Most readers here will remember the good old days of Microsoft Xbox live chat. Back then, most of the chat was good humoured and very sociable. You could really muster some lovely tactical approaches to games like COD, as everyone was much more in tune with the camaraderie that live chat brought with it. Sure, there was the odd killjoy, but on the whole, the experience was friendly.
Sadly, those days have pretty much disappeared. With the Xbox 360’s stela rise in popularity its market domination saturated the live chat arena with pre-pubescent kids, angry teenagers and feral adults all looking to troll and insult those gamers just wanting to play. To balance the last statement up a bit it must be acknowledged that not everyone on live wanted to ruin the experience but quite literally every live game most of us ever played had some delinquent at the ready to spit drivel.
Microsoft did listen, eventually, to the discerning many that complained about the ruined experience and as consequence they introduced something Party Chat.
Late to the party?
Party Chat was never going replace the damaged service with the good old days of live and for many, many gamers it failed. Essentially, the new system allowed chat between friends or invite only members but how many times do you and your friends log on at the same time? Party Chat essentially diluted any good left in live chat.
But the core of the problem was never fully understood, we feel. Rather than change a service to block out unwanted trolls or haters, why didn’t Microsoft establish a robust system that allowed the service to be policed by experienced and trusted individuals who could make an immediate and positive impact within live games? If someone trolled, they’d be warned once. If they did it again they’d be barred for a set duration of time with repeat offenders getting the boot altogether.
In fact, Microsoft only had to look across at other gaming platforms to see effective chat management. If we take the gaming fraternity as a case in point, sites such FreeBingo have mastered the art of providing a safe, enjoyable gaming experience with almost no threat of trolls or abuse. What FreeBingo did to allow players to enjoy their game was to introduce Chat Moderators, also known as CM’s. These CM’s police game chat services as well as building up virtual relationships with players, they are proactive and encourage a sense of community, something Xbox live lost a long time ago.
If Microsoft had at least tried to implement some kind of game moderator for its own live services at the beginning in order for a philosophy of good conduct to breed as did Freebingo the maybe a young lady called Jenny Haniver could enjoy her gaming experiences more.
Jenny Haniver is an Xbox live gamer and the founder of Not in the kitchen anymore Her website documents and exposes her weird experiences as an online gamer involving sexist comments and the downright disturbing behaviour she faces while she games online, not just by men, women included.
Most comments are recorded and put up on her site after a gaming session which prove abhorrent but seemingly regular.
Microsoft has again listened to the drove of people complaining about their poor live experiences, Jenny Haniver included, and have since tried to recruit experienced Xbox live gamers as game ambassadors to help enforce live etiquette. Yet any tangible improvement has yet to be seen. Microsoft still has a huge job on their hands, gamers themselves know all too well how live has changed and to convince them to help Microsoft it will mean doing a lot more than just to incentivise taking the offer up.
What are your experiences of Microsoft Live? Have you switched off or do you still enjoy the live sessions? Let us know.