Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dr Phil and the CyberBullies at XBox Site

Technorati Profile


Quite a good show tonight, and for me an intro to the forum at Dr Phil's show site. They are quite long winded, but much of it is intriguing. This one post below, from Dr. Kardinal, is probably good reading for anyone involved with online gaming, or who has kids involved.

"Re: Cyber Bullies - The Harassed Man on Xbox Live
I am glad Dr. Phil addressed this problem, because it is way out of hand.

I am an avid on-line gamer, it's a great way to pass time when my knee injury flares up and I have to force myself to take it easy. I don't know how far I can go without sounding like I'm plugging something inappropriately, but I've been made one of the administrators of a gaming community called Sonic Army (website is www.sonicarmy.com forgive my plug, please), and I've taken on a campaign to improve the behavior of on-line gamers. I've tried creating my own website for helping people like this gentleman, but due to some technical difficulties, I've resorted to enlisting the resources of my fellow Sonic Army friends to continue both gaming and promoting better on-line play. One of my contributions is a "Multi-player's Code of Honor," in which I call upon fellow gamers to think about how they play on-line and how it affects other gamers. Here is a link to the Code of Honor:


In regards to the gentleman whom encounter the potty-mouth sore losers:

I find it bad on Microsoft's part that it takes a call from Dr. Phil in order to get a problem addressed on Xbox Live. They have a wildly successful product, but it has grown to the point that they can not police their service effectively. However, given the size of the problem, we as gamers have to understand that for most part - the on-line community is much like the wild west. Xbox Live's community tools are the closest thing we have on any on-line game that gives us some controls - such as the "Player Review" that helps us pick who we like playing and who we want to avoid, and the Friend's List that allows us to control who we play on-line.

Where Xbox Live fails is on the games that block the friends options, such as the "Ranked" play lists where gamers are prevented from stacking the games in their favor by playing with friends whom will help them cheat. It is in these sessions where you will encounter the worst of what this gentleman encounters.

Troublemakers on On-line Games come in two general varieties:

The "Chipmunk." This is the slang term for the very young players, usually ages 7 to 12, whom try to trash talk like an adult. It it quite obvious that there is no parent in the room when these kids play (or at least one that Dr. Phil should do an intervention on.) I will spare you the details on what they say on-line, just imagine what the man on this show heard - but by someone too young to know what those words are. If my mother ever caught me saying what some of these children say on here, she would make me go to the back yard and "break a switch."

Then there's the grown up trash talker, whom this gentleman encountered, whom knows exactly what he was saying over the mic. Most of this kind of talk is a combination of "smack-talk" used to intimidate the other player and affect how he plays. The rest of it is just sour grapes for losing.

The best advice I can give for dealing with these trouble making gamers:

1: Use the Player Review and File Complaint systems. As the show pointed out, it takes up to ten complaints for Microsoft to take action. I am glad for that, because some of these sore losers will file complaints against you just for beating them at a game - and if all it took was one complaint, there would a lot of good people being banned from Xbox Live as well as bad people.

2. When possible - always play with friends. My game clan is full of people whom I know, people who will watch my back if someone tries to cause trouble, and I will also do the same for them. Besides, if it takes 10 complaints, its much easier to have a pad player banned if you have nine friends to witness the bad player and file a complaint with you.

3. "Do onto others as you would have done unto you. . ." It was sound advice in Biblical times, it's still sound advice today. If you play respectful to your fellow gamers, it rubs off. Even when you tell a potty mouth player "Good Game," even if he replies with an obscenity - it still rubs off on him a little.

4. Parents of young gamers - GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR CHILD'S GAMING. An Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii is NOT A BABYSITTER! Game publishers rate their games just like movies are rated. And if the game has on-line options, all on-line games have the message "Game Experience May Change During On-line Play." This means that even on a game as innocent as "Uno," even the best player will let slip a few bad words when he or she loses.

5. Most important of all - DO NOT SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION on public chat rooms, blogs, or anywhere that does not offer privacy protection. The anonymity that gives these potty mouth troublemakers the freedom to threaten and insult also makes it hard for them to know who you are or where you are. And one good thing I can say for Microsoft, they make it very hard for the average troublemaker to get your personal information. For most part, these troublemakers are not "hacker smart," and if all they have is your Xbox Live gamer tag to Google, the less information you share about yourself while using that gamer tag, the less will show up on Google.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope I have provided enough expertise on how to deal with cyber-bullies while gaming."

No comments: