Xbox Live Is Getting A 'No Trash Talking' And 'Females Only' Mode

Microsoft's latest overhaul of Xbox Live will give gamers more control over who they play with -- as well as who they don't. The Cortana-powered Looking For Group and Club modes will make it easier to find people who are a good "cultural" match. Whether you hate homophobic and racist trash talk or would prefer to only play with your gender, Xbox Live has you covered. In short, you'll soon be able to erase the gamers you don't want to interact with forever.

With all the hoopla surrounding Xbox One S and Project Scorpio it was easy to forget Microsoft's other major announcement -- namely, the drastic changes coming to Xbox Live. In a few months, three major new features will be incorporated into the existing service: Clubs, Looking for Group and Arena. The latter is an online tournaments platform geared towards competitive gamers but the first two have been designed to bring like-minded gamers together.

Clubs are user-run multiplayer hubs that allow any player to create private communities with people who have similar play styles, personal interests or values. In addition to being a lobby for specific games, each club also have a persistent real-time chat area that can be used with a range of tablets and mobile devices including Android and iOS.

Looking For Group, meanwhile, is the accompanying search tool that let's you connect with players or "clubs" that meet your specific criteria. This is achieved using a filter system that locates the type of people and clubs you're looking for via a process of elimination.

During E3, we were given a run-through of how these modes will work by Microsoft's program manager Jeff Henshaw. All three Xbox Live features can be accessed and navigated through Microsoft's voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana. Tellingly, you no longer need a Kinect to access voice commands; any wired or Bluetooth headset will do. Cortana allows the user to speak naturally and will also understand gamer tags and/or names when you're trying to connect with friends.

In the Looking For Group demonstration, Henshaw went into a game hub dedicated to Tom Clancy's The Division and gradually whittled down the available online players by applying different filters. These included everything from the game mode you want to play to cultural preferences such as the aforementioned 'No Trash-Talking'.

"We all know from personal experience that playing multiplayer is more fun when you actually enjoy the people you're playing with," Henshaw explained. "One really unique thing we're doing is letting gamers specify how they want to play. If you're not up for trash talking right now, you can join a group that's on the same page as you."

Once you've settled on a group, you simply request to join and the host pulls you straight into the game. In addition to ensuring you're playing with gamers you gel with, this can also be used for stuff like geographical region. We imagine this could be a very popular way to ensure nobody has an unfair advantage due to server issues. Clubs can be public or private, so it's easy to avoid requests from randoms if you'd prefer to make it invite only.

Once you've found a club you like, you can enable a Play Now feature which basically ensures your games can only be joined by members of your club. This essentially eliminates random match-making and ensures every player has the same interests and beliefs as you or plays the same way as you. It's no longer down to chance.

One of the clubs we were shown for The Division was simply entitled "Female Only". According to Henshaw, Clubs with very specific criteria such as this will largely rely on the information in gamer profiles to decide who is eligible. Plus, every club will have an owner or administrator so if an undesirable manages to bluff their way into a club, they can be immediately booted out.

"Ultimately, club membership is completely owner driven in terms of who is able to stay in the club and who's not. The owners and moderators get to enforce the culture they want to create. Their front door is about expressing: "hey, this is the kind of place this is. You're welcome to come in if you follow those rules."

According to the official spiel from Microsoft, these new features are supposed to bring gamers together rather than tear them apart. But we can see it turning into a massive shitstorm if it isn't executed properly. What happens when someone tries to make a "Whites Only" club, for instance? We asked Henshaw how Microsoft is planning to monitor and police this.

"I'm going to answer this very carefully because it's important that everyone understand. Our goal is to make Xbox Live a fun, safe, reliable place for everyone to play. The community is going to the the first line of enforcement. But that's not always enough. We understand and respect that. So when an issue needs to be escalated, Microsoft will continue to deploy Xbox Live's security and enforcement team when the community can't resolve something on its own. We have a standard of conduct for Xbox Live already and that standard of conduct will be applied to user-generated content as well. It has to be fun and safe for everyone."

