live Restrictions for Violations
• Blocks on the ability to upload game clips and screenshots to Xbox Live
• Restrictions on uploading or sharing Kinect content
• Removal of inappropriate content from Xbox Live
• Automatic assignment of a new gamertag
• Limits on the ability to share Xbox content on other social networks
• Removal of the ability to edit your Xbox profile or clubs

Repeat or Severe Offenses
• We may permanently suspend a profile or device if we can no longer trust it due to a severe violation, or if our attempts to correct repeated negative behaviors are unsuccessful. Under permanent suspension, the owner of the suspended profile forfeits all licenses for games and other content, Gold membership time, and Microsoft account balances.

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