I much like most CAGs was extremely shocked by the responses Wombat got in his inbox regarding being in the Gamer Spotlight on XBLA. Sure, some of them were funny at first but they got right down scary and shocking. I then decided with the help of CAG yukine
, who was so kind to provide me with a link of all the people who were in the Gamer Spotlight, to message 5 random users who were featured. I simply told them who I was and that I was interested in knowing what their post spotlight feature experience was like.
Why am I doing this? Because I want to know, like some CAGs if other featured members on XBL were treated the same way after being featured. Why should I care? Simple. In order to send and receive messages to ppl who are not on your friends list on XBL you have to be a gold member. You also have to be a gold member of XBL in order to be featured in the Gamer Spotlight. The impression I am getting is that when you are in the Gamer Spotlight it creates a target on your head for assholes and trolls which XBL is unfortunately full of, allowing them to barrage you with homophobic insults and ethnic slangs. All this for the measley price of $59.99 CDN (or $49.99 US I believe). As a person who is paying a premium, I believe you should be getting a premium and to me that includes not having trolls and assholes messaging you, specifically if you are "privileged" enough to be featured in the Gamer Spotlight.
I know XBL has policies and procedures to go through as well as a pretty good process of reporting such incidents. But when you have over 50+ messages from trolls and assholes who are saying the kind of things to you that Wombat was the recipient of, it would take a very long time to report each and every one of them. Specifically of you are a person who works for a living and has a family who doesn't have time to go through all this. Sure it is a solution to the problem. But Trolls and assholes are like bees & wasps: you get rid of one and their buddies will sting you. Plus for every one that gets banned more will follow.
I believe XBL should give it's users some sort of an IQ test before joining and depending on how you score in that test along with your age group, those are going to be the kind of ppl you will be allowed to play with/talk to if you have a featured turned on in your dashboard that goes somewhere amongst the lines of "Allow people of other IQ groups to play with you/communicate with you? Yes/No". Sure you can mute them but that does not stop them from sending you messages or leaving obscene messages or even pictures in your inbox. Anyhow back on track.
Before I get to the first person that responded to me I found out while going through each person that at least one of them had changed therir gamertag like i 1337loe i
. Now why it was changed I don't know but I have a hunch it was because she got harassed like Wombat did. However, I can't back that up.
So this morning on the bus on my way to work I checked my Message inbox from XBL on my iphone and saw that one person had replied which was kittypryde87
who was featured in May in the Gamer Spotlight. This is what her response was:
I did recieve a lot of negative comments afrer my spotlight. A lot of them were because I am a girl. Also there were a lot of inappropriate sexual comments.
Wow. Now this is just one person out of 5 that got back to me. I am hoping to hear from more.
Trixie does a great job in the XBL community and I do applaud her efforts and success. But they should at least warn members who are featured on the spotlight that they may potentially be exposed to this kind of crap. Once I hear from more I will post them here. For now, discuss
I'll be discussing this with Hbomb on the Cross border gaming podcast