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Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-on-you dept.
Last year we discussed news that an Xbox Live gamer was banned for identifying herself as a lesbian on her profile. Microsoft said at the time that nothing sexual in nature could appear in Gamertags or profiles. Now, they seem to have reconsidered their stance, and they've updated their Code of Conduct accordingly. Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten wrote: "[The update] 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."
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Xbox Live Now Allows Gender Expression

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  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:01PM (#31382268) Journal
    ...transgender lesbian, and let Microsoft try to figure out what that means. They'd probably have to google it!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:03PM (#31382284)

    "That decision is like, SO GAY!"

  • by headkase (533448) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:05PM (#31382304)
    Gay rights are the civil rights struggle of our generation. When you have two consenting adults living and loving each other and then telling them they cannot get life insurance on each other to cover their mutual home in case of tragety is bigotry. This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain." I don't even happen to be gay and I can still clearly see this.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ascari (1400977)
      I agree with you on all counts. But this really has very little to do with TFA and the Microsoft thing. After all, since when is "identifying oneself unambiguously to Microsoft marketeers" an inalienable human right? There are more important battles to fight and win for the gay community.
      • by headkase (533448)
        The fortune at the bottom of the screen is invaluable right now: "As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong?"

        It's about awareness and exposing injustice in all the forums it even tangentially applies. I point out its a civil rights struggle regularly to my friends and family. Usually they shut right up and change the topic rather than confront their inner demons. Shining a light of obvious truth kills all but the most degenerate evils.
    • by plover (150551) * on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:31PM (#31382580) Homepage Journal

      Bull crap. They're struggling for nothing then.

      In real life, I barely care about you as human. I don't want you to tell me what you do, or who you do it with. I'm simply not that interested.

      On a video game network, I'm even less interested. Don't tell me you're gay, or straight, or white, or black, or a hairdresser or a hobbit fetishist. I don't care. Either pull out the BFG and start fragging some bad guys, or stick your head in the way of my shots.

      I got enough crap in my own life to worry about. Their gender issues rank about 0.1% on my care-o-meter. The only people I care less about are the ones who hate other people based on stupid crap like this, and them I actively hate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by headkase (533448)
        That reminds me directly of a quote I read: "Don't support gay marriage? Then shut the fuck up and don't get one." You're right it doesn't need to be in your face but the issue does need to be in the face of those with that bit of evil in their hearts.
      • Don't tell me you're gay, or straight, or white, or black, or a hairdresser or a hobbit fetishist. I don't care. Either pull out the BFG and start fragging some bad guys, or stick your head in the way of my shots.

        You may choose to play first-person shooters exclusively, but not all gamers agree. I don't have an Xbox 360 console yet (I want one for XNA, but I'm waiting for hardware reliability issues to be solved; are they?) and therefore know little about its available games, but I'm certain that at least a couple games revolve around socializing, much like Nintendo's Animal Crossing 3 for Wii.

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        I got enough crap in my own life to worry about.

        Sorry, we don't care that you've "got enough crap in your own life". You're now banned from Slashdot for saying something that isn't approved of, and that no one cares about.

        Don't go whining about it - there are more important things to worry about than a Slashdot account, right?

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          Mod abuse - who the hell got mod points today? It's not redundant.

          I see that plover doesn't want people to tell him things, but it's okay for him to tell everyone about things in his life.

      • by Zorque (894011)

        That sounds more like your problem than anyone else's. Just because you're an apathetic asshole doesn't mean people can't talk about themselves, if you don't care then don't read their profiles.

        • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:58PM (#31383372) Journal

          I think what he's getting at is what the fuck does someone's orientation matter in an online game? And fairs fair, if everyone had that attitude what would be the big deal?
        • Hey, would you want to know you just got pwned by some faggy sissy in a game you have been playing and practicing for months? ;)

      • I fully agree with you. But it seems for some odd reason some people deem something that does not affect them their business. Like, say, priests voicing their opinion about condoms and abortions. It's not like they'll ever worry about either. Altar boys can't get pregnant.

