Xbox Live, the real-time gaming service from Microsoft, has a history of stupid policies dealing with gay play. In what was supposedly an attempt to crack down on homophobia from other players the system, even gay users weren’t allowed to declare their orientation, as more than one CGI ass kicker learned. So strict was the policy, even subscriber Richard Gaywood was forced to change his actual name in order to use Xbox Live. That’s all about to change, starting today.


With 23 million members, and at least a couple million of those being family, Xbox Live’s new policy is sure to affect a whole slew of gamers. Says the company in a release:

With that in mind, I’d like to announce an update to the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct which will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs. However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community. This update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms.

So return to your original handle, theGayerGamer. As for xxxGayBoyxxx, who caught some Halo homophobia? The triple-X rating might still be too much for Microsoft.

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