360 Avatars allowed in non-violent games

Some more Avatar news for you this morning, as Microsoft has discussed integrating them into new games in a manner similar to Nintendo’s Miis. Come to think of it, I never considered Avatars being anything like Miis until now. Xbox Live GM Eric Kilgore has been talking about Avatars in Seattle, discussing how gamers and developers can utilize them.

“We think it’s really important that these things can scale between in game and out of game, and how we can use them on the web,” explained Kilgore, who spoke of using Avatars to represent gamers on forums and Facebook profiles, places outside of the 360’s dashboard environment. He also touched upon the question of multiple Avatars, stating that things still aren’t figured out, but it’s likely we will have one Avatar tied to one profile.

More importantly, Kilgore talked about using Avatars to represent the player in a “category of games [that use Avatars] in different ways.” Able to appear as both 2D and 3D models, Avatars could potentially appear in a whole host of titles. The one thing they cannot do, however, is crop up in violent videogames, as Microsoft has mandated that only games with an ESRB rating of E10+ will be deemed suitable for Avatar access at first.

“We are still developing the final policies,” explained Kilgore. “The final guide we have this year is to think of them in an ‘E10’ context. That doesn’t mean it won’t change – but this Fall they won’t be able to blow each other’s heads off.”

Shame.

Jim Sterling