Gay & Lesbian Gaming Sites React to Xbox Live’s Gay Gamertag Purge

The Richard Gaywood saga has gathered some press in recent days, as Microsoft’s Xbox Live service followed up its recent ban of user name TheGayerGamer by zapping the Gaywood monicker as well.

Aside from the obvious question of discrimination, it turns out that "Richard Gaywood" is actually the XBL user’s name, and not some type of sophomoric screen name (gamertag in Xbox Live parlance).

Lesbian Gamers had some harsh words for Xbox Live:

I’ve taken a few deep breathes, run this story over in my mind again and again and yet still return to the same annoying factor: Why does ‘gay’ automatically equate to sex or “of a sexual nature” and carry with it such negative and deviant overtones…


I can understand Microsoft are trying to protect users, but perhaps there needs to be some tabled debate as to what they’re protecting whom from and what they’re perpetuating in the process. Linking ‘gay’ to some negative or sexually explicit content merely fans the fires of homophobia.

Meanwhile, GayGamer offers this take:

I’m somewhat on the fence with the issue, having played many MMORPGs and seeing the many annoying and disturbing names that can come from idle minds on the internets, and it seems as if Microsoft is putting up the normal "we can’t make exceptions" defense…


All of this, however, is greatly outweighed by the fact that it is his given name, and despite the connotations it may carry with it, he lives with that name everyday…


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    Unfortunately he just described the majority of the XBOX Live Demographic which happens to be 80% Male and 20% female; Most of whom happen to be, as previously mentioned, White, followed by: Black, Hispanic, Asian, and so forth.

    And as we’ve already discussed, there’s no bottom to the infinite well of racist, sexist, homophobic diatribe directed primarily towards Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and those of Middle Eastern decent – as well as Jewish persons.

    So, what non-existent controversy is it that you are in reference too? I ask because there is no doubt that XBOX Live festers with racism which flies blatantly by. I’ve seen some of the most racist gamer tags and profiles out there. Obviously, we’ve heard some of the most racist verbage out there. Yet, that seems to fly by without a problem. But at the slightest mention of those three taboo letters, G-A-Y, it all hits the fan.

    Am I the only one seeing a problem with this (aside from E.Z.K.)?
    Papa Midnight


  2. 0
    TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Honestly, Microsoft were trying to please the parents here by trying to bann users using the word Gay on their XBox Live database without realising that they could be persercuting more innocent gamers than the ones who are trying to be offencive for the fun of it.

    That is what it appears to me.

    I know that with any small or innocent word can be taken out of context and being interpreted in such a deep and negative way,

    With me, I have no problem with the word Gay, because to me I know that Gay can mean happy, or gay can be like saying you are proud to be a Homosexual and not afraid of what people might say about you, or even Gay can be something that is used to say that this ‘object’ is stupid or boring.

    That is 3 ways to look at the word gay.

    So to me, I don’t find gay offencive at all. But I do find Homophobia offencive because it is putting down those who are homosexuals and it is also provokes unnessesary fear of a certain type of people who may not be considered good in the eyes of some religions.

    Also religion does not offend me, but comments made in the name of religion that descriminate a certain type of people of no fault of their own do make me sad in some ways.

  3. 0
    Dakota says:

    It’s weird but I read the "GayGamer" avatar name in such a different way than most others.  I had assumed that the "gay" was not in reference to sexual orientation but was more of a derogatory/ ironical statement of the gamers abilities. (Said in the crude terms of todays youth.)  For those of us who play online games we’re all used to the way in which the current generation of kids uses the term "gay" to refer to things they don’t like.  When I saw the tag "GayGamer" I had thought it a derogatory statement of said players abilities and not a proud statement of sexual orientation.  So in my mind the term actually was offensive.  To me the name was similar to something like: "God_My_Bad_Shot_Was_So_Gay." …. Sorry for the poor example. 



  4. 0
    Garret says:


    from what I can see, their banning of richard gaywood was because of a blanket ban on the term gay for gamer tags, and before everyone shouts Homaphobia ( late..), think of it this way.


    assume, for a moment, that there are too many gamertags to be looked at by a human being (how many millions are subscribed to Xbox live?)

    Which would you rather have, a million immature twelve year olds with tags like "Ih8gays" "gayf@gsgodie" etc, and no banned richard gaywood…

    …or none of those offensive tags, and one banned Mr. Gaywood?

    the fact of the matter is that there are simply too many names to have a person weed through them to determine which of those are used in an appropriate manner and which are not.





  5. 0
    Nekowolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Because, this isn’t a remote banning. It’s been happening to various people, while names that really could be offensive are left unchecked.

    If it was one case, that’s one thing, but this is just one case in a string of similar cases.

  6. 0
    Brandon St. Germaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There so much stupidity in these comments it makes me want to retire from humanity.  Gaywood is a last name.  The word gay applies to a person’s sexuality, or happy.  Anyone offended by these two things should be ejected from the face of the planet.  End of discussion.  It’s that simple.  gayfaggotsburnanddie is not an acceptible use of the word gay.  woodupyourass is not an acceptible use of the word wood.  If Microsoft would like to actually defend people’s beliefs and ideals, they’d do best to not blanket words as discriminatory or hateful simply because of what they are related to.

  7. 0
    Nekowolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What motivation do you need? If anything, YOU’RE the one who seems to want that 15 minutes, I mean, what a well-thought out comment revealing the conspiring agenda of the homosexuals! /sarcasm

    Oh right, maybe because he simply, um, what is am I thinking…oh yes, because he WANTED to use it?

  8. 0
    Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    To Mr. Richard Gaywood: Sue Microsoft.

    To Microsoft: I’m disappointed, Mr. Gates.


