Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony pledge to make gaming ‘safer’ together

The video gaming industry’s top three console makers — Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Nintendo — are pledging together to make gaming “safer,” according to a news release published Monday.

The three companies released a statement, published on Microsoft’s Xbox Wire, outlining the new initiative to protect their “youngest and most vulnerable players.” The pledge lacks specific steps toward this goal; instead, is focusing on the “principles” that guide the program.

For example, the joint statement highlights principles that include:

We believe that hate and harassment or exploitation of younger players in any way have no place in gaming. We partner with our community to promote safe gaming behavior and encourage the use of reporting tools to call out bad actors.

and:

We comply with all local laws and will respond to all lawful requests from law enforcement. We promptly notify law enforcement if we observe unlawful conduct or where we believe a player is at risk of imminent harm.

“At Xbox, we are aligned with both Nintendo, on behalf of the community of Nintendo Switch players, and PlayStation in our belief that protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach — one that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight,” Dave McCarthy, corporate vice president of Xbox operations, said. “We can accomplish more when we work toward the same goal, and so we will each continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying our approaches to user safety. As we continue this work, we will prioritize protecting the safety of our players, especially those most vulnerable.”

The principles outline “prevention, partnership, and responsibility” — including pledges to help parents understand video game safety tools, “partnering with the industry, regulators, law enforcement, and our communities,” and making sure players can report bad behavior. The full statement is available on the Xbox Wire.