Microsoft's Official Examples Of "Acceptable Trash Talk" Are A Joy

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft updated the company’s “Community Standards for Xbox” earlier this week, and while this is normally not news, the content is so damn wholesome that it’s worth a closer look.

You can read the whole thing here, and I genuinely recommend you do: the company has gone way beyond simply listing rules you should follow, and has provided a ton of examples of not just what you shouldn’t be doing on Xbox Live, but also what you could be doing if you want to be a cool and fun person to be around.

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Stuff like this!

Harassment and hate take many forms, but none have a home on Xbox. To make Xbox Live a place where everyone can hang out, and to prevent people from feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome, we all need to be stewards. This means more than just not harassing other players—it means embracing them. It means saving those unsavory jokes for people you know will enjoy them. It means taking particular care for others while you play, keeping in mind how they might interpret your content.

That is a genuinely cool thing to proactively enshrine in your community guidelines, and it’s great to see Microsoft breaking things down in such a casual and approachable manner.

To help make things even clearer, there is also a long list of examples of “trash talk”, and I love them even more, in a “90s educational/instructional video” kinda way. Here’s some stuff Microsoft recommends you shouldn’t be saying online:

  • Get <sexual threat>. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
  • Hey <profanity>, that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked, trash.
  • Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. KYS, kid.
  • Cheap win. Totally expected from a <racial slur>.
  • You suck. Get out of my country—maybe they’ll let you back in when your k/d’s over 1.
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Not cool! Here, though, is some trash talk that is acceptable:

  • Get destroyed. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
  • That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.
  • Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.
  • Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.
  • That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d’s over 1.

Of course, feel free to mix and match to create your own acceptable insults. “Cheap win, kid, though you’re not on my level. Get wrecked.” See? Easy.

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You’ll notice both sets of insults are similar, only one uses stuff like <racial slur> and <sexual threat>, while the other doesn’t. Like the rest of the guidelines, that’s some pretty easy advice to follow! It shouldn’t have to be spelled out this literally, but this is 2019 and I guess it actually does, so good on Microsoft for actually bothering to get it all on record.

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About the author

Luke Plunkett

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.