Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley has replied to a viral video of a gamer being abused, stating that this type of toxic behavior “needs to be exposed and stopped”.

In the original video posted by the streamer pomegranate queen, she is abused playing a lost match of Halo Infinite, much of which is aimed at her only because she is female. It’s a video that clearly saddened one of Xbox’s online service creators, who took to Twitter to share his disappointment.

“This was not the future of Xbox Live that we envisioned. As a community and with the help of Microsoft, this needs to be brought to light and stopped. It will take teamwork between gamers, developers and console makers to change that and it’s time. It’s time.

As anyone who grew up in the Xbox 360 era will attest, toxic behavior and abuse are nothing new to Xbox Live. Fortunately, this is also a fact that Blackley continues to acknowledge.

“I know this is nothing new. I know you’re angry because nothing has been done for a long time. You’re right. It just motivates me more. It is possible to clean these environments. Let’s do it.”

Video games are enjoyed by more people than ever before, with recent figures indicating that a little less than half of players are women. It’s heartening to see a high-profile name urging Microsoft to do more to fix such an old problem, but it’s telling that online gaming toxicity has become commonplace among some gaming communities.

Of course, this isn’t a problem isolated to Xbox Live, with all sorts of online gaming spaces plagued by harassment. Ultimately, video games are a place where people escape to leave the real world behind, hang out with friends, and be entertained. Since the pandemic and global shutdowns, virtual worlds have become even more crucial for many people, providing refuge during difficult times. Let’s all do our part to make these spaces safer and more enjoyable. If you witness abuse or harassment online, you can help by reporting toxic users and calling people in public chats.

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