ArsTechnica reports on an interview with developers on Halo 4, discussing the potential for harsher sanctions than before on sexism in Xbox live games: they're planning to institute a zero-tolerance, lifetime ban policy for sexist remarks. From Gamespot's interview:
"As developers, we have a personal responsibility to think about how our games come across," [343 Industries head Bonnie] Ross said. "With Halo 4, we were very deliberate in thinking about who should be female and who should be male in the game, and if we came off stereotypical, we went back to question what we were doing and why."
[Executive producer Kiki] Wolfkill agreed, saying that while games can often reflect the culture of the studio that's building them, the success or failure of games can also reflect consumer responsibility. Part of this responsibility includes changing perspectives about the games industry as an exclusively male-dominated area.
Casey Johnston at ArsTechnica points out the obvious reality that this kind of enforcement can't be 100% effective, but it's still a huge step in the right direction. She keeps herself muted when she plays online, because her voice makes her an immediate target for harassment.
The more the industry stands against the sexists and for fair and open play space, the less acceptable it will be for these vile behaviors to stick and spread.