Gaming My Way

25 Feb

Microsoft Needs to Stop Siding With the “Majority”

I read a disturbing piece on The Consumerist today. Basically, they explain how identifying as gay or lesbian has been getting people banned from Xbox Live. Now, I could almost understand this if it were a mistake due to trying to ban people who use the terms in a manner intended to be offensive, that is, using gay as an insult, as is done all too commonly. Of course, that would also assume they worked to fix the issue immediately. Unfortunately, none of this seems to be the case.

If you read the link above, you’ll see that the person banned was someone who simply stated she was a lesbian in her profile. Microsoft’s response was that other gamers found her profile offensive because of this. Not only that, but according to the story, before she was banned, other gamers had been harassing her. If this is the case, Microsoft should be banning those who harassed her, and in any case, they should be lifting the ban against her immediately.

Now, obviously, I use a lot of Microsoft products. In our world, it’s hard to get by without them, though certainly possible. However, if I don’t see any news about them rectifying this issue or that indicates these claims are false, you can be sure I won’t be buying anything else Microsoft puts out. Microsoft needs to learn that not everything people deem offensive is actually offensive or wrong, particularly when it comes to sexuality. This means they either need to learn to think a little bit, or hire someone who knows how to think to deal with these issues. Then they need to get rid of the robot doing the bans, stop being too lazy to correct their mistakes, and do something to fix it. Also, no more of this “there’s nothing we can do” talk. If your system doesn’t allow you to fix mistakes, change it so it does. If you’re just too lazy, then start earning your keep and do your jobs.

For everyone reading this, spread the word. Link to the consumerist article, link here, or write your own post, but do something so people see the story and are aware of it. Make sure Microsoft understands that they can’t keep pulling this kind of thing, or it will come back to haunt them.

Also, though I know this might be a bit much to ask of some people, I’d also encourage people to stop using Xbox Live until they fix this. If enough people were to do this, they’d get the message very quickly, so I imagine it would only be a month of going without gaming on Xbox Live. Perhaps this could even coincide nicely with Lent for those who are looking for something to give up. Just some thoughts on the matter.

Edit: Here are some other takes on this issue:
Sorry, Microsoft’s Xbox Has a ‘No Lesbians Allowed’ Policy
Be Gay On Xbox Live! – An excellent alternative for those who don’t want to give up Xbox Live in protest. Of course, you can also simply state your support for the LGBT community in your profile if, like me, you’d rather not claim to be gay or lesbian.
Microsoft admits to, defends banning Lesbian Xbox Live user

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