  9. 0
    EMalachi says:

    If Microsoft allowed gamer tags that were offensive to gays, like "gayassqueers" or "kilalfags" or such, you know damn well that the gay and lesbian and transexual alliance would be up in arms about Msoft being against gays for allowing such gamer tags to exist.  In order to AVOID that kind of issue, they institute a blanket banning of the term "gay."  They probably have a blanket ban against sexual tags too, which "gay" would fall under, anyways.

    What exactly is the difference between sexual preference and sexual reality?  And how does either of those NOT refer to sexual activity?  Being homosexual means you prefer having sex with your own gender rather than the opposite.  No?  Being bisexual means you prefer having sex with both male and females.  Being heterosexual means you prefer having sex with the opposite gender. Is this not true?

    "Its not just about sex.  What about love?" you ask.  I love my two male best friends, but I don’t want to have sex with them.  I love my mother and sister and cousins and aunts, but I don’t want to have sex with them. I love my friend’s wife, but I don’t want to have sex with her.  I love my girlfriend, and I do want to have sex with her. I can love men and not be gay.  I can love women and not be straight. Whether you are gay or straight depends on your gender, and whether you want to have sex with your own gender, or the opposite.

    The problem is that the gay/lesbian/transexual/genderconfused/whatever want public acknowledgment of their proclivities.  I don’t care who you do or don’t have sex with.  I don’t care.  What bothers me is that I’m expected to support and acknowledge and agree with it.  I don’t.  You prefer having sex with your own gender.  Cool, whatever.  Its none of my business, so stop trying to rub it in my face.

    I also don’t understand the whole "gay pride" thing. If your sexual orientation is not a choice (ie; "I can’t choose to be gay. That just how I am!") but hardwired into your being, and being gay is supposedly normal, then why the pride? Should I be proud that my thumbs are opposable? Should I be proud that my hair is brown? Should I be proud that my skin is white?  Oh wait, thats racist isn’t it?  Just as if I were to march in a "Straight Pride" parade, I’d be homophobic, right?  Is that too subtle for you, or can you see the BLATANT double standards?

    I am not a fan of Microsoft. I am not a fan of the 360 console. I will defend them here, though, because this is a case where no matter what they do, they are going to be attacked. Someone commented that a human checking over this name issue would have let it slide, as opposed to a program instituting a blanket ban.  Well, considering how many people are on Live at any point, and how many new accounts they get, can you explain the logistics of having every name vetted by a person? If you buy a 360 and want to play online, are you fine with waiting up to 48 hours before you can play so that your gamertag can be checked by an actual human to make sure its not offensive to any race, gender, religion, or lack thereof? Its just easier for both the company and the consumer to have these automatic checks in place.

    Last point: As soon as Msoft banned "Thegaygamer" they had to go against every other use of gay.  If they banned Thegaygamer but left Mr. Dick Gaywood alone, then you’d hear the shrieks of how Msoft was homophobic because they banned thegaygamer, showing that their view on homosexuality is negative, while gaywood was allowed because it has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

    Oh, and Msoft is not the only company around with the same automatic bans.  Final Fantasy XI prevents the use of gay in names.  It is automatically rejected during the character creation process. I found this out because I wanted to name my new Elvaan character after the Japanese comedian Masaki Sumitani, aka: Hard Gay.

  10. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why people are getting in a huff over this. The only mistake made was that Microsoft did not make contact with the person first. All of this could also been avoided with a quick check of his details. But the base arguement is that MS are sexually discriminating against gay people. Don’t you see that they are infact trying to stamp out discrimination. they thought this was a derrogative statement and reacted. For every case like this one there would be many more where Microsoft are stopping immature adolescents, and sickening amount of adults from perpetuating Homophobia. I think people are all too quick to shout ‘hate crime’.

  11. 0
    Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am just amused by the irony of the situation mostly. XBL is largely accepted as being a giant mass of immature offensive kiddies. So they pick names which are on the borderline of potentially offensive and ban those instead of the more direct problems.

  12. 0
    mastershredder says:

    The thing is that some gamers and site users need to make it very obvious who and what they are all about. I am familiar with policing user profiles for unsavory content and some of the stuff I and others have seen boarder from childish ignorance to deliberate and epic pedophile proportions. Sure it is okay to tell people about yourself, but I certainly don’t dish out my user info and then say, by the way I’m straight. Did anyone ask? No. Is it appropriate? No. There are other places for that.

    Does sexual orientation even have to be advertised? I don’t care what your sexual preference is, what color you are, what language you speak, etc. Just be a gamer damn it. 

    I have "gay" friends, but I don’t know a single one that has ever felt the need to blast it out there so everyone knows and certainly not in a user profile. 

    Gay never lost it’s meaning, it”s just that people don’t bother to acknowledge what the dictionary says. That is their problem, the rest of us get by just fine. I’m surprised people are not getting lawsuits tossed at them after they announce that they are going to go outside to "smoke a fag" (that is "smoke a cigarette" for those of you not familiar with the term). 


  13. 0
    Pinworm45 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I forgot to add, the reason it seems so common with GTA is because GTA is such a largely played game. Rest assured if people were playing different games for the same ammount of time, the ammount of failures would be the same. There’s just so many people playing GTA that it can appear at fault, when it is in fact, not.

  14. 0
    Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s a non-issue. GTA 4 does not cause RROD any more than gasoline can cause a cars breaks to fail. The RROD is a hardware issue that happens when the system gets so hot, the bolts holding the machine together melt, resulting in tons of possible problems.

  15. 0
    BravO))) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I tried to contact gp about this problem, but I haven’t gotten any word back.  I miss the old gp site though.  As for the names on the 360, have you seen some of the user art on forza motorsport 2?

  16. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Wow, so you insult Microsoft because of their alleged racist generalizing, but then proceed to blatantly bash white people and make massive generalizations – microsoft was at least subtle.


    Well, that is if you choose the see the non existant controversy here.

