Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Xbox Bans Gamer Because He's From a "Gay" Town. No, Really.

Photo taken in the UK by Mike Fleming
This story relates to the District of Columbia because it's about a town in West Virginia near the Kentucky border. And West Virginia's near Virginia, which is next to DC. Oh, forget it. I just wanted to report on this because it's an interesting story.

Xbox Live, the multi-player game run by Microsoft, has a rule that they enforce pretty vigorously that says players cannot create a gametag or use text that offends other players. What offensive word did gamer Josh Moore put in his profile? He listed that he was from Fort Gay, WV.
Microsoft wasn't pleased when they learned Moore was from Fort Gay. Microsoft's customer service wouldn't believe him when Moore said there really is a Fort Gay, WV, and that's where he lives. Moore told the customer service representative that his town and zip code were real:  "Google it - 25514!" he said when he called Microsoft. Moore told the Associated Press that Microsoft's customer service representative replied, "I can't help you." (Moore probably should have said, "Bing it," rather than "Google it" when talking to Microsoft.)

Microsoft isn't the only company that's banned words it views as sexual, derogatory or presenting other problems. When AOL banned the word "breast" in 1995, members of its own breast cancer forums had to refer to their disease as "hooter cancer."

Eventually Microsoft figured it out and apologized both to Moore and to the town of Fort Gay, WV.

Thanks to The Consumerist for spotting this story.

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