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« Games That Should Be Re-Made | Main | Gaming News Rundown - Haze, Oddworld & more »

May 23, 2008


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I totally agree. Just as I absolutely detest how 'gay' is used as a derogatory word I also hate when it is automatically seen as 'sexual' as in the case of Xbox Live.

Although Gaywood is simply a name, people don't realise how homophobic they are when they think someone pronouncing themselves gay in some public manner equates to gays 'flaunting it in our faces'. You will hear comments such as 'I don't want to know what you do in your bedroom'. Guess what? I don't want to know what you do in yours either!

This is horrible. My blood is boiling right now. I seem to recall there being an org. that is somewhat like the Anti-Defamation league but for gays and dealing exlusively with entertainment. Can't recall the name or website but I'll forward along this story and the kotaku story when I do.

That would be:
GLAAD - Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation


Thanks anon, it took me all of five seconds after I posted to think and realize "gay anti-defamation league....GLAAD!".

I sent them an incident report with links so hopefully they'll be as ouraged as we are.

Aww, that's just ridiculous.

I've had the 'gay=sex' thing too, many times.

Usually it's a load of straight guys, assuming that to be gay means that it's all about who we have sex with, and that's all, so if I just ignore the fact that this guy has something ugh, between his legs, then all I have to do is ignore it, and that means I'll have sex with him. Because after all, we are all just reduced to what's between our legs, and any woman is basically just a man without a penis.

Grrr, idiots.

This can lead into the whole thing about how we have to be masculinised to be able to compete on terms equal to men. Which is b**locks (pun not intended), and also why they poke fun at any woman who is strong in her own right, about facial hair and such.

Sorry, I got all riled up then.

Worse yet, Microsoft gets a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.


My point isn't to bash HRC (though I think they should take this into account for next year's Index), but to point out how many variables go into a company's "LGBT friendliness."

I did wonder if you'd be covering this here and was pleased when I saw you had, and in such a way as to be informative whilst remaining calm, bravo.

Microsoft do need this examined and altered. It is preposterous this jackass from MS even uttered those words.

Who is he appealing to with his 'defense' of someone seeing the word gay. Billy Bob republican and his backward posse, because I don't see him 'protecting' anyone of sound and logical mind.

Also his quip about users having freedom to express themselves is a crock. Freedom to express themselves provided they're not gay, what next, Jews? African American's? Women? The Aged?

The entire thing is bigoted and Microsoft should be truly truly ashamed.

Great post....because clearly heterosexuals are multi-dimensional and being queer is just about particular sex acts.

"a safe environment for who one has to question."


i think Xboxs policy is wrong.
You cant use the word "lesbian" or "gay" on LIVE or even the forums.

I was on the forums recently and a girl asked if there were any other gay gamers on live to play with.
she was bombarded with posts, one was even about a guy telling two gay men making out in a park to stop. it became a big discussion about children and the LGBT community.

this is the link if anyone wants to read:


it deals with the SAME issues as we see here.

I can see why they may block the word "gay" because i've been on loads of games where people use it as an inuslt and MS may have grounds there.
but to block the word "lesbian" makes no sense. i've heard no one go. "thats soooo lesbian"

Using the word gay as an insult should surely mean the opposite. To ban the word gives it more force to be used in an insulting manner. As I stated previously it is utterly preposterous Microsoft are going about this the way they are.

Don't people remember when we used to get called queer as an insult (perhaps you're all too young). We took that word to be our own and now the power is taken away from it.

We need to stand up and do the same for the word gay. Some lesbians prefer to use the word gay also to describe their sexuality.

my personal protest!!! I will not buy anymore X360 games. In fact im gonna buy PS3 next week

Soo if YOU are gay CAN YOU work for Microsoft? Yes or No ? Whay do U think?

what I want to know is why hasn't anyone contacted a lawyer yet. It seems like that's the only way to make people listen these days. BTW, check out what I found on the microsoft website.


When I got my XBox 360 I wanted to use the word DYKE in my gammertag. It would not let me do it. Is Dyke sexual too ?? With all the VIOLENT & SEXIEST games out there, who is Microsoft trying to protect ?

I'm not sure what all the drama is about. I can understand how a parent might want to shelter their child, but by letting them on 360 you expose them to an entirely new set of morals and threats. You go into a rough game and your libel to be called everything from asswhore to zebra-fucker, so simply seeing gay isn't going to be a huge shock...

quite frankly I can see how someone could see the name gaywood and think gay slur or just advertising...but then again...this is xbox live which if anyone hasn't noticed has turned into myspace for gamers...in the good ways and the worst of ways...I say if your going to clean a server system of derogatory words...they will have to have more then just check screen names and check out the chats for a change.

