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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Your Daily Weird

  Video game players are very serious about their online sport. The kind of folks who play Modern Warfare and Medal of Honor online can spend days on end involved in imaginary battles with very real opponents. And Josh Moore of West Virginia is one of those dudes who likes to mow down adversaries, so much that he paid for 2 years of X box live in advance so he'd never miss a battle.

  But last week Microsoft told him he wasn't allowed to play. They suspended him because he's from a town called Fort Gay.

  The 26 year old called to find out what was wrong. He tried in vain to convince the customer service rep that Fort Gay was a real town. He told them to Google it (maybe he should have said Bing) and even offered up the zip code. No dice. Mr. Moore was told that if he put his very real town's name in his profile, his account would be terminated and Microsoft would be keeping his subscription fees of over $200.

  Offended mayor David Thompson decided to stick up for his town and was not only told that his town's name was inappropriate, the Microsoft genius wouldn't even utter the word gay, instead calling it "that word".

  It wasn't until the plight of the gamer from the sleepy little town was blasted all over the news that a Microsoft honcho got involved, and after blaming the agent, restored the suffering geek's membership.

  Given the fact that there are dozens of towns in north America that feature "objectionable" terms like gay or dyke, I wonder if this has happened to other people. I personally know 2 people named Gay, there's famed Ensign George Gay and baseball legend Gaylord Perry.

  After a huge controversy last year where Microsoft was put on blast because of their overly restrictive Terms of Service policy, I'm surprised that this still happens. The word gay is not obscene, even if someone were to state that as their orientation. It can indeed be an insult, but it can also be descriptive or the name of a person or place. Besides, X box live is not an arena for young children. I'm sure that all gamers have seen and heard far worse words than the word gay. You'd think that for $12 a month, a person would be at least able to explain themselves to an individual without having to resort to going to the national media for an answer.

  I wonder if Microsoft would pull this crap if Rudy Gay or Dick Van Dyke signed up for an account.

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