In an extensive look at the development of “the second generation of Xbox Live” recently published on Polygon, Microsoft revealed that one of its female Xbox Live enforcement team members, whose job it was to play Uno for Xbox 360 with her webcam turned on, could expect to see another player’s penis every 14 minutes.
“Hacking on Call of Duty started to get totally out of control around , with people hacking the game and custom lobbies and all that kind of stuff,” says ATG Account Manager Sam Charchian. “We built this really tight integration between [Infinity Ward’s] anti-hack team and ours inside, because Microsoft has their own, what they call the Xbox Live Enforcement team. We had their anti-hack/enforcement team come spend a day with ours and talk about how they could work together to hopefully defeat these people.
“One of the funny things that came out of it … we’re meeting with the Xbox Live enforcement team, and [there was] a woman on the team who’s in her early 20s. She was explaining that she spends a good part of her week going into Uno games with the camera on and basically just waiting for dudes who will see a woman playing Uno with her camera on and expose themselves.
“I was like … ‘Really? How often do you actually have dudes, you know, whip it out?’ And she said, ‘Eh, my time to penis is about 14 minutes on the average.’
I mean, she would sit on there and just ban these guys when she ran into them, but apparently it was a serious problem. Part of what makes it extra sad is that it’s Uno, which you think would be a family-friendly game for people to play.”
It’s pretty hard to dispute that it’s much tougher being a woman online than a man these days, especially when it comes to multiplayer gaming. If a woman says anything over voice chat in a Call of Duty match, the harassment begins immediately as players start heckling her. If a woman is streaming a game over Twitch, half the comments in the live chat are requests for her to undress. Personally, I remember making a female avatar in PlayStation Home years ago and watched as dozens of male players immediately flocked to her and began sending me messages, many of which included nude pictures.
It’s a gross world out there for female players, and hopefully Microsoft is taking this issue seriously.