  17. 0
    Anonymous says:

    This is really insane. A friend of mine is Jewish and had "jew" in his gamertag. He has had this for about a year (a little under). About 6-7 weeks ago he was forced to change it. He sucked it up and replaced "jew" with "kosher" and continues about his merry way. However, the point here is that Microsoft does not know a given individual’s orientation, creed, race, etc… They therefore cannot assume anything about a name, whether it’s just a name or if it’s intended to be annoying, offensive, or what-have-you.

    Also… The guy’s first name is Richard. So he’s Dick Gay Wood. Yes, Microsoft knows his credit card has that information, but nobody else does. And if I didn’t know better, I would think his name was pretty damn childish if I saw it come up while I’m playing on Live.

    Stop looking for reasons to be offended. Microsoft doesn’t ‘owe’ this person anything aside from the service he’s paying for. Your gamertag is hardly your property. And frankly, more tags with ‘gay’ or ‘homo’ in them are probably meant to be offensive than not. These are terms that have been used in online gaming communities as attacks and slander for over a decade… this leads to companies being cautious. So until every parent in the world finds the magical solution to stopping their kids verbal joygasms, we have to live with these measures.

  18. 0
    Ken ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Somebody should remind the morons at Microsoft that there are gay unions in Fable, probably Fable 2, the Sims, and so on. You’re just kissing the asses of every church out there, and especially the Pope’s ass.

  19. 0
    Geoffrey says:

    I wonder if anyone checked to see how long his gamertag has been in existence.  He probably has another gamertag that he actually plays under and used his real name for this one, just to spark the controversy.  What other motivation would he have to use his full name to play on xbox live.  It was to draw the comments, draw the attention and draw the eventual name banning.  Congratulations to the media for giving him exactly what he wanted.  Gay & Lesbian Gaming sites should be reacting for him exploiting their legitimate issues in order to get his 15 minutes.

  20. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many complaints were filed against Mr. Gaywood.

    Now I wonder if we take those complaints, and remove any complaints from people with gamertags that would come up with the following searches: *pimp* *69* *rod* *dope* and whatever else that would violate the ToS, how many complaints would be left over? Half? Less?

    I sugest that if you complain about another gamer’s tag, you have to submit YOUR tag to be examined for proper complience (by a rational examiner, and you know, not the guys who complain about anything with gay in it.) Wonder how many gamertag changes there would be every month…

  21. 0
    JC says:


    -Gaywood is his real name, but never stated his sexual orientation.

    -He was only curious at MS’s screening policies and proceduresas to which names are banned and how.

            1) A report is made, duplicates are ignored and automatically dumped.

            2) They then view the reports and then make an appropriate ban based on human judgement.

            3) Ban takes place, the user is notified when they attempt to sign on.

    -His name was indeed banned just for "Gay" as mentioned by Microsoft. Richard Gaywood worries it’ll pass on to other names that may conflict with other languages. Con = good in Spanish, bad in French. Can be banned if someone reports.

    -If someone reports a name enough, MS team will believe it offensive and take action.

    -No one’s name is safe, if one person finds it offensive (not majority), it can be banned.

  22. 0
    Anonymous says:

    "Unless, of course, XBL bans screen names such as, "TheStraightGamer".  Then I wouldn’t have any problem.  However, this seems unlikely."

    Yes, it would be banned. However it’s very unlikely to happen as I severely doubt straight gamers would feel the need to advertise the fact they are straight in their username.

    Any username with a reference to sexual orientation will be banned and rightly so. There’s no need for it.


  23. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The fun part is, we can find a HUGE ammount of gamertags with the prefix "dick" "cum" "male" etc, but as soon they find something related with "gay" OMG it’s banned. well, as far I see, XBL is the perfect community for homofobic, racist, intolerant, chobinist white kids

  24. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I think it must have been an overreaction and ill thought out course of action (meaning, they didn’t really think about it), in response to the constant homophobic slurs you hear in chat in online games.  Younger players in particular like to call others "gay" as a form of insult, or to use the word "fag" the same way.  That’s undesirable behavior that needs to be squashed, but the company has yet figured out how to deal with it.  Of course, if they had stopped to think about it, using the word "gay" in your own screenname isn’t an insult to anyone.

    All in all, the name ban was wrong.  Either the action was homophobic, or an attempt to revent homophobia.  But either way it was wrong.

    Off topic, but I do wonder about something.  If you label yourself by your sexual orientation, isn’t that itself sexual in nature?  That’s a serious question.  I do realize that human beings are constantly trying to connect with others like ourselves, so it’s only natural to broadcast who you are.  And despite serious improvements over the last few decades, homosexuality is still fairly persecuted.  Homosexuals, in a form of reactionary defiance, make "being gay" their "identity."  It makes them stand out, be unique, and at the same time lets them belong to a group that understands them and what they have to go through.  So I ask.  Does naming yourself "TheGayerGamer" merely point to pride in being yourself, or because it’s about orientation is it really sexual in nature by default?

  25. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, thats Microsoft for you.  My trail subscription ran out, and well, cause of crap like this, I don’t think I’ll ever, ever get a Gold account.  Yeah, way to ring in the customers there MS.  Things like this, and yet, no banning of the crap that goes on on live, oi.

  26. 0
    Jack Thompson, Ex-Attorney ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Unless, of course, XBL bans screen names such as, "TheStraightGamer".  Then I wouldn’t have any problem.  However, this seems unlikely.

    Also, the fact that a video game community, which has to defend itself from government knee-jerk censorship on a regular basis, is taking part in blatant knee jerk censorship strikes me as substantially hypocritical.

  27. 0
    Trevor McGee says:

    Could you imagine if they did this sort of thing in real life to this guy? Imagine him going into a bank and being turned away from opening an account with them until he changed his last name from "Gaywood" to something more "appropriate"?


  28. 0

    Why do so many people add a sexual connotation to the word "gay". Does "straight" have a sexual connotation???

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  29. 0
    yowzers says:

    Let me ask you this: how is farting in public offensive? Perfectly natural, right?

