location discrimination

Microsoft’s Xbox Live Still Figuring Out What Gay Things Are Offensive. Sexuality? No. Hometowns? Yes


Once upon a time Microsoft’s Xbox Live service refused to let players mention their sexuality on the service. An effort to stamp out homophobia also curbed the free expression of gamers’ identities, and in March a formal policy reversal was unveiled that appeared to welcome users to identify as gay or straight or whatever. Then we found that while “transgender” and “bi” were acceptable terms, “queer” was not. And now we learn that Xbox’s triggers are still pulled when players say they’re from somewhere gay.

Josh Moore, a 26-year-old gamer, was banned from the service for several days last week after listing his hometown as Fort Gay, West Virginia. Oops! Microsoft has since apologized, and says they’re updating their customer service training, which should include a clause about reps “going on Google to see if a town actually exists.”