Microsoft Apologizes to Gay Gamers, Considers Solutions

fustian

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Oct 9, 2008
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Another person who doesn't use XBOX live here. That having been said, I don't understand the comments that basically say that she shouldn't "advertise" her sexual orientation.

That argument has been used for years to try to silence gay & lesbian people. Holding hands = advertising. Kissing = advertising. etc. etc. Are you saying that no straight xbox live gamers make any allusions to their sexualities in their profiles? I find this hard to believe. I'm sure there are some people who have profiles that make references to their girlfriends/boyfriends, stars they find attractive, and so on. How are these any less of an advertisement of sexuality than simply stating that one is a lesbian? Would it have been OK for her to say that she was a woman with a wife?

The fact is that most people will assume that the people they meet are straight until otherwise informed. By being up front with your sexuality you can avoid uncomfortable situations down the line. If someone is a homophobic asshole I'd rather them know right off that I'm gay then figure it out after spending a few hours chatting with them. Maybe this woman feels the same way.
 

Actual

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Jun 24, 2008
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I'm sorry...Richard Gaywood = Dick GayErection....that can't be a real name.

On a more serious note, as Microsoft said 98% of the usage of any word relating to homosexuality in profiles is used for insulting purposes. Of those two percent who use it to describe themselves I'm willing to bet that the majority of them are using it for attention or they are children looking to do teh cyborz saxxin.
Those who are genuinely gay should realise there is no need to put it on a XBL gamer profile, and will also see that for the reasons above the words themselves should be filtered out.
 

Ago Iterum

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Dec 31, 2007
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I don't understand what possessed them to do this... Someone's sexuality plays a huge part in their personality, so fitting it into a personal introduction is usually necessary.

Oh well, they've apologised. The girl should get free Xbox live for a year though.
 

luckshot

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Jul 18, 2008
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parents don't want their kids exposed to that kind of thing i understand...but who filters real life? on the playground, walking down the street? the crazy mumbling bum trying to clean windshields. using children as a shield to protect yourself is poor in form and function, use the 6'6" 300 lbs guy that gets angry easily
 

Actual

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luckshot said:
parents don't want their kids exposed to that kind of thing i understand...but who filters real life? on the playground, walking down the street? the crazy mumbling bum trying to clean windshields. using children as a shield to protect yourself is poor in form and function, use the 6'6" 300 lbs guy that gets angry easily
Microsoft are a business, a large portion of their customers are parents who pay for their children to play. They have to run the business in a way that the majority of parents are happy about. Everyone flaming gays or advertising sexual services online tends to upset parents.
 

Sixties Spidey

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Actual said:
I'm sorry...Richard Gaywood = Dick GayErection....that can't be a real name.
I'm sorry if this makes me sound immature or anything, but I actually burst really loudly with laughter.
 

not4prophet

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Feb 24, 2009
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I don't use XBL either, but I am glad that Msoft is trying to make things right for her.

That being said, I still side with the "why?" crowd. I realize that being gay is a big part of one's personality, and of course everyone has a right to express themselves. But I don't feel the need to tell everyone I meet, let alone anyone I play a friggin' video game with, that I'm straight as part of my introduction, you know?

I still think she should be able to express herself, but the community she's trying in is not the most receptive one for that. If anyone's the villain here, it's the thousands of homophobes out there that account for that 98% statistic of misuse of the terms, and the parents that allow or even encourage hateful intolerance in their children.
 

Radelaide

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May 15, 2008
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not4prophet said:
I don't use XBL either, but I am glad that Msoft is trying to make things right for her.

That being said, I still side with the "why?" crowd. I realize that being gay is a big part of one's personality, and of course everyone has a right to express themselves. But I don't feel the need to tell everyone I meet, let alone anyone I play a friggin' video game with, that I'm straight as part of my introduction, you know?

I still think she should be able to express herself, but the community she's trying in is not the most receptive one for that. If anyone's the villain here, it's the thousands of homophobes out there that account for that 98% statistic of misuse of the terms, and the parents that allow or even encourage hateful intolerance in their children.
Fill out your about me section. Something about me is that I'm bi-sexual. It's a major part of who I am. Just like my name is Adelaide. I don't think they should censor stuff like that, but putting it in your screen name is just asking for trouble from the drop-kicks who use XBL. "OMG UR GAY!? ROFLFAG!!!"
 

Jumplion

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Mar 10, 2008
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I think the HOME fiasco and this situation are a little bit different.