In other words, Clubs fronted by obvious hate groups will certainly get the ban hammer but stances that are "greyer" might cause some problems. It's certainly an exciting addition to Xbox Live with loads and loads of potential. Hopefully the gaming community will be mature enough to use it in the way it was intended. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Chris Jager travelled to E3 as a guest of Microsoft.


Comments

    Oh, that title is misleading. They're just getting community groups like PS4 has.

    Hopefully the gaming community will be mature enough to use it in the way it was intended. Let us know what you think in the comments!

    Aaaahahaha good one!

    Social Justice Warrior is not an insult.

    Your argument (that you were no doubt going to type into the comment box) is invalid.

      It is. The warrior part is making fun of the ferocity of these super far left wing zealots. It's like calling someone a keyboard warrior.

        Super far left wing = not being down with acting like a stupid cunt 24/7, ok mate.

          That's what they tell themselves. But in reality the super far left and right wing people always make more trouble for their cause, than actually furthering it by acting like irrational zealots.

      Yeah, as far as I can see it's only considered an insult by those who would actually use it as an insult themselves, not by those being labelled with it (and if the person being 'insulted' isn't actually insulted, is it really an insult?). Or perhaps an attempt to pejoratise and subvert the language of the discussion in order to promote their own viewpoint. In my experience those are generally the people that don't value or even understand social justice anyway. It's like using compassionate as an insult. Sure, you can try if you want to, but you'll end up looking like an idiot.

        Exactly. It's like bros who use the term 'cuck'. Personally, I love it when some warm douche throws that one my way, because they generally have hair trigger tempers and really fly off the handle when you suggest to them that the reason why they think it's insulting is because of their own paranoia about their partners sleeping around on them, possibly because of their shitty persona or utter lack of ability in the bedroom. Personally, I don't find terms like 'SJW' or 'Cuck' insulting. I see it more as a PSA from said douchebags, like they're announcing their retardedness for all to see.

          Good to know you've psychologically twisted it around to make yourself feel better. Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me on a much more long winded and psychotic level.:p

            It's cool how you perfectly demonstrated his point for him, good for you.

              And that's just an illogical "no u", written slightly better.

              Last edited 16/06/16 11:29 am

          Yeah I'm sceptical that this actually happens. I know Anita Sarkesian told you it's not an insult, but that doesn't mean they aren't laughing harder at you when you say things like this. I'm really not convinced ol' mate Milo is having too many issues in the bedroom.

          Also, I thought using 'retard' as an insult wasn't ok. Good to know that making fun of people with disabilities is alright with you. Personally I don't find insults like retard insulting because I don't think less of people who this term is normally used to describe.

            Retard is a bastardisation of retardation, turning it from a condition to a slang term for people with the condition or people displaying "retard" behaviour. That is an insult, Social Justice Warrior is a title and if someone uses that title about themselves and you snigger doesn't make it an insult, it makes you insecure about your place in the world. That Social Justice Warrior doesn't find it insulting that he defends women, because he has chosen to take on that fight. Just like you wouldn't care when anyone makes fun of you for playing video games, right nerd?

              Look at all this one sided illogical mental twisting and turning to feel like you're on top. I love these people.

              Last edited 16/06/16 11:31 am

              You really don't even have the slightest grasp of irony do you mate?
              I mean: "That Social Justice Warrior doesn't find it insulting that he defends women, because he has chosen to take on that fight.". That right there. You don't actually get it in the slightest. You're not being made fun of for defending women. That's not actually the part that's ridiculous. Although it is laughably patronising. Thank God all these poor defenceless girls have you to stand up for them. Pretty soon they won't have to say anything at all, you can just speak for them so they won't get hurt in the bruising crossfire that is a comments section.

