The homophobes, racists and straight-up assholes you often run into on Xbox Live or other online gaming setups aren't just ruining your game, they're holding back the entire industry. So says former Microsoft game user research head Bill Fulton, speaking with Gamasutra:
...the online behaviour of our customers is dramatically reducing our sales, and continues to stunt the growth of our industry. Non-gamers simply don't love games enough to put up with the crap they get online. The reason they would consider playing online is to have fun with other people — and right now, playing games online with strangers rarely delivers that for anyone outside the hardcore demographic.
While he never directly mentions the 360, the fact he's ex-Microsoft and that the Wii and PS3 aren't exactly hotbeds of voice-chat multiplayer paints a clear enough picture as to where he's wagging most of his fingers, though I'm sure PC gamers aren't entirely without blame. Hit the link below for more from this great interview, as it's mostly about ensuring pleasant online experiences by means of game design. Interesting stuff.
Fixing Online Gaming Idiocy [Gamasutra][Pic]