    There are some things that should be kept private, and not displayed as a Gamertag.

    Fart on a homo; it’s only fair.

  30. 0
    relax_guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think that anybody is going to be happy with any outcome of this issue.

    gay people will continue to resent that gay to a 13 year old means bad.


    13 year olds will continue to resent the fact that  gayboner69 is a banned name on xbox live



    and richard gaywood will continue to resent the fact we all think his name is hilarious.


    now a more important question:   How do we spin this into a lawsuit?

  31. 0
    Demontestament says:

    It is obvious you are trolling for attention but I have to ask. How exactly is homosexuality offensive? What is it about two people who love eachother that offends you?

  32. 0
    Iliad says:

    Bottom line is they are basically asking that every name be personally reviewed with a follow up on the account owner.. how is microsoft supposed to know the difference between this, and some thirteen year old using it in a negative way?

    If they unban the word, you will have an influx of people abusing it, and somewhere along the line someone will accuse them of discriminating against homosexuals anyawys.

    They cant win.

  33. 0
    yowzers says:

    Wow, what an amazing chorus of opinions. Hands down, homosexuality is offensive. I’m glad Microsoft is keeping a short leash on the attention-seekers that have nothing better to do than flaunt their sexuality to the least tolerant groups of people in history: Xbox Live gamers and GP readers.

  34. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I would really like to see what they would do if someone had the name "hetrogamer", or "straightgamer". I would they react the same way? or give them a free pass

  35. 0
    Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    tis zippy, mew name is locked so I can not use it yet >>


    All in all this is about limiting stupidity and name caling, this is PCisim in motion but a fatshion ofit I can stand, however gaywood is bad not all gay sir names are going to be ripe for "humor".

  36. 0
    Demontestament says:

    I have no idea why anyone would want to have a gamertag like Thegaygamer. With the blithering morons on XBL who love to use racial and homophobic statements while they are playing Halo 3, COD4 and so one, why would you want to call attention to yourself when you know all your are going to hear is idiotic comments? Though I find it funny that a real name used as a gamertag was forced to be changed because it had the word Gay in it. Though once again it had to be reported by someone, and I am thinking that the someone was one of those idiots we all run in to on a daily basis on XBL. Hell I had my GT reported because someone said it sounded like I was a terrorist, thankfully I was not forced to change my name.

  37. 0
    Jim Strathmeyer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You want a company to stop serving a dangerous product just because it’s seriously injuring people and they’ve been told not to? Why would they do that, when they can just take advantage of ingnoramouses who think that fining the company some small fraction of the amount of money they save by seriously injuring people is way too much. Welcome to America.

  38. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    Except she wasn’t driving. The car was at a complete stop. And the point is not "oops, I spilled coffee," it’s "this coffee melted my flesh." Check the link, coffee is normally in the 130 degree range, this was at 180. You’re not supposed to require skin grafts from a coffee spill.

  39. 0
    Anonymous says:

    It’s coffee.  Coffee is hot.  If she didn’t know spilling coffee on herself would burn her, she doesn’t belong in a McDonald’s, she belongs in a mental institution, or kindergarden.

  40. 0
    Sai ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Orly? So I assume they’d also ban names like sexxygurl123 and hotboiX or lovemachineXOXO? This all still seems just a tad discriminatory.

  41. 0
    Iliad says:

    First of all, 69 is, while granted, a little immature to put in your xbl handle, it, and any other sexual references are only offensive to people who are immature/puritans/prudes in the first place, their is nothing wrong with sex, and they need to get over it, sex doesnt corrupt anything.

    And microsoft is not saying gay people are deviant or that they corrupt anything, they only have 2 choices here.


    Ban the word gay in gamertags

    or dont


    If they do, 90% with the word in their tag will be something hatefull, it will be a bunch of 13 year olds using names like this or that is gay, or Ihategaypeople even… the minority of people that use it legitamately referencing their sexual orientation (why they want to do this in the first place I dont know)might get screwed over a bit.


    If they dont, people will use the word RAMPTANTLY in every possible negative way, half the party in any given game match will be a thirteen year old who thinks something or someone is gay or that something bad should happen to gay people… actual homosexuals and homosexual groups will call microsoft discrimanitory against gays anyways for not policing the names.


    They are screwed no matter what.

  42. 0
    thefremen says:

    The word “gay” is not automatically sexual anymore than the word “straight”. Both terms are linked to sex and sexuality but so are many other terms, as Doctor Spock put it “…from the day we enter this world to the day we leave it we are sexual creatures. This is expressed in different ways depending on what stage of development we are in.”. How many people have “69” in their handle on x-box live? Not to mention other offensive things, I happen to know that Rudy Guiliani had 911911911 as his gamertag because that’s all he’s capable of typing.

    When you get down to the meat of it, Microsoft is saying that Straight people are three dimensional and complicated but Gay people are sex maniacs who corrupt our children and steal our women/men.

    This also explains why when I search with MSN under the term “gay” it always suggests “did you mean ‘sinner’?”.

  43. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    Sorry, I kinda cut myself off in the middle of a sentence.  What I meant to say was, if your job consisted of censoring potentially offensive names, you’d constantly be in a state of conflict with gamers.  What may be offensive for some may not be offensive for most, but if the few get enough support, then the masses will react accordingly.

  44. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    I dunno.  I mean, both sides have valid points.  Ultimately, Microsoft decides what is acceptable content, since it is X-Box LIVE!.  However, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft is homophobic, nor does it mean the Microsoft is persecuting gays, lesbians, etc.  The censors are merely doing their job, and really, who can blame them?  If your job consisted of censoring potentially offensive names.  A good rule of thumb in this case is this: try to see it from the other side’s point of view, and act accordingly.  You may love death metal (I know I do), but having "D3C4P17473DFL35|-|P|-||_||<4" for a name isn’t gonna fly in the online community.


    If you can read that name, kudos to you.

