Microsoft is in damage control mode after it suspended a 26-year-old gamer's Xbox Live account because he used an "offensive" name for his home town. That offensive name was "Fort Gay." Where he lives. In fact, West Virginia also contains cities named Gay and Mount Gay. We're all for combating homophobia on Xbox Live, but a little fact checking might help with the efforts.
Above: It took about 10 seconds to see that Fort Gay is indeed a city. And look, this very story is already reported! The hivemind is fast
When Josh Moore, the owner of the account, called Xbox customer service and tried to explain, no one believed that the city's name was real, and he was refused help. Moore said he was even told that if he put "Fort Gay" back into his profile, they'd completely ban his account and keep all of his prepaid Xbox Live Gold membership money.
Moore told the Associated Press, "At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad... it makes me feel like they hate gay people."
This isn't Microsoft's only misguided attempt to keep the masses from being offended - the company used to ban any name that included the word 'gay,' 'lesbian,' 'bi,' 'transgender,' or 'straight.' It revoked that policy earlier this year. But apparently living in a city named "gay" is a no-no. Facepalm.
Above: And yet MS doesn't mind "The Ballad of Gay Tony" on the Xbox Live Marketplace... maybe it should ban Rockstar?
We're fine with MS suspending people who say they're from GiantPenisville or BouncyTits Town, but Fort Gay isn't even funny. It actually sounds like a plausible name. Do your research, Microsoft. In fact, we'll do it for you. Here are a few more US cities you may want to recognize the existence of:
Mount Gay, West Virginia
Gay, West Virginia
Middlesex, New Jersey
Straight River, Minnesota
Bi-Lo Center, South Carolina
If you happen to live in one of the above cities and your name is something like, say, Richard Gaywood, you're really gonna have a tough time keeping your Xbox Live account. It was only after being contacted by media outlets and the mayor of Fort Gay himself that Microsoft finally admitted, "In this very, very specific case, a mistake was made."
Meanwhile, it doesn't seem that Sony has dealt with any of these "very, very specific" cases, and your identity on the Wii is something like "7372893375598374," so no chance of anything "offensive" there. Unless maybe your number includes "80085."
Sep 8, 2010
It's okay to be gay
Sexual orientation can now be expressed in Gamertags and profiles on Xbox Live
Videogame characters we'd go gay for
Because we all want some serious shaft
Videogame characters we'd go gay for, part 2
LADIES ONLY - NO BOYS ALLOWED