Wow, I'm glad that I decided to boycott Microsoft's gaming consoles way back when the original XBox was released (Microsoft is EVIL, just look at Windows Vista)! I'm purely a Nintendo/Sony gamer these days (and occasionally on the PC), but being that I'm mostly old-school I don't plan to buy a PS3 any time soon if ever. I'm still having too much fun on the PS 1&2, SNES, Sega Genesis, NES, GBA, and Atari 2600 not to mention my Wii...great old-school graphics, a fun/intuitive control scheme that literally breathes new life into boring older titles, AND a built-in emulator where you can download all of your favorite classic games at a reasonably low price and it's also tailor-made for point-and-clickies like Zack & Wiki and Sam & Max, and strategy games like Star Trek: Conquest (which is very reminiscent of Star Control).

Confused...if "gay" is not automatically "sexual" in nature, please enlighten me to the alternative definitions.

To my very cold and logical mind, by definition, the term "gay" is by nature sexual (please don't play silly symantic games like, "what about joyful??" as this is dishonest and we both know not the topic at hand).

I am not a hater. Not by any measure. However, please try to be somewhat empathetic to my position. I am simply asking, "So, if 'gay' is not exclusively a sexual denotation, than what else is it?"

I don't want my kids asking about gamertags like HungLikeAHorse or ScreamerGrrl so why am I a hater for also not wanting the questions regarding 'gay' tags? If it is not entirely sexual in nature, than what is it?


I can see that you are trying to be rational, so I will try to respond in kind. However, please understand that this is a topic that is close to many people's hearts here. To not respond with a knee-jerk angry reaction takes some self control, so please bear with me.

How can "gay" not be sexual? Let me ask you a question in turn.

Is "love" always sexual?

Cannot people love each other with their being no sexual aspect? Can a -child- not love?

Identifying as "gay" means so much more than sex, as does "love". Saying "I am gay" does not simply mean "I have sex with...", it identifies the people we LOVE. Among many other things. It is a complex word that portrays a wealth of emotions, situations, and lifestyles. Just as the word "love".

As for your children? If you can explain the concept of love, then you can explain the concept of gay. What is wrong with telling them that there are some people in the world who LOVE differently than what they might see every day?

Well said Spikey.

I would also say that it is the offensive nature MS has equated to the term, in similar fashion to HungLikeaHorse being mentioned, I don't think that tag and GayGrrl for example hold the same negative connotation.

F-ckedIntheAss for example IS offensive, whereas IamGay should not be. You don't need to tell a child the sexual nature of the word gay [or any word], as the previous commenter posted, to suggest such a thing is ridiculous. If your 5 year old child comes home from school and asks what a dildo is (many straight couples use them), do you bluntly explain mommy straps it on and has sex with daddy because although he isn't gay, he sometimes likes to be a taker? No, I wouldn't imagine so.

I didn't read all the comment responses here so I don't know if this has been said: but what if someone's gamertag was "StraightGuy" or "StraightGirl" - no one would say 'oo that means they have sex with women/men all the time.'

Double standards annoy me to no end.

I was just about to make the comment about putting "straight" in a gamertag and then saw Faye's at the bottom.

I think it's quite the opposite. You don't see people touting "straight" in their gamertag, and, frankly, I do think it would be considered "sexual" in certain contexts, including the two you provided.

Obviously, "straight" has other definitions as well. I'd be fine with "TheStraightedge" or "StraightFive". If it were clear to me that the gamer were labeling themselves as heterosexual then, yes, I would consider that sexual.

Also, regarding LeftofSender's comment, MS is not alone responsible for the term being considered offensive on XBL. The reason ANY offensive term is an issue at all is because XBL is used by lots of players the world over.

I think you'd find that even if Microsoft okayed "gay"-mertags, there'd be plenty of XBL members that would be offended by it all the same.

As for teh spikey's comment- you're completely removing the sexuality out of it when you explain it like that. I know you're trying to argue that "gay" is not at all sexual but, as in your example, can't a "gay" person love somebody that is opposite-gendered like a child does (or vice versa)? The love between two people in a serious relationship is sexual with or without actual sex.

I am straight and I don't think that sexuality boils down to who you're having sex with. However, if you think the terms "straight" or "gay" aren't sexual at all, that's simply wrong. Gay or straight is your *sexual orientation*, or in other words, what you are naturally inclined to *sexually*.

This is sad, especially hearing about it from a company that scored a 100% on HRC's Corporate Equality Index the last four years in a row.

Hello it is at times like this that I feel ashamed for being a straight gamer, this is horrible, that is so wrong what microsoft is doing, seriously what are they thinking, how can it possibly be offensive to call yourself gay. i mean seriously its the year 2008 and we still have issues like this! Im hating microsoft so much right now. I hope that nintendo and sony shows more love for their gamers. I cant believe they scored a 100% on that equality index, its crazy, cant we do anything about this, like sending a complaint to microsoft or that HRC thing. PS: I love you lesbian gamers, you have so much humor and great articles keep up the good work =)

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