  45. 0
    yowzers says:

    Why buy myself a dictionary if you’re offering free links? Idiot.

    I just love the double standard. Everyone should be tolerant of queer folk, but take every opportunity to condemn someone that is bothered about it.

    How come no one is boo-hooing about not being able to have terrorist names on Xbox Live? How come no one is sniffling over "Jesus Christ" not being allowed? Where are the supporters of racial ephitaphs?

    Some things that shouldn’t offend do, and some things that should offend don’t. I applaud Microsoft for this relatively minor step in the right direction. If you don’t want "TheRadicalMuslim" playing on your team, then "TheGayerGamer" is out.

  46. 0
    Anonymous says:

    What exactly did you expect?  XBL to ban someone on your complaint?  Perhaps I get you in game and let’s say you beat me pretty badly.  I get angry and file a nonsense complaint on you and you get banned.  How long do think things would go before everyone was banned?

    A person has to rack up a very large number of complaints until action is taken for in game conduct.  It really couldn’t be any other way.  Otherwise the reporting system would be horrible abused, or require an army of moderators.

  47. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    Not that it does, the other day I’m playing online and these assholes are comparing [black people] (note the redaction) to buckets of shit .

    Obviously without hesitation I proceeded to mute and hit the File Complaint button. I pay every month to listen to this diatribe and bullshit? Yet, I check my player list today (as I haven’t been on in a few days) and what do I see? "Online in ****" "Matchmaking". Yeah…. XBL is REALLY proactive in enforcing their EULA’s…

    Papa Midnight


  48. 0
    Steve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There is a system in place, but it has a very high threshold of complaints before any action is taken.  This is good, because any system that actually got people banned would be immediately abused.  As far as voice chat goes, live moderation or monitoring would be impossible.  MS would have to hire half of India to sit in on games if every 10th complaint was checked out.  And real time software monitoring of voices would be terribly bugged and would likely cause major lag.  With poor mic quality, varying degrees of dialect and accent, and multiple people talking at once, who knows what the software would recognize.

    Xbox live has long offered ways for you to avoid players and mute players.  They also have enacted voice bans on players using racial slurs or being particularly offensive.  I don’t know how many moderators they have out there doing it, but they do exist.

    So most the things you talk about do actually exist, but they tend to be very lenient because of costs and potential for abuse.

  49. 0
    Ghost Coins ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My understanding is that there is a system in place to report offensive behavior to moderators, who are then suppose to investigate the issue at hand and see if the individual in question is actually violating the eula.  Proper action is to be taken upon confirmation of said violation (banning, suspension for a few days, etc.).

  50. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I have less problems with the banning of screen names than I do with the constant immaturity in the voice chat capabilities.

    I think the oly reason thy are banning these names so frequently is because it is a lot easier than banning people who are offensive in real life.

    Perhaps they should have a system that allows you to place complaints against users for their behavior. After a certain amount of complaints, they could have some moderator type people hop into a game with the person to see if the complaints are valid. Once the offense has been verified, they could proceed to ban or disipline that person in some way.

    If the person is a paying XBL membre, they could cut their voice chat service untl some kind of retribution is made. Or they could just cut their online Multiplayer abilities completely for all offending members.

    But they should never ban anyone without verifying the complaints first.

    E. Zachary Knight


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  51. 0
    Steve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There’s nothing wrong, offensive or inherently "sexual" about identifying your sexual orientation.

    Anything particularly offensive, no.  But identifying your sexual preference is inherently sexual.  And anything inherently sexual is not allowed on XBL.  It’s their service, they can set such a rule if they want.  They ban any other sexual reference just the same, as I have seen friends have to change their tags.  So there is no discrimination on the part of MS.

    All this story will do is get the sue happy activist crowd all up in arms, which will ruffle the feathers of counter groups, and the end result will just be more restrictions.

    It’s MS’s service we elect to pay for.  Play by the rules or don’t play, that’s all there is to it.  It’s not like the rules are terribly hard to abide by, since most of us have no trouble doing so.  Bungie sums it up very nicely on their site "You have no rights, play nice!".

  52. 0
    Kate ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The point isn’t that "when you say ‘gay’ to someone born after 1980, it means same sex relationship" — it is that who cares which gender someone has sex with? saying "I’m gay" does NOT mean "I’m out to have sex with YOU! (or your kids, or your spouse)"

    There’s nothing wrong, offensive or inherently "sexual" about identifying your sexual orientation.

    I’m the proud daughter of a pair of lesbians. I can assure you, it was not "ooh gay sex 24/7" in our house! It was a normal family which happened to have two women as primary caregivers (and two fathers who saw their kids on weekends).

  53. 0
    Anonymous-jds ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ha ha…

    My point is that we are becoming a great lot of pussies. Everyone is offended by this and that, don’t say the wrong thing, or type the wrong letters. Watch your mouth, because people just seem to get offended by the dumbest things.

    It really is ridiculous. Richard Gaywood’s name offends someone. Who cares. Microsoft controls Live and if they want to kick off someone because of their name, good for them. It’s their service and they run it as they see fit. So, Richard… get over it. Everyone shocked that Microsoft would do it… get over it. Everyone working at MADD pissed at GTA IV for having drunk driving in it… get over it. Everyone offended because someone makes a black, or white, or Polish joke… get over it.


    Jesus; just get freaking over it.


    And yeah, thefremen… you got me pegged. I think the gub-ment should be able to sell me poisoned meat. Idiot. Actually, I’ll hardly rail over anything because if something offends me, I’ll just get over it. Novel concept, huh?

  54. 0
    Anonymous says:

    you didnt read it very carefully I guess. Heres a quote from my post above : “I dont see how many here are mad a microsoft, cause this guy isnt gay. This is more of an injustice to people who want to use real names as gamertags.” Im just saying that this name could not only offend gay/straight people alike it could lead to insane amout of trash talk over the mic. You mention the racial slurs over live directed toward black people, microsoft is trying to stop some of that type of behavior that is directed toward gay people. Cause Ive seen gamertags that implied that taht person was gay and heard all types of people talk trash to em. Some of them I dont even think were really gay, just doing it as a joke.

