Stephen ‘Stepto’ Toulouse is probably one of the most known names associated with Xbox Live, alongside Major Nelson. He worked at Microsoft for over 18 years and helped to sculpt policy and protocol, as well as co-hosting the Major Nelson Podcast.
He left the company way back in 2012, but his influence was still ever present and his work towards making the Xbox Live service what it is today was insurmountable. His quick wit, straight talking and “zero bullshit” stance towards abusive behaviour online really stood him out as one of the good guys of gaming.
Too many people turn into jerks when they get shielded by anonymity, and Stepto was always going to be fighting an uphill battle against that, but fight he did, again and again and again, through illness, doxing and life in general.
Details of how this has happened are obviously unclear currently, but he was recently hospitalised and in a coma for a short period.
Given how toxic online gaming has the potential to be, and how difficult his (and his team’s) task was, this guy was a tour-de-force and helped influence the future for online gaming, and for that, he will not be forgotten.
He was one of the good guys, a hero, and Heroes Never Die!