Xbox, owned by Microsoft, has apologized to a gamer that it banned from Xbox Live after he said Fort Gay was his hometown.
The gamer, Josh Moore, from Fort Gay, West Virginia, was surprised when he found his account suspended and then received a threat of cancellation without getting his money back, just because he entered Fort Gay in his profile. Apparently, Microsoft thought that this was in breach of Xbox Live's rules.
When Moore found out the reason he called Microsoft trying to clarify saying, "I figured I'll explain to them, look in my account, Fort Gay is a real place." He even suggested, " Google it - 25514!" referring to his town's zip code.
Even the local mayor, David Thompson couldn't use his political powers to get Microsoft to budge. Thompson told a local TV station that Microsoft told him the fact that Fort Gay was an actual place didn't matter, it was the fact that the letters "g-a-y" appeared and that was "inappropriate in any context".
No surprise, Thompson was offended, saying, "It's beyond me. That's the name of our town! It's appalling. It's a slap in our face."
Finally the Xbox Live director of policy and enforcement, Stephen Toulouse stepped in to clear up the hot mess.
"Someone took the phrase 'Fort Gay WV' and believed that the individual who had that was trying to offend, or trying to use it in a pejorative manner. Unfortunately, one of my people agreed with that. When it was brought to my attention, we did revoke the suspension."
Toulouse went on to say that he would contact Moore and apologize personally.
Xbox Live has been criticized by gay gamers in the last two years for banning users for including words such as gay and lesbian in their gamertags.
It bans users from displaying language in their personal information that "may offend other members".
Last year, the company revised its code of conduct to state that the words 'lesbian', 'gay', 'bi', 'transgender' and 'straight' would be allowed but no slang words for sexual orientation or gender identity would be allowed.
So is this "PCness" at it's worst? At the end of the day isn't it just a game?
Here's what our viewers had to say:
Ian Bower: And what's wrong with the word gay?
Microsoft used to be cool many years ago - now just part of the right wing establishment.
GayGirl: I had that problem with MSN groups when they had them. I couldn't have 'gay' in my username. they are so tight-a**ed. Somebody else on the same group whose name was Theresa Ryan couldn't have her name on her profile because her name accidentally spells the word Aryan. Thers-a-ryan!!! How DUMB can they be?
de Villiers: So American
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And that's today's helping of Online Dish.