    Also you using your name isnt the same cause he used his entire name. Why? probaly cause he got a kick outa haveing the last name gaywood. People probaly talked all kinda crap to him, even thought he doesnt care and knows it his name, someone who is gay or some little kid could hear this and be offended.

  55. 0
    KayleL says:

    My username is KayleL which is my first name and the first letter of my last name. Using your real name isn’t that uncomman. You are saying that people with the word Gay as the gamer tag is discriminating Homosexuals, but if it’s the person’s name, then wouldn’t it be discrimination to banned him for using his real name as his user name? What you are saying just seems like hypocritcy.

    Also, I think there is a larger population of black people on Xbox live then Gay people, yet, you see niger slurred all over xbox live as if it’s nothing.

  56. 0
    catboy_j says:

    I know a lot of people also get annoyed if you confuse their gender or something. Not many boys like being refered to as girl, and not many women enjoy being refered to as he. So if someone calls out he, or somethigm male to a girl she will most likely correct him seeing as how girls have a right to play games too. Then you have the same issue as if she had put girl, or female, or woman in her name.

    Furthermore gaywood never entered my mind as being sexual or inuendo and I am a complete pervert.

  57. 0
    thefremen says:

    The main reason why people put “girl” or “gay” in their tag is to get the rude comments over with in the beginning of the round, instead of having ppl say “OMG YOU SOUND GAY” right after you try to warn about the engineer being a spy. That way you can actually win some rounds. Without fail, every single CTF, Team-DM or whatever kind of match will at the very least contain 2 people who feel the need to hit on every girl who comes on and tell everyone who appears to be black, gay, hispanic etc that being what they are is an affront to GAWD ALMIGHTY.

  58. 0
    User says:

    On the one hand I would say it is Microsoft’s choice what kind of names they allow or disallow on their service and if we are honest a Gamertag like "thegayergamer" IS controversial, as I do not see any reason to express your sexual orientation – whatever it might be – through your Gamertag. And if have you ever played online you can imagine what kind of reactions this provokes (as there is always at least one moron in every public online match). On the other hand I see a guy like Microsoft’s David Weller (Program Manager – XNA Community) using the Gamertag "letskilldave".. kind of controversial as well huh? 😉

    Personally I think the entire issue is kind of ridiculous, but who am I to decide…

  59. 0
    thefremen says:

    They have every right to ban tags with “black” “hebrew” or “gay” in it if they way, but as free citizens we also have every right to call attention to those policies. I suppose you also would rail against people who complain about downed cows carrying disease being used for our food.

  60. 0
    anonymous - jds ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How about this:

    It’s Microsoft’s network, they can do what they want.

    I just can’t stand all these people; gay, straight, Chinese, black, stupid, whatever, that get offended over everything they can equate to their demographic.

    Get over it.

  61. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about feeling offended by it, but anyone who doesn’t know that’s his real name is going to think he’s a 12-year old with a moronic sense of humor. And as a result, gay and lesbian individuals, I would think, would be more offended by it than bigots, who in turn would actually appreciate it.

    If you have never read any articles about this, you would think that "Dick Gay Wood" was someone being stupid. I don’t know how anybody could say otherwise in this day and age of online anonymity when such handles/phrases/etc… are used very often.

  62. 0
    catboy_j says:

    Ok the arguement I’ve seen for this ban is basically that his name can be found offensive. But the only one who would find it offensive are bigots am I right?

    He isn’t forced to change his name offline because someone is mad when they hear it? Gamertags with things like Black/Hebrew/Muslim/Japanese aren’t being banned are they? Honestly I wouldn’t even wanna see somene who has Nazi in their name get banned.

    I’ve been on Xbox Live a few times despite not owning an xbox and I get cursed out, my family gets threatened, I’ve been called Nigger, Fag, Cunt, Bitch, By people who don’t even know who I am. Granted some just hate my little brother and he sometimes inspires such language not that I’m saying it’s right, but why don’t people get banned based on their actions.

    His tag wasn’t actually offensive to anyone considered to have good sense by modern society, and it Is his name. Maybe he should be excluded by real life orginizations for having such a name?

  63. 0
    Artifex says:

    Oy, there are a lot of misconceptions going on here.

    First it’s not a BAN, just like "gayergamer" they’re forcing him to change his name before he can log back in. A 5 minute change, TOPS and he’s free to play again, after he changes the name. There’s a vast difference. This is exactly how most online services deal with accounts that have questionable or innapropriate titles. Why is XBL suddenly being treated differently than other online services? Why is it that just NOW are people getting bent out of shape over this?

    Second, Microsoft enforces only what is brought to their attention by community reports and they’re dependant on the community self-regulating and sending in reports. Just like YouTube, World of Warcraft, this very site, and any other user submission based service. There are so many gamertags out there, and so many created on a daily basis, that I’m quite sure that it is beyond impractical for them to crack down on every questionable name. Again, why is XBL being singled out all of a sudden?

    Third, it’s a private network run on commercial servers. Just like any other online service, they’re free to run it and enforce behavior and protocol how they see fit. There’s not any ‘freedom to speech’ there, no freedom to assemble or associate, and so on… Not difficult to understand, it is their playground and it is their rules. So at the end of the day, if a person doesn’t like it then treat it like any other capital based scenario and VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET!

    And really? It’s difficult to see how Richard Gaywood is questionable? How about  "Dick (common nick for Richard) HomosexualErection", is that a little more clear?

    Is it an unfortunate name to have in real life? Yes.

    Does that make it OK without any context to strangers and children in an privately run online environment? Nope.

    Is a 5 minute account name change really worth all this alarmism and homophobic fingerpointing? NO!