With the HOME censoring "gay" "lesbian" and "bisexual" or something, those words are easily used for insults and can easily be shown in front of a crowd and shown in a large group, which means that anyone can see it whether they like it or not. So to prevent from "offending" anyone, they censored it, though ironically they offended someone anyway. (I guarantee you that if they didn't censor it it would be a fiasco anywya, but I'm not going to say if what they did was "right".)

With this, they banned her (presumably) because of something that wasn't necessary, or even really that public. It was on a profile that anyone can see if they choose to see it. She (again, presumably) got banned because of something that wasn't necessary or even that important, which makes it distressing to even consider "personalizing" your own personal profile. (But again, I'm not going to say if what they did was "right".)

I WILL, however, say that it was stupid of both MSoft and the Gaymer (*tee hee*) to A)Say that metioning your sexual preference in a personal profile is against the rules and B)That the girl actually put up her sexual preference in her profile.

Didn't she know what a bunch of assholes people are on live?!?!?!

HAR HAR HAR *rhetoric(?) laughter*
 

Xan Krieger

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Feb 11, 2009
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I see no need for change. Why would you even want to put your "sexual preference" in your profile?
 

reaper_2k9

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Oct 22, 2008
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Rednog said:
I still say Microsoft should have stuck to their guns. It is somewhat disheartening to always hear people pull out the torches and pitchforks when they feel they have been wronged, but in reality she clearly broke the rules.
In the case of Gaywood being used, that one of those rare out of the blue occurrences and somewhat surprising it made it to the press.
I think that a lot of these problems are created somewhat by people who want attention out of them, yea there is some argument to be made on whether or not Microsoft should allow the use of gay or lesbian in profiles and names. If they do allow it they would have to spend more resources policing the 98% of misuses and 2% of proper uses that get abused by other players. To me this is a huge headache, I think that people need to step back and look at this rationally.
Xbox Live is a place to play games, it is not a place to hook up. While something like stating your sexuality might be appropriate in other games where actions are more intimate most games on the 360 are a few minutes to an hour long at most.

I think some requests of tolerance and or acceptance are reasonable, but when you have to bend over backwards for people who could make simple changes to fix the problem themselves it gets ridiculous.
Microsoft didn't have to ban her if they were truly paying attention why didn't they email her and ask her would you please remove this from your profile?

I don't think she was looking to hook up as you say maybe she was trying to find other gamers who were also gay to game with. You tend to be more comfortable playing with like minded people and people you feel comfortable with.

There are enough slurs thrown around on Live that it makes it really hard to want to actually interact with anyone on there.
 

NoNameMcgee

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Feb 24, 2009
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Trivun said:
Why shouldn't she say that she is lesbian though? I'm glad Microsoft have turned round and decided to review their rules, since there is nothing wrong with expressing yourself, and that includes saying if you are gay or lesbian. If she wanted to admit this, then that's fair enough, and the people who complained have only gone and made it so that people will get more free reign over what they can say about themselves online, which, if we choose to state such things, can only be a good thing.
Exactly. The profile is to say things about yourself isn't it???

I don't see why its a big deal for her to write shes a lesbian in her profile.. Just like someone might write that they're a vegetarian, or caucasian, or something... :/ Yeah those are bad examples, but my point is, if you have a profile to say things about yourself, and she considers that to be a big part of herself and is proud of it, then whats wrong with putting it there??
 

asinann

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Apr 28, 2008
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Rednog said:
I still say Microsoft should have stuck to their guns. It is somewhat disheartening to always hear people pull out the torches and pitchforks when they feel they have been wronged, but in reality she clearly broke the rules.
In the case of Gaywood being used, that one of those rare out of the blue occurrences and somewhat surprising it made it to the press.
I think that a lot of these problems are created somewhat by people who want attention out of them, yea there is some argument to be made on whether or not Microsoft should allow the use of gay or lesbian in profiles and names. If they do allow it they would have to spend more resources policing the 98% of misuses and 2% of proper uses that get abused by other players. To me this is a huge headache, I think that people need to step back and look at this rationally.
Xbox Live is a place to play games, it is not a place to hook up. While something like stating your sexuality might be appropriate in other games where actions are more intimate most games on the 360 are a few minutes to an hour long at most.

I think some requests of tolerance and or acceptance are reasonable, but when you have to bend over backwards for people who could make simple changes to fix the problem themselves it gets ridiculous.
You know if they HAD stuck to their guns GLAAD would have jumped aboard with an anti-discrimination lawsuit and since Microsoft is based in Washington state (where it violates state constitution to discriminate against anyone in any way by any business or government agency) Microsoft would have lost or settled and been forced to change the policy anyway. This just saves them a ton of money.
 

