Incidents of gamers being banned or censored for being open with their homosexuality on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service are on the rise. Individuals have begun reporting their mistreatment to the blog, the Consumerist, to voice their displeasure over Microsoft’s service.
Grant, a Consumerist reader and XBOX Live gamer, recently had his account name blocked; the alias he had used while gaming was theGAYERgamer. When Grant took the initiative to contact a representative of Xbox Live, he was astounded by their defense, the “greater Xbox community” found his name offensive.
Teresa was involved in a another situation; in a comment to Grant’s story she replied:
“I had a similar incident, only my account was suspended because I had said in my profile that I was a lesbian. I was harassed by several players, ‘chased’ to different maps/games to get away from their harassment. They followed me into the games and told all the other players to turn me in because they didn’t want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap.
As if xbox live is really appropriate for kids anyways! My account was suspended and xbox live did nothing to solve this, but instead said others found it offensive.”
Another subscriber had his legal name banned from Xbox Live. Richard Gaywood chose to use the (not so inconspicuous) alias RichardGaywood, but nonetheless he was blocked and told that his name was offensive.
We hope that Microsoft has the integrity to reverse this ridiculous policy. How can they expect to foster a vibrant online community if individuals are not allowed to come as they are?