  64. 0
    Corey says:

    I think Microsoft should just go ahead and deregulate part of the XBL community. I actually thought that was what the underground area was for but apparently you can still be banned for being a jerk in there. But considering that anonymity turns so many people into complete assholes, XBL should have an area just for them to act like racist morons. Almost anything can be construed as offensive as every single person draws their own line somewhere, so it becomes an impossible job to protect people from being offended. Anyway, if this guy can prove that Gaywood is his actual legal name, then Microsoft should reinstate it because no person’s name should be banned speech no matter how much innuendo can be found in it. If the old people at the dentists office can handle the name Gaywood being shouted into the lobby, then I think the XBL community can do the same.   

  65. 0
    the1jeffy says:

    In all honesty, why doesn’t this guy sue HIS PARENTS.  If my last name was Gaywood (which is fine), I’d go with Zeus, or Augustus, or something.

    Case in point, Mountains have been made here; primary ingredient – molehills.


    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  66. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    Except that in the Liebeck case, there was actual damage. "She spilled coffee on her lap" is all that entered the popular consciousness, but the parts that usually get left out are things like the third degree burns that required skin grafts, the initial request for coverage of said grafts was met with a hearty "piss off," and McDonald’s knew this was a risk because they’d averaged seventy similar burnings a year for the past ten years.

    A barely related tangent, I know, but still.

  67. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    I’m still somewhat surprised that someone would use their real name as their gamertag.

    As for the automatic equating of gay to homosexual, gay stopped meaning "Happy & carefree" sometime in the 70s, its a bit late to be complaining now. Like it or not, when you say ‘gay’ to someone born after 1980, it means same sex relationship.

    It does smell of corporate cowardice to ban anything remotely related to sex & controversy from gamer tags (Hmm, wonder if "MyanmarCyclone" would be banned?) but think of it from a risk analysis point of view, a lawsuit or consumer backlash based on a gamertag is a low probability/High impact event, its highly unlikely but then Microsoft is situated in america, land of the "I spilled my coffee, mcdonalds owes me millions!!" legal victory so it’s not impossible. The filtering of the words is the most cost effective way around it by removing the problem whilst inconveniencing the minimal number of users. This is the kind of crap that bored risk analysts do to justify their weekly paycheck.

  68. 0
    PlayfulPuppy says:

    Not just that, but ‘Richard’ is also the extended version of ‘Dick’.

    So, what this basically comes down to is that Richard Gaywood sounds like a juvenile attempt to get Dick Homostiffy registered as a name.

    It’s not just the ‘gay’ part of the name, the whole name smacks of a joke. Poor dude. :(

  69. 0
    Anonymous says:

    hes right. It doesnt matter if thats his name or not. It can be considered offensive by anyone. Not me cause I dont care if people drop dead while im playing them on live, but many could see that as making fun of gay people I think. It comes down simply to certian words being blocked by a filter. No exceptions. If the word gay was allowed on live I think it would be used for more harm than good. Even though this is the guys name, most people would see gaywood as a sexual thing. Trust me when I tell you no one would use their real name unless it was something they thought funny. I think this guy saw his name “gaywood” as something that might get a laugh over live.

    Also this name probaly drew ALOT of hate directed at this guy over the microphone, where someone who is actually gay(or anyone) might get offended. So I see banning this name as a way to reduce the trash that gets said over the mic. If youve played on LIVE then im sure you can only imagine what people said to this guy if they thought his name was sexual. It is easier to ban certian names like this than to stop all the mic spam that will happen as a result.

    I dont see how many here are mad a microsof, cause this guy isnt gay. This is more of an injustice to people who want to use real names as gamertags. If you real name had any sexual/swear word in it it will get banned. These are any words that can offend people or easily lead to offending people.

    I see this as microsoft trying to protect gay people from the hate that they will face on live(its not if but when you know) because they are making live a place where sexual preference isnt a known factor in order to reduce the mic spam (someone above mentioned so I know you know what im talking about). Im straight and im pretty sure the name vaginapenetrator wouldent be allowed either. Im also sure than ANY name will be changed if enough people report it as offensive.

    Like I said ealier, I can imagine a gay person with an untelling name waiting quietly in a pregame lobby when mr.gaywood or what ever enters the game. What happens then, most likley someone notices his name, intreprets it as sexual and starts bashing. Of course this guy doesn’t care cause its just his name. But the gay person who just wanted to play a game of halo is now subjected to all kinds of trash.

  70. 0
    kaemmerite says:

    I rarely feel the need to respond to other people’s comments, but yours are so absolutely ridiculous I can’t let it slide.

    First, no, it does NOT deserve to be banned.  There’s no reason for it to be.  Do you honestly think that the people reporting his name are offended in any way?  No, they’re 13 year old kids who say "That (bundle of sticks) has the last name Gaywood!  Let’s report him as offensive and get him banned, the (cigarette)!"  I guarantee he’s only being reported by the jackasses who go out of their way to ruin Live for everyone else.

    You can’t use the "It’s offensive" excuse because what about people in real life?  Do you think someone whines about suffering emotional trauma or being offended when they call his name over the intercom at school?  Do you think anyone raises a fuss if his father is sitting in the doctor’s waiting room and the nurse calls out, "Mr. Gaywood, the doctor will see you now"?  No, they don’t.

    You’re just as cowardly and reprehensible as Microsoft, sir.  Microsoft should have let the name stay, and if anyone tried bringing any sort of legal action against Microsoft, they should have said "This is the person’s name" and any judge worth his robe would have dismissed the case immediately.

    But no, they have to act like homophobes and make themselves look bad.  All of this could have been fixed with Microsoft saying, "You know, we made a mistake, and we’re sorry, he can keep his name."  Sadly, they feel the need to make themselves look even worse with BS PR talk.

