Teresa says that she was harassed by other players and later suspended from XBOX Live because she identified herself as a lesbian in her profile. When she appealed to Microsoft, she says they told her that other gamers found her sexual orientation "offensive."The Full article, by Meg Marco, over at "The Consumerist," is here.
Microsoft "explained" a parallel issue where they forced a guy to change his gamertag from "TheGAYERgamer." (full article here):
What's even crazier in this case is that it wasn't anything Teresa did or said in the game, as a player, it was her mention of being a lesbian in her profile! And, excuse me, but when the HECK did mentioning you're a lesbian or a gay man mean you were talking sex? Do we need a different expression than "sexual orientation?" Something that illustrates that being gay is not purely about SEX? (And helps straight people remember that?) Maybe "gender-affection-direction?" (or is that too rhyme-y?)
Either way, I think Microsoft is WRONG on this.
Are any of the over 750,000 XBox Live subscribers allowed to say if they're Black in their profile?
How about if they're Asian?
Or if they're Christian?
...And, one more thing: I wonder about the parents whose children are so young they can't handle the fact that lesbians and gay men exist in the world... and are letting those same kids play XBOX Live.
I mean, was it playing Team Deathmatch in Destruction Mode in the Hell's Kitchen map on MECH ASSAULT, when suddenly some child stopped playing, put down their Pulse Laser, their Medium Laser, their Particle Projection Cannon, their Machine Gun, their Autocannon, their Gauss Rifle, their Crossbow, Hammer, and Javelin LRM missiles, and, of course, their Lava Gun, went to the user profile of another player, saw she was a lesbian, and decided that trying to rack up the most kills wasn't fun any more because now they knew there were people like that (like us) in the world? Someone who could fall in love with someone of the same gender! Oh, the cruel truth of it!
Microsoft needs to do some work on their virtual world. 'Cause we're out here in the REAL world. And this stinks.
What do YOU think?
My thanks to loyal blog reader (and eagle eye) KELnino for the heads-up on this!