The covert operatives of the Xbox Live community who keep things safe, secure, non-offensive and far for everyone, have finally come out in to the open through a feature story on Microsoft’s News Center.
Guardians Of The Xbox Live World
Unicorn Ninja is not Boris’ username/handle, it is his job title. Although the story doesn’t say why he was awarded that, I have a faint suspicion that is has something to do with his small Mohawk and generally intimidating looks.
Looking every bit a guitarist from a heavy metal band or at least a hardcore follower of one, with both arms covered in tattoos, Boris explains that it is their job to ensure that the community environment is safe and fun for everyone.
Unreasonable Bans = No-Go
Even though their job entails protecting the system from hackers, cheaters, game code modifiers, account thieves, phishers and abusive members, they do not make it a habit to cut down on freedom of speech within Live.
So for example, it is not their way to ban or fine people for occasional slips, especially in the heat of the moment when you are deep into the gaming world. However, if you develop a reputation for being abusive to any and everyone; that’s going to be a different story.
Policing A Gaming Community
Mostly it is about racism, sexism, homophobia, generally offensive comments about nationalities, etc. Very often it is a word or two that must be removed from a user’s profile. But there are actual crimes that happen every now and then that they have to tackle.
However, banning people is not as simple as it might sound. Everytime they ban people, they are taking away paid subscriptions (or as they put it “inviting users to be our customers anymore”), so they have to be very careful and certain of what they do.
So How Do They Do It?
Complaints pour in round the clock as the community never sleeps and it is up to this tightly knit group of enforcers to sort through them and take necessary action. They have a dedicated software called ‘Vulcan’ to speed through complaints and then there are the covert operatives who are actually playing alongside normal members to detect threats and abusers at the ground level.
Yes, they are very much the Xbox equivalent of the CIA but much cooler to look at.