  71. 0
    Pinworm ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    His name is a double whammy. Not only is Gay in there, but so is wood. Gay Wood. Yeah, I can see why that was banned, even if it is his real name. That’s not an excuse. If my last name was "HeteroDong" that would deserve to be banned just as well. No exceptions should be made. Sucks that it’s name, but there’s no descrimination here. It deserves to be banned, and he needs to get over it, and so do all these G/L websites.

  72. 0
    Booya87 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah I’m not even understanding how people can’t see that this could be offensive. This is the equivalent of banning the name "AfricanAmericanGamer" or "GirlGamer". And blanket banning the word is not doing gay people any favours. Sure "gangbeatgays" should be banned, but so should "rapegirls" or "lynchafricanamericans".

    Gay is not an offensive term towards homosexuals, it’s not the equivalent of calling a black person a N*gger or a woman a C*nt. F*g is offensive and should be banned, but the word gay in and of itself is not an offensive word towards homosexuals. I know "gay" is all too frequently used as a slur, but hell, girl is often used in a similar sense i.e. "you shoot like a girl". But no one wants to ban the word girl to ‘protect’ women from potential slurs. Blanket banning a word implies there is something inherently offensive or derogatory about it, and though it probably wasn’t their intention, Microsoft is implicitly condemning a gay lifestyle. 

    Also the names "Richard Gaywood" and "Richard HardDong" are not two eggs in a basket, one is quite possibly a real name, the other is not. It’s more like banning the name "Black, Richard",  while it could be construed as "Black Dick" it could also be a legitimate name, unlike "Richard HardDong".

  73. 0
    Nekowolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Except your anologies are so out there, they fail to work.

    I can see "Gaywood" being a legit last name. "HeteroDong" or anything with nigger is beyond the point of probablity, and so they simply do not work. My last name is Kennedy. I guess that’s offense because of the assassinations of JFK, Robert K. and now the brain cancer of Ted K. Or how about of someone has the last name of "Beater," I guess that’s offensive because it denotes violence.

    There’s a big difference between using, say, "gay" in a name like "gaygamer" or "gaywood" compared to a derogatory usage, such as, say, "yougayfags" which IS an offensive name. If the ban was strictly on his name, it’s ridiculous, ludicrous even. Even if it was an innuendo, so what? Many things can be taken as innuendos. I guess we should ban the usage of words wood, sausage, anything with the word pussy in it, the name Dick, balls, queer (as it was originally a non-derogatory term), meat, shot, erect (such as to erect a building, erecting, erected), cock (a male rooster), cow (cause a fat or ugly girl could be called a cow), etc. Let’s ban every damn word that could be considered, or used, as or for an innuendo.

    And I’ll only say this notion that they’re using their sexual preference to break the rules is utter bullshit. Trying to use their differences? They’re getting banned BECAUSE of that! They want equality like everyone else!

    Your examples are idiotic, your logic is downright simplistic until it gives me a headache, and your whole argument has as much ground as trying to argue Bush is the #1 President.

  74. 0
    Pinworm ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you say that people can’t be ‘offended’ by "gay wood", then how can someone be offended by the banning of it? His name looks like sexual innuendo.

    "StraightDongs" wouldn’t be allowed, this shouldn’t be either. How in the hell does that make me a coward? I’m scared of people having names?

    Hey, if I change my name to "N*gger" should I be allowed to have that as my name on XBL? No, of course not. That’s ridiculous. It’s the same thing with him. It has nothing to do with Homophobia, it has nothing to do with descrimination, his name simply doubles as sexual innuendo, on purpose or not.

    I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that anyone could be offended by any words, but here we are.


    In fact, it’s almost like the Gays and Lesbians are the descriminatory ones. They’re trying to use their differences to be allowed to break the rules. That’s ridiculous.

  75. 0
    Jim Strathmeyer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think the ignorance of this posts shows what kind of customers XBox-Live has and explains why they made such a rediculous decision.

  76. 0
    Bloodycard says:

    Its not sexual preference, its sexual reality. Otherwise, I found that dictionary link humorous. "Licentious Wood" could be read as sexual in nature, but no one reads the word Gay as Licentious anymore. Also, I’m sure the use of ‘Player’ which is nearly synonymous with Licentious breaks no rules. I’m trying too hard to make sense of this. MS is stupid, case closed.


  77. 0
    yowzers says:

    What’s so ironic to me is this rhetorical question: "Why does ‘gay’ automatically equate to sex or ‘of a sexual nature’".

    Last I checked, gay people are fighting pretty hard to gain equality, rather than set themselves apart as a different sub-culture.

    Hey, if you want to be viewed as a normal person — with the only difference being your SEXUAL preference — then labelling yourself by your SEXUAL preference will of course bring to mind SEXUALITY.


  78. 0
    Ghost Coins ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I did six years in the navy, and some of those kids make our conversations pale in comparison to the amount of vitrol produced.  I’d venture closer to twenty, to really build up some spite and complete lack of social decorum.

  79. 0
    kaemmerite says:

    So Microsoft will crack down on you if your username contains the word "gay," but it’s perfectly okay to use racial slurs and swear like you’ve been out to sea for ten years.

    Yeah.  That makes loads of sense…

  80. 0
    Hevach ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Microsoft did answer this already, of course: They don’t actively police things that users can turn off. You can block an individual player’s voice chat, or turn everybody off entirely, but their gamertag is still there.

    That said, I still doubt this is his real name, until he’s prepared to prove it. I played WoW for two years, Everquest for three before that, and then just the internet in general – I have seen dozens of people claim "But it’s my REAL NAME!" when they get banned or their name is changed. I’m not convinced there are enough Gaywoods, Guyberrys, Manwoods, and Gayloves in the world to account for them all.

    Doesn’t Xbox Live have something about using identifiable information, anyway? In most of the cases I’ve seen on other services, the defense fails because it’d be a violation anyway.

  81. 0
    aphexbr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    FTA: "I’m somewhat on the fence with the issue, having played many MMORPGs and seeing the many annoying and disturