Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Does Xbox Live Hate the Gays?

I'm not a video game person (though I used to take down fierce opponents -- namely my mom and her best friend -- in matches of Tetris and Dr. Mario, and was known to break the occasional window in games of Paperboy), so everything I've heard about Xbox Live has come directly from my brother and his geeky pals.

And what they've told me is that more than a few of their fellow gamers are hateful, foul-mouthed bastards with a fondness for anti-gay slurs. All of which adds to my confusion about Microsoft's purported practice of suspending users who identify themselves as gay in their player profiles. Why is the word "gay" considered offensive when it's used by a gay person, but acceptable when employed by trolls as an insult? And if Microsoft isn't willing to give the gays a break here, what code word should they use to get the point across without risking a suspension? I tried to come up with something all smart-assy, but I'm stumped.

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