                Lol I like how you went from trying to make a point straight into drooling garbage insults

                  See, this is what I mean about not being able to grasp irony. Are you completely incapable of detecting when someone's being facetious? Or are you just playing dumb? If you're only playing, you should think about it for a career, because you're really good at it!

                For me (I can't speak for others), it's less about "defending girls" and more an opposition to egotistical dickheads with an over-inflated sense of entitlement to opine and behave as they see fit, irrespective how how that affects others. Not acting like a dick isn't 'PC', it's having an understanding of how to deal with people with respect. Just because one has the capability to be a jerk, doesn't mean one should act like one.

            ...wait, what? When did we decide the use of 'retard' only denotes an insult? Do I still have time to cast my vote? And am I apparently the only one who has access to a dictionary?

      A social justice warrior is a person who does the following

      -Uses group ideology. When talking they talk about "women" "blacks" etc. They do not talk about the individual. For them "women" are this blob, this abstract context where every individual behave the same way.
      A best example is when they say white people have privilege. While completely ignoring that there are white people working in the sewer or living in a trailer. While some black people are mayors, senators etc.

      - gives lip service to social justice, caring about things that are trivial at best such as man spreading, manslaming, air conditioners being sexist, scientist wearing a shirt, while rarely talking about actual social justice issue such as women being microchiped in saudi arabia so that their rich husband know where they are.

      -uses disgusting tactics to achieve his goals such as : Trying to get people fired for percieved slights, tries to get people silenced from providing criticisms such as filing DMCA's on youtube videos, often refuses to engage in a one on one debate, masters of using guilt by association on opposition (you are in that group, x y z are in your group and they are bad people thus you MUST be bad as well)

      -Uses emotions and feelings rather then logic. This is especially bad when they use guilty until proven innocent mentality.
      In the case of the rolling stones fake rape scandal. The fraternity was vandalized, windows broken, walls sprayed with grafitti.
      The men there were insulted daily some were even spat on just for being part of the frat.
      Turns out that they were innocent and no apology was ever given to them who were the actual victims.

      -Professional victims.
      Claims his/her status as a victim in order to start a patreon account and get money. They will show some bad words they got on twitter (that honestly every one with a strong opinion gets, look at total biscuit, look at boogie, etc) and then claim how bad words on the internet devasted their lives, how they can barely get out of bed every day.
      They will also open a patreon or paypal account in order to be able to use the power of cash to try and get out of bed
      I know people who made 13000$ a month for using this tactic

      -Hypocrites, masters of double think

      a social justice warrior would have a slut walk where women can walk naked on the street but if said woman picks up a crayon and doodles lara croft naked and puts her in a game then that is sexism in video games

      A social justice warrior would want women to have the ability to play only with other women but if a man wants to play with other men then that is sexist.

      They will use various rationale for this and mind gymnastics such as sexism = privilege+power but in the end any one looking at this from any way can see that its unfair and a double standard

    I like the idea but I feel like it relies on a stable/infinite number of players. In the long term starting a single Titanfall group might help revive a dead community, but in the early stages a game like The Division is going to suffer. You'll have a hundred groups and they'll all shrink rapidly creating the illusion that the game has turned into a ghost town. Similar to when a MMORPG launches with 40 servers, then when the population stabilises they've got enough people for 5 servers spread out of 40 incredibly under populated ones.

    this can also be used for stuff like geographical region. We imagine this could be a very popular way to ensure nobody has an unfair advantage due to server issues.

    It's 2016, we shouldn't have to make the effort to geo-match ourselves. The XBOX One/PS4 should have had it baked in from day one.

    It's not a Females Only "mode", it's a user defined group. Weird title.

    And there are a few gamers out there I'd like to "erase forever". I wonder if it's a retina bomb kinda thing...

      Yeah, but which title do you think will get people to click on the article more? ;)

        Xbox live getting a "males only" mode would get all the clicks.

