Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Microsoft Embraces Backlash On Social Media

Microsoft embraces backlash on social media for objectifying women in its conference.

Microsoft Corporation is now under immense scrutiny since they are accused of depicting a strong display of sexism during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2016. The company hosted the Xbox GDC party on Thursday, where female dancers were dressed in school girl costumes in an erotic manner that entertained the guests.
As per the attendants who were present at the event found it to be extremely distasteful and an activity that was not really required. It was stated that having girls dressed as erotic school girls and making them dance was extremely objectifying and sexist. Twitter was one platform where the masses expressed their dismay and claimed that they would officially file a complaint against the act. Some were so frustrated that they claimed that this initiative has motivated them to switch sides and have encouraged them to switch to Sony’s PlayStation from Xbox.
So now we need to put the things back in the puzzle, the gaming fraternity has often been condemned since they usually display women in a superficial manner. Moreover, the characters are mostly not meaningful. Similar to the way, Hollywood is condemned for objectifying women. It now seems that the Windows 10 giant has taken a step back when it comes to the position of women in this fraternity. The ironic part was that MSFT sponsored a “Women in Games” lunch at the conference.
The company depicted a lot of maturity after the event where it apologized and took responsibility for what happened. Mr. Aaron Greenberg, the head of Xbox marketing did not have any clue about the happenings where he tweeted that he is extremely disappointed about what really happened and he claimed that he would "follow up with the team" regarding the scenario.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox mentioned in an official statement to The Verge stated that the incident that took place is against the core values of the company. He stated, "It was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. I know we disappointed many people and I'm personally committed to holding ourselves to higher standards. We must ensure that diversity and inclusion are central to our everyday business and core values. We will do better in the future."
The company is under a lot of pressure in terms of the Xbox division. Xbox is stumbling and is losing the sales in the long term in contrast to PlayStation. PlayStation is doing so well in the fraternity that Xbox One cannot keep pace with it.
The event which is so sexist in its true spirit ignited the controversy further which is likely to dent the image of Xbox One amongst consumers. When it comes to a consumer oriented product, any controversy that involves misogyny and sexism can prove to be really harsh for the life cycle of the product.  It will not be astonishing to note that Xbox’s core consumers particularly females shift to PlayStation. Female gamers have increased significantly over the past couple of years and Microsoft might just lose upon them.

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