"You need a community of folks that aren't screaming vulgarities every ten seconds, or the griefers or the harassers, those types of folks," says Microsoft's Mike Lavin.
"What we're looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making," says Microsoft's Mike Lavin. The Xbox One's new Reputation system is intended to do just that. If a person's on your friend list, Microsoft doesn't intend to do anything to it; your friends are your friends. But the anonymous folks screaming abuse, the harassers, the griefers, they don't help to build a community. "If there's a few per cent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time," says Lavin, "we should be able to identify those folks." Identify, and do something about.
The Reputation system is Microsoft's way of doing exactly that. People who play well with others get to create their own community of like-minded folks, while those who can't will be herded into a group of people similar to them. Lavin was reluctant - even when prodded - to call that grouping griefer hell, but did say "I would not necessarily want to play with those folks." It's not an automatic process, but repeated offenders will see their Reputation dip, and dip, until you end up down there with the wrathful, struggling in the waters of the Styx.
"We're one of the only platforms that really takes an interest in exploring and investigating major problems," Lavin concluded, "and this extends from sexual harassment, to age harassment, to gender to everything else under the sun." In the ideal, Xbox One's Reputation system will allow the developer to create the online community it wants, rather than endure the one it gets.