        Likewise, the people who shout the loudest about how much they do not want gay marriage are the ones that are the least affected by it. It's not like anyone would force them to marry a man (or woman, in case they are one).

        How the heck is i

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:35PM (#31382630)
      It is even more analogous to "marriage is between two people of the same color".
      • by headkase (533448)
        Thank you! Putting that arrow in my quiver ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain."

      While the entire concept of "marriage" is just societal (religiously motivated) dogma, enshrining of which in law is frankly an unforgivable assault by religious wackos on the rest of us, I cannot exactly stand by your "equivalence" as there is this little problem of sexual reproduction involved that has no place in the fountain drinking you've referred to ...

      I think all these "alternate"

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by headkase (533448)
        You don't need to reproduce to love each other.
        • You dont need to have your specific union called marriage to do so either. There are many heterosexual couples which get along just fine without it.
          • by headkase (533448)
            Justice of the Peace time! Get them civil unions! Wait, what, can't do that either? Back to the root: marriage.
      • an unforgivable assault by religious wackos on the rest of us

        Wait, which religious wackos are these? Did I miss the recent headline "NEW US LEGISLATION ESTABLISHES 'MARRIAGE'"? Care to tell me when this "unforgiveable" law was actually established?

    • This "marriage is between a man and a woman" bit is exactly the same as "coloreds don't drink from the white fountain." I don't even happen to be gay and I can still clearly see this.

      Analogizing racial issues to sexual preference issues is significantly problematic. If you see them as "clearly" "exactly the same" then you haven't given it sufficient thought and your expression here is demagoguery.

      Marriage is an abstraction that bridges inescapable biological facts and society's desire to channel those fa

      • by headkase (533448)
        Cloning will offer a way for people who don't have the compatible equipment reproduce. That is not far off. My indignation comes mainly because of injustice in treatment. Marriage brings a whole host of benefits to a couple mainly in terms of how they can financially manage their mutual lives. Denying these benefits to people who love each other just as deeply may not benefit society but it sure as hell wrongs those individuals. Can't claim each others income together when applying for the mortage? I'
        • Can't claim each others income together when applying for the mortage?

          I was under the impression you could apply for a mortgage jointly, regardless of marital status. I base this solely on the fact that when I was applying for my mortgage, they knew of my girlfriend (and that we were not married) and asked if I was applying jointly or singly.

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            It's certainly the case in the UK (where civil unions are legal anyway, mind you). This discussion is about the USA but I would be pretty surprised if it wasn't the case there also. Banks care about your income. If you are half of a couple both earning, that's relevant regardless of the genders involved. Banks don't lend out of a social duty, they lend because they want to make money back off you. If something makes you a better bet, they'll be considering that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BarryJacobsen (526926)

        Whereas, the reasons I hear in opposition of same-sex marriage are simple: traditional marriage is intended to incentivize childbearing, which is how we perpetuate our species, a practice without which our society will inevitably terminate

        If this is our intent, we could gather a lot of extra taxes from those people who are married but unable or unwilling to conceive. Why should they get the benefit when they have no intention or are unable to fulfill the requirements of the incentive?

        • by Alaren (682568)

          If this is our intent, we could gather a lot of extra taxes from those people who are married but unable or unwilling to conceive. Why should they get the benefit when they have no intention or are unable to fulfill the requirements of the incentive?

          I expect you are being facetious to make a point, and it is not a bad one. It does ignore certain basic facts (e.g. that a diagnosis of infertility is not always accurate) as well as other complicating factors (e.g. if a couple is "trying," does that count?) an

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Virak (897071)

        Analogizing racial issues to sexual preference issues is significantly problematic. If you see them as "clearly" "exactly the same" then you haven't given it sufficient thought and your expression here is demagoguery.

