Microsoft Bans More “Gay” Names from XBox Live


In last Friday’s tech column, I noted that Microsoft had banned a gamer from Xbox Live for using the gamer handle “theGAYERgamer”, apparently because it has the word “gay” in it.

Today, Kotaku reports that the homosexual ‘cleansing’ continues. They’ve also banned “RichardGaywood”, an Xbox Live player from the UK, who is actually using his real name.

Microsoft explained the ban on “theGAYERgamer” last week: “We recieved a complaint on the Gamertag and determined that it did indeed contain sexual innuendo. Now granted, there could be an argument that the text is not pejorative to homosexuality and should therefore be allowed. But there is no context to explain that. Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature.”

(via good as you)

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  1. Rock says

    It’s odd because Microsoft has a rep for being gay inclusive in it’s hiring practices and was an early adopter of same-sex partner health benefits.

    Additionally, one of Bill Gates’s investment firms put a lot of cash into PlanetOutInc last summer.

  2. JerzeeMike says

    I’m not a gamer so maybe my 2-cents doesn’t count but as far as Microsoft is concerned I ditched them for Apple and my life has gotten 500% easier. I applaud Microsoft for their gay inclusiveness but I really needed a computer system that works reliably EVERY TIME. I spent far too much time on the phone with Microsoft tech support.

  3. David D. says

    It seems to be because Microsoft cannot control the vast amount of anti-gay invective from teenage/drunk/stupid players during Xbox Live multiplayer games (especially Halos I, II and III, Gears of War, Counterstrike and now Grand Theft Auto IV). They’re trying to look like they’re in control of something–so they pick on gamer tags that include the word ‘gay’ even though ‘gay’ is not an objectionable word and is not even innuendo.

    Blizzard went through a similar situation with World of Warcraft. Sooner or later these companies will realize that actual gay people play games, and that there are actually ways to police anti-gay sentiment without being ignorant and arbitrary.

  4. crispy says

    I suspect this is a bad move from some idiot in middle management on the Xbox Live team. When the bad publicity behind this gets to corporate, heads are gonna roll.

  5. says

    I run a gay gamer or gaymers web site and this is nothing new to us. If your gay you don’t want to go on to XBL alone.
    But we do have fun going on XBL together and kicking the asses of all of those teenage/drunk/stupid players

  6. nudel says

    Dick Gaywood?… Are you kidding me?…

    Perhaps if he revealed the face on the drivers licence (he links to a face pic in the original post’s comments) the ‘proof’ that that’s his real name might hold more clout.

  7. says

    “Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature.”

    yeah, because we all know that being gay has everything to do with sex.

  8. MikeinSanJose says

    “Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature.”

    Heh-heh… He said “hard”!

    So clearly a gamertag like “Straightshooter” would be banned too, cuz the word “straight” is clearly sexual in nature and hard for parents of young children to understand.

  9. Strepsi says

    Agree with Avatar – now people are saying children should not even be able to see the WORD “gay”? WTF?!! I had the opposite problem with World of Warcraft, where the language filter blocked even mild swears like “bitch” but let everyone call each otehr “fag” and “gay”. I put in 2 tickets to their service, but the only way was to call the person on it. If you just say “please don’t use hateful words” or “please don’t use gay to mean something negative”, most people actually stop! But you have to do it every. single. time.

  10. anon says

    Microsoft has an excellent record on gay issues, far better than Apple, so this must be some sort of odd policy fluke. Of course, Gates is no longer in charge, who knows what Balmer thinks.

  11. mike says

    Microsoft’s idiocy illustrates better than other thing why gay people will never have full equality until we EDUCATE straights about who we are. “Gay” does not equal “sex”. It doesn’t necessarily even mean “gay”. Microsoft seems to have no problems with some of the more aggressive and violent tags that gamers use. But, use something innocuous a word as “gay” and they want to start a “cleansing” campaign. I was thinking of buying an Xbox. I suddenly have changed my mind.

  12. says

    Yahoo! has banned my real name under several of their incorporated services.

    I wonder if these fools ban names like Lipshitz, too.

    Censoring a piece of a word or a word not used in a “dirty” context is just an attempt to appease those who are easily offended, and always ends up doing more harm than good.

  13. Brent says

    This is a bad decision, but there’s no doubt it’s all a move to clean up the network – somebody just doesn’t know how to do their job.

    If they’re going to ban names based on ANY kind of sexual innuendo, I’m willing to bet that AT LEAST 1/3 – 1/2 of the whole network would have to be brought off-line.

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