July 3, 2013
Xbox Live Keeps Them Separated ... Trolls, That Is

Xbox Live is keeping them separated. If they're bothering you, they get their own group.

Nobody likes a troll. They are the reason people get annoyed on the internet on the most part. They seem to exist only to get everybody angry, and are usually the first ones to get banned from forums, or made unable to comment on YouTube channels.

Microsoft knows this, and they're changing things on Xbox Live to accommodate gamers who don't want to deal with trolls. The “ban hammer” doesn't always catch all of the offenders, leaving unlucky gamers wishing they hadn't decided to play online with a headset. The new Reputation system will help, though.

Trolls are the types who think anyone who plays better than they do has no life, and anyone who doesn't play as well as they do is a “noob.” In other words, no matter how nice you are, they make you want to reach out and punch them. If you're trying to enjoy a game of Call of Duty or Halo, the last thing you want to deal with is some idiot who thinks insulting everybody else and getting them upset is hysterical.

In an initiative to help everyone continue to enjoy their gaming hobby, Microsoft is taking a queue from Offspring. They're going to “keep 'em separated.” In other words, trolls will get grouped in with each other, leaving the good sportsmen to game in peace.

Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin says he hopes to see small groups being formed this way, "The problem we see is that this fragments voice communication within games. It's very difficult, because if you're isolated in Party Chat, you're leaving everybody else behind."

Of course this doesn't take into account games where players can join in double digit numbers, since games like those will require larger groups.

Mike Lavin explains how the system won't let groups just bully players into the troll group:

"Let's just be clear, there is no way at all that a conglomerate of people can conspire to sink your Reputation on the system. The way that it's built fundamentally stops that. It's very much over a period of time -- if we see consistently that people, for instance, don't like playing with you, that you're consistently blocked, that you're the subject of enforcement actions because you're sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don't want naked pictures of you... Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score."

One thing is for certain, though, and that is that trolls will be kept out of the loop if they get too obnoxious, and then they have to deal with each other. It's certainly better than costing someone their Xbox Live Gold membership because they might not be familiar with the codes of conduct.

What do you think of Xbox Live keeping the trolls separated?