Alex_P

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Mar 27, 2008
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All you folks saying "How often do straight people advertise their sexuality?":

You're doing it right now.

-- Alex
 

Rednog

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asinann said:
Rednog said:
I still say Microsoft should have stuck to their guns. It is somewhat disheartening to always hear people pull out the torches and pitchforks when they feel they have been wronged, but in reality she clearly broke the rules.
In the case of Gaywood being used, that one of those rare out of the blue occurrences and somewhat surprising it made it to the press.
I think that a lot of these problems are created somewhat by people who want attention out of them, yea there is some argument to be made on whether or not Microsoft should allow the use of gay or lesbian in profiles and names. If they do allow it they would have to spend more resources policing the 98% of misuses and 2% of proper uses that get abused by other players. To me this is a huge headache, I think that people need to step back and look at this rationally.
Xbox Live is a place to play games, it is not a place to hook up. While something like stating your sexuality might be appropriate in other games where actions are more intimate most games on the 360 are a few minutes to an hour long at most.

I think some requests of tolerance and or acceptance are reasonable, but when you have to bend over backwards for people who could make simple changes to fix the problem themselves it gets ridiculous.
You know if they HAD stuck to their guns GLAAD would have jumped aboard with an anti-discrimination lawsuit and since Microsoft is based in Washington state (where it violates state constitution to discriminate against anyone in any way by any business or government agency) Microsoft would have lost or settled and been forced to change the policy anyway. This just saves them a ton of money.
When she made an account on Xbox Live she agreed to their terms of use, which states that you cannot make references to sexuality, thus she broke the rules and is at fault. It is not discriminatory if it applies to everyone. Also no one at Microsoft banned her specifically for having that in her profile. Like the original article said she had many reports against her (what caused players to do this we will never know the exact details) but the ban was because of the multiple reports. If you have ever used the system there are set choices for reporting someone, and odds are MS banned her without looking for that and not just seeing the word lesbian and banning for that. Thus GLAAD would be filing a loosing lawsuit, which is questionably frivolous thus ensuring a counter-suit.
 

Rednog

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reaper_2k9 said:
Rednog said:
I still say Microsoft should have stuck to their guns. It is somewhat disheartening to always hear people pull out the torches and pitchforks when they feel they have been wronged, but in reality she clearly broke the rules.
In the case of Gaywood being used, that one of those rare out of the blue occurrences and somewhat surprising it made it to the press.
I think that a lot of these problems are created somewhat by people who want attention out of them, yea there is some argument to be made on whether or not Microsoft should allow the use of gay or lesbian in profiles and names. If they do allow it they would have to spend more resources policing the 98% of misuses and 2% of proper uses that get abused by other players. To me this is a huge headache, I think that people need to step back and look at this rationally.
Xbox Live is a place to play games, it is not a place to hook up. While something like stating your sexuality might be appropriate in other games where actions are more intimate most games on the 360 are a few minutes to an hour long at most.

I think some requests of tolerance and or acceptance are reasonable, but when you have to bend over backwards for people who could make simple changes to fix the problem themselves it gets ridiculous.
Microsoft didn't have to ban her if they were truly paying attention why didn't they email her and ask her would you please remove this from your profile?

I don't think she was looking to hook up as you say maybe she was trying to find other gamers who were also gay to game with. You tend to be more comfortable playing with like minded people and people you feel comfortable with.

There are enough slurs thrown around on Live that it makes it really hard to want to actually interact with anyone on there.
In an ideal world they could've sent an email being like "Hey this thing in your profile is breaking the rules please fix it." It is unfortunately easier to just ban because obtaining compliance is rather difficult, you have to set a reasonable time for a person to comply, then you have to hire people to actually read her profile to make sure the person complies, and then you have to get some one to ban if the person doesn't comply and then what is the guarantee that the person doesn't change it back after a period of time?
Also as to my point about stating her sexuality and your counter argument of her wanting to play with similar minded people. I've known a handful of people with various sexual preferences and they are in no way any different in mentality than anyone else. Just because she could find another lesbian or another gay player that other player could be a douchebag in their own sense. Yes finding other players who are of her sexual preference would help deter offensive slurs towards there is nothing to really guarantee her happiness with the players she finds. It is in my opinion that the odds of finding good friends on xbox live are much higher by just playing random games and just putting players who offend you in some way on avoid or report them.
And like I said there are other avenues to find like minded players. For a theoretical example, say I think that escapists are like minded to myself, then I will go to the escapist and find players there and then add them to my friends list. This would work much easier than putting "I like the escapist" in my profile and waiting for random players to look at my profile and hoping they chat to me about the escapist or friend me.