Xbox Head Phil Spencer has said that Microsoft is “committed to providing a safe and welcoming community for everyone,” which includes being accessible, approachable, welcoming, safe and inclusive.
Dave McCarthy, Xbox VP of Product Services, said:
For the estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities, we strive to unlock the joy and community that gaming offers. Unlocking barriers requires us to adopt a philosophy of inclusive design, where we draw inspiration from people who are often overlooked in the design process. Innovations like the Xbox Adaptive Controller were co-designed with the disability community, and have enabled more players with limited mobility to play, and in turn, inspired industry-wide progress.
The new Xbox Accessibility Guidelines have been designed to help developers make their games more accessible to players with different disabilities.
Welcoming and safeXbox wants to create a welcoming and safe community for all players.
Toxicity has a material impact on engagement, and we know that it disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable player segments. It isn’t enough to address toxic interactions as they arise through human moderation. We have to deploy technology that can proactively filter out detrimental content before a player even encounters it.
As part of this strategy, Microsoft confirmed that it would soon offer image filters that are similar to text filtering already in place on the Xbox Network.
Our commitment to making Xbox approachable means intentionally building more ways for our players to feel welcome and easily discover locally relevant content that is as diverse as the millions of players who join Xbox every month.
Inclusive in narrative and developmentXbox also wants to ensure it is inclusive by including underrepresented players, both within games and as part of the development process.
Melissa Boone, Senior Manager of Xbox Research, said:
We know that involving underrepresented communities in our creative process makes our games more approachable.
Our research and design approach for the game Tell Me Why included a partnership with GLADD to help us identify potential areas of concern…We also included members of the trans community in every single one of our user research tests, from narrative usability, to the final playtest, to ensure that the game respectfully and authentically portrayed a transgender protect.
Including community members who might not otherwise be heard in our design process with our creators is fundamental to our ability to tell narratives that reflect the richness and diversity within the Xbox community.
Microsoft celebrates Xbox Pride 2021 which includes $150,000 donation to LGBTQIA+ non-profits, inclusive gear, in-game content and more.