I have to tell you, considering the fierce competition between Xbox and PS3, it’s not clear to me why Microsoft seems hellbent on creating controversy surrounding this game. But it seems that, yet again, we have a complaint that Microsoft is operating its gaming environment in a bigoted manner. This latest report comes via the blog of the Consumers Union, i.e., the Consumer Reports people. When they say that Microsoft now has a history of operating its Xbox operations in a bigoted anti-gay way, then I start to take notice. The gist of the ongoing complaints? Microsoft thinks it’s dirty for gamers to refer to themselves as “gay” in their online profiles. Microsoft reportedly even suspended one guy’s account because his last name was “Gaywood.”
Considering the fact that people who play Xbox live are quite literally chatting with strangers all over the world, it’s a bit much for Microsoft to suggest that this is some kind of children’s haven where the little ones must be protected from finding out about “the gays.” These “kids” are playing games based on murdering strangers, and they’re striking up conversations and friendships – and chatting by VIDEO – with people they don’t even know. So spare us the talk about protecting the kids. It’s not Microsoft’s job to play cyber-nanny and protect its customers from finding out that some other of its customers are gay. What’s next? Banning any mention of a customer being black, lest we offend that little Hitler baby?