So I nearly jumped for joy when I read this: Halo 4 Creators Introduce Lifetime Ban for Sexism. Wow, that is a hell of a step in the right direction! As a lady gamer raising girl gamers, this is such welcome news that I cannot even tell you. Here is the Gamespot article.
One of the problems with bans like this is that in order to make it work, often other paying gamers have to remove themselves from the game in order to file a report/complaint about a gamer ruining everyone's good time with sexism, racism, homophobia, or their social ill of choice.
It is an unfair expectation of someone paying to use a service to have to take some of that paid time to essentially work for the service instead. But this is the world we live in now. Since it is silly to expect any service like Playstation or XBox Live to be able to monitor every gamer in every game at every moment of every day, we have to do our part.
I want to see a movement where those of us paying to use a service like XBox Live vow to do our part. I want us to promise that we will take the first fifteen minutes of online game time to report it when trolls are being trolls. Or, say, your first three Matchmaking games of a night - promise that you will do your part and allow your games to be interrupted while you report someone making sexist rape "jokes" in your Matchmaking. Or promise to report the first three trolls of your night.
Once your three games, three trolls, or first fifteen minutes are done, then you can sit back and enjoy your flow, unless someone is so bad, so inhuman to their fellow players that you simply have to report them no matter how good your gaming flow has been up to that point.
Gaming flow is important to gamers: once you settle in, set the real world behind you and get your head in the space of your game of choice, you want to stay there if you can. That is reasonable. I argue that if you have some homophobic bigot ranting and raving through your Big Team Battle, then your flow has already been interrupted, and taking a moment to report the troll can help keep that particular troll from messing with not only your flow, but the flow of everyone else that plays too!
So please stand with me in taking The First Three pledge. Let us make multiplayer a better place for everyone, and show that we actually care about the community we play and live in! I know that after the election is over, I will be as immersed as I can be in Halo 4, both campaign and then maybe even matchmaking with strangers (usually I only play with folks I know). I will take the First Three pledge!