Xbox Introduces Strike-Based System To Combat Gamer Toxicity

Microsoft has announced a new Xbox feature in the seemingly endless battle to get gamers to stop acting like raging assholes: an enforcement strike system.

The company detailed how the new feature will work and what it means for gamers in an August 15 blog post announcing the new system, which launched on the same day. “Enforcements” is the existing Xbox term for actions taken against accounts that violate community standards, and the new system will help players keep better track of these enforcements—including what they were for and how they’ll impact their records. “This revised system gives players a better understanding of enforcement severity and the cumulative effect of multiple enforcements,” the post read.

Read More: Despite Advancements, Games Still Aren’t Doing Enough To Stop Toxic Voice Chat

Enforcements will now include strikes based on “the severity of [player’s] actions,” and Microsoft likens it to getting strikes on your driver’s license, which in countries like the U.S. can eventually result in the suspension of your license. “For example, a player that has received two strikes will be suspended from the platform for one day, whereas a player that receives four strikes will be suspended for seven days,” the post detailed.

Players have a limit of eight strikes—once they reach that number, they’ll be kicked off Xbox’s social features, including messaging, party chat, and multiplayer “for one year from the enforcement date.” Strikes remain on players’ records for six months, and I can’t help but wonder if Microsoft will eventually introduce its own version of a defensive driving course to help players knock a few strikes off of their accounts.

The enforcement strike system is part of the Xbox maker’s larger effort to curb toxicity in online gaming. Back in July 2023, the company rolled out a new voice reporting feature that lets players record and submit clips of voice chats that violate its community standards. It’s unclear how effective the voice reporting feature has been in the month or so since its launch.

For toxic gamers scared that the jig is up—or people who are often the victim of false reporting—the Xbox team seems determined to reassure you that it’s very unlikely that you’ll get banned. “In 2022, fewer than one percent of all players received a temporary suspension, and only one third of those received a second. Our data shows us that players typically stop inappropriate behavior after one enforcement, quickly learning what is and is not acceptable based on the Xbox Community Standards and how to better engage on our platform.”

Xbox players have long had the ability to appeal enforcements, but this new system will make it even more clear if there are any against your account, and now a successful appeal will result in one of your eight potential strikes being removed. In short, don’t be an asshole online.

Xbox Has Made A Gamer Credit Card

If the last time you were at the store you thought, “I wish it was more clear that I am a gamer while buying these groceries,” then Xbox has a solution for you: the official Xbox Mastercard. Announced in an Xbox news blog on September 11, the new Xbox Mastercard (issued by Barclays) will let you use points earned from everyday purchases on games or add-ons in the Xbox store, and you can even get your gamertag etched onto one of five “iconic” card designs (they all feature the Xbox logo). But there’s a catch: You can only apply for the card if you’re an Xbox Insider, and only if you’re in the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii.

Like most rewards-based credit cards, you’ll earn points for every $1 you charge on the gamer credit card, but you’ll earn even more points if you spend your money in specific places:

  • You’ll earn 5x points for purchases of “eligible products” at the Xbox and Microsoft stores
  • You’ll earn 3x points on “eligible streaming services” like Disney Plus and Netflix
  • You’ll earn 3x points on “eligible dining delivery services” including Grubhub and Doordash

It’s unclear what the other “eligible” storefronts are just yet—like, if I buy Overwatch coins through my Xbox account in order to get a new $20 skin, will that count towards earning 5x points on my gamer credit card? Or not, because it’s technically through Blizzard’s storefront? This is a need-to-know detail.

If you become an Xbox Mastercard member, you’ll also get a $50 bonus in the form of points after making your first purchase with the card, and three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for free (but only if you’re not already a Game Pass member). “If [you’re] already a Game Pass member, [you] can easily gift it to a friend to play together,” the Xbox news post reassures.

Buy Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Best Buy | GameStop

If you’re not an Xbox Insider, you can’t apply for the card, but luckily becoming an Xbox Insider isn’t all that difficult—just go to your Xbox console, type “Xbox Insider Bundle” into the search bar in the store, and install the “Xbox Insider Hub.” If you’re on PC, head to the Microsoft Store from your start button, type “insider” into the search bar, and download the Xbox Insider Hub. Boom, you’re in.

Will you get the Xbox credit card? Personally, I’m a sucker for cards that earn you points (hell, I’m flying to England for free thanks to one of those setups), and I’m certainly tempted by the idea of swiping a black Xbox Mastercard that reads “hayy GIRL hayy” at my local dispensary, so we’ll see. Xbox Insiders can apply for the Xbox Mastercard starting September 21, while the rest of the United States will have to wait until 2024 to get some new hard plastic in their wallets.

Trump Lawyer Sports Gamer Laptop At $250 Million Fraud Trial

Today is the first day of former president Donald Trump’s $250 million fraud trial in New York. A case brought by the state’s attorney general accuses the Republican primary frontrunner of lying about his net worth by billions of dollars to try to secure more favorable loan terms. One of his attorneys, Alina Habba, showed up with what appears to be an Asus ROG gaming laptop. Its RGB logo changed colors during the hearing.

Update 10/5/2023 11:54 a.m. ET: Habba did not respond to a request for comment but did tweet about this story three days after it was published to clarify that the laptop actually belonged to the court and was used for the live transcript feed. She just happened to be the person seated in front of it.

“When the world thinks you’re a gamer because the court’s live transcript feed computer is placed in front of you #fakenews #notagamer,” she tweeted.

Original story follows.

The laptop was spotted by Ryan Rigney, marketing director for the recently released anime sports game, Omega Strikers. “Gamer lawyer brought the 2070ti asus laptop with the blue underglow to the court hearing,” he tweeted. Various pictures taken at different times during the hearing appear to show the Asus ROG emblem on the front of the laptop, as well as the underglow, cycling from blue to orange.

The laptop in question looks like it could be the ROG Strix G17 G712 model. Originally released in 2021, it sports a 17-inch screen, an RTX 2070 Super GPU, 2.3 GHz Intel i7, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and of course, an RGB keyboard and light bar with Asus’ Aura Sync. It currently sells for about $1,700.

Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the exact model of the laptop was, how often she games on it, or if Trump has ever watched her play on it.

During today’s court poceedings, Habba, who is also a senior advisor for Trump’s Super Pac, MAGA Inc., told the judge in the case that, “There was no intent to defraud, period, the end.” The ex-president, who was also indicted in August on four criminal counts related to alleged attempts to overthrow the government, tried to delay the current fraud case and get it thrown out but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Habba didn’t get her law degree until 2010, and didn’t meet Trump for the first time until 2019. She was previously accused of racist behavior in a 2022 lawsuit by a former employee at her law firm, including saying “I hate that Black b*tch” about New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the current fraud case against Trump. There were also allegedly recordings of her loudly “dropping ‘N’ bombs” while rapping along to music in her New Jersey law office. The lawsuit was settled out of court later that year.


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