        What I see is that you have given sufficient thought to come up with a justification of why those people were assholes but you, holding very similar views, are actually a rather enlightened fellow. This doesn't change anything of the reality of the situation; they're both the same shit.

        Marriage

    • Choose your mood:

      Insightful) I can raise you level of outside the box thinking: Lifelong marriage is an invention of churches anyway, and not the basic human thing that we all think it is. In nature it’s rather unusual for humans to stay together their whole life. Usually you stay together a couple of years/decades. Since humans were small communities where everybody was there for everybody else, your children usually were raised by the whole tribe. Look at those tribes who still live like that [nationalgeographic.com]. It

  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:11PM (#31382368)

    Yeah right. Try "Feedback from our lawyers".

    Even though protection is still wholly inadequate at the federal level; microsoft does business in a number of states where anti-gay discrimination is very illegal and very actionable. I don't believe for a second that they've had a sudden change of heart in the direction of equality and fairness. More likely, legal and PR informed the decision makers that they were about to be on the losing end of some pretty hefty legal action and bad press.

  • I'm heterosexual. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What's with the urge to tell people that you're homosexual? I don't go around telling people that I am heterosexual and usually find it inappropriate when somebody tells me their sexual orientation. What do I care? When I make a move, shoot me down when you are not interested because you're homosexual or when you're just not interested. When we work or play, I don't need to know.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't get it either. I don't tell the people at work or on Xbox that i'm a pedophile.

    • by ph0rk (118461) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:34PM (#31382618)
      The information isn't really for you, it is for other homosexuals.
    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:58PM (#31383382)

      What's with the urge to tell people that you're homosexual?

      I think it serves two purposes. First it shows you that it is a lot more common than just a 'freak occurance'. Second is that it helps others feel more comfortable about coming out. The thing to keep in mind is that a lot of homosexual people feel like they have to hide it and a good chunk of those probably have a damn good reason to do so.

      Somebody else said this, but it's worth repeating: It's for their sake, not yours.

  • by oasisbob (460665) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:41PM (#31382690)

    Microsoft is based in Seattle. We tend to be quite liberal and supportive of civil rights out here. Hell, I had two jobs with two lesbian managers in a row -- in IT! How often does that happen?

    Microsoft learned about this the hard way in 2005: Originally opposed to a gay rights bill in Washington state, they quickly changed position. [seattlepi.com]

    Said Balmer at the time:

    "After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda," Ballmer wrote. Ballmer said he did not want to "rehash the events" that led to the company taking a position of neutrality. But he did say the company was implementing changes to make sure the mistakes were not repeated.

    I read that as "our employees [probably smart, talented, and many quite senior in the company] threw a fucking fit over our ignorance."

    True to their word, in 2009 Microsoft donated $100k [oregonlive.com] to support partnership rights in Washington.

    I agree with other commenters that this is a civil rights issue, and seriously doubt Microsoft will screw the pooch on gay rights ever again.

  • Exhibitionism? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BoppreH (1520463) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @02:58PM (#31382836)

    [...] it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community [...]

    How come? Did gay people avoid joining because they couldn't state that they were gay?

    • Re:Exhibitionism? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:14PM (#31382998)

      [...] it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community [...]

      How come? Did gay people avoid joining because they couldn't state that they were gay?

      If a guy complained "my wife is making me go shopping for new curtains tomorrow" nobody would blink an eye. On the other hand if a guy said "my boyfriend is making me go shopping for new curtains tomorrow" is that "stating they are gay"? Is that "exhibitionism"?

      I don't think the point is that the majority of normal, reasonable gay people want to interrupt Halo games to discuss the wicked cool anal sex they had last night - I think the point is that they don't want to have to conceal perfectly routine stuff about themselves in case it "gives them away". Also, how can you realistically deal with the annoying 11 year olds shouting "faggot" at people when the official policy is that being a homosexual is something that has to be concealed?

  • Gender expression? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @03:05PM (#31382906)

    Lesbian and gay are not genders. They might imply one, but they aren't genders themselves.

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