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Microsoft updates XBL code of conduct, gay and lesbian tags now ok

Friday, 5th March 2010 14:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, has tweeted some good news this morning.

A change to the XBL code of conduct will now allow you to express your sexual orientation in profiles and Gamertags.

According to the new policy, you can start using the terms Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, and Straight in your Gamertags and profiles.

However, you still may not use these terms to insult, berate, harass or use them in a debasing manner.

Upon typing in the approved terms into your profile, you should find that they are not blocked. The updated code of conduct page can be found through here. Be aware though, that Microsoft is still “sweeping the system” for variations of the words – so it might be for a few days before all spellings, phrases, etc are acceptable within the service.

Toulouse says that if you have issues with getting the term to go through, contact support.

Marc Whitten, general manager of XBL has a letter on the official site, chatting about the changes, here is a snippet:

I’d like to announce an update to the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct which will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs. However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community. This update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms.

I truly believe that our diversity is what makes us strong: diversity in gaming and entertainment options, and diversity in the people that make up this amazing community. I look forward to seeing you on LIVE soon.

In April of last year, Microsoft met with Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) to discuss how the company could improve relations with the gay community, and allow members of XBL to show their sexual orientation within the service without becoming a banner for harassment.

Then, in July, EA hosted a panel on homophobia in videogame culture sponsored by GLAAD, and attendees included the Entertainment Software Association, GayGamer.net, Linden Labs, and Microsoft.

Bravo Microsoft. Bravo.

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18 Comments

  1. Blerk

    Hurrah for sanity!

    #1 5 years ago
  2. onyxbox

    This will seem like the beginning of the end of the world to some.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. S0meRand0mN00b

    what a load of bs lol i am glad i havent got a console as i dont need some company to tell me how to “conduct”

    #3 5 years ago
  4. mington

    thats so gay

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Hunam

    TransgenderFender it is then!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Blerk

    I for one welcome our new transgendered overlords.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. No_PUDding

    God… Transgender is such a great word.

    Just say it. Phonetically, it’s a bit of a marvel. I just wana say it again and again. I want to say it while wearing high heels. I bet it’d sound better for up there.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Redh3lix

    *puts glasses on*

    I’m fairly positive the term “gay” as used by gamers nowadays isn’t used as a derogatory comment regarding an individuals sexuality, but more to mean “poor behaviour / lame / cheap” etc.

    For example, as spelt in l33t speak: “ghey”.

    *takes glasses off*

    #8 5 years ago
  9. itsucks

    Looks like PSN is the shithole of the internet homophobia now… if half of them without headsets could talk. So gay!

    #9 5 years ago
  10. N.E.R.D

    no i dont like that
    come on do u think tht ur esrb rating system really works?
    children and teens buys mature games even if it is brohibited
    by this way u will make it more harder

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Michael O’Connor

    A change that was well overdue. Good move Microsoft.

    I’m sure it won’t stop people from complaining about it though.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. theevilaires

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    Not sure why people like to wave their flag whether it is their nationalty, religion, sexual orientation. You are playing video games not taking a damn census. I don’t care if the person going against me is any of those things afterall they’re just shotgun fodder one way or another.

    Just play some damn games.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Stephany Nunneley

    @8 – Kind of like this: http://www.southparkstudios.com/news/?id=3780

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Retroid

    Well, I’ll be buggered.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. polygem

    you know how i know you´re gay?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX0SD_cazhs&feature=related

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Gheritt White

    Captain Fagballs here I come!

    #17 5 years ago
  18. frostquake

    I don’t know why it is important to tell your sexuality on a gaming console???? It is not a hook up space for sex?? I have never known if the person I was playing UNO or COD with was straight gay or bi..or into sheep and goats…it doesn’t matter in the gaming space…Use your laptop for hook ups…I could careless about knowing the sex of your sex when I am gaming..simple

    #18 5 years ago

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