    “We all know from personal experience that playing multiplayer is more fun when you actually enjoy the people you’re playing with,”

    Actually, from personal experience I find that multiplayer is more fun when the party chat JUST FUCKING WORKS TO BEGIN WITH! Seriously, my internet works just fine (90 down, 30 up) yet I'll have to take my xbox offline and re-connect just to get that shit working sometimes. Most of my friends also have that issue once or twice a week.

    Ooh. Well this is exciting. I might sign up for the "People over 30 who have bedtimes and work in the morning," group!
    Likely to not be fully of hyper-reaction teen cyborg head-shotting machines!

      I might sign up for the "People over 30 who have bedtimes and work in the morning," group!

      [Pulls out a clip board.]

      I don't see your name on the list. NEXT!

        nuuuuuuu
        ;_;

        Also, as is my tradition: Penny-Arcade totally called this.

          Used to read that comic religiously when I was told about it during my Honours year. But with the current industry taking the piss out of itself, there is nothing left for these guys to work with.

          But I digress.

          You can still enter the group if you correctly answer this question: On a scale of 9 to 10 how would you rate Star Trek 5?

            Star Trek 5? I thought they hadn't even finished making the third one yet...

              Correct. Star Trek 5 never happened. I also would have accepted "5? They skipped to 6."

              Come on in. :).

              --- EDIT ----

              It's just occurred to me you're thinking of the reboot movies, not the originals, right?

              I'm new myself and am working though TNG.

              Last edited 15/06/16 4:50 pm

                No, I mean... they're not even technically numerical. Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and coming up is Beyond, right? So 4 and 5 are yet to come?

                (Edit: I am aware of the old timeline's movies as well, but choose to make fun of the rabid trekkies who abhor the new timeline.)

                Last edited 15/06/16 4:51 pm

                  Dunno. I'm new so I'm mostly riding on jokes from others.

                  I've only fully seen TNG season one and the first three original movies.

      Hahah that's pretty much the demographic I play with... "Midnight... work in the morning... one last strike? oh go on then... ...better hand in our bounties..." *snore*

      ...also sleep-deprived new parents. :)

    I can see 99% of ppl not even using this feature, and just going for the biggest 'default' player pool...and just hitting the 'mute all' option as soon as the game starts.

    Xbox Live just needs moderation. LOTS of moderation. And anyone breaking the rules needs to be put in the sin bin for a couple of weeks with repeat offenders muted permanently. If that occurs, see how long it takes for the rest to fall in line.

    Good, maybe now I can make some friends.

    Playstation has thus already? And it didn't change shit? Still 90% of overwatch players running around like mindless roaches because they can't spent $10 on a headset.

      or you know, have a headset and set it to mute so as not to talk or associate with the majority of fucktards and 12 year olds on voice chat.

      Im guessing you're one of those that likes to tell people how they should be playing with you?

        lol not at all, if you sit there muted and dont call out positions of bastions, turrents or widows, or dont tell people youre going to use zenyatta's or lucio's ult so people can make the most of it, or tell the teams Reinhardt's that that a tracer or anyone has flanked the team and everyone is dead except Reinhardt, who can't tell youre dead because nobody is communicating, youre the problem in a TEAM based shooter.

        If you can't mute the 12 year olds or don't have the patience to ignore them, then you probably need to seek anger management treatment.

        Last edited 17/06/16 9:54 am

          Maybe people just dont like you and mute you so they dont have to listen and/or communicate?
          Did that ever cross your mind?

            Lol yes, well before I've even opened my mouth they've all muted me. Congratulations on admitting you have no leg to stand on in this matter. Good day sir

              whatever douchebag. How is your 'team' and all your 'mates' working out for you?

                Great actually, 9/10 qualifying matches for competitive play and watching failtards like you get stomped because you think you're rambo

        Amendment, yes you should probably be following the one guy actually trying to coordinate the team. Yes I try because 90% of the time I'm the only one communicating, you unmute yourself and contribute guys who try and coordinate the team aggressively will probably back off because they don't feel like they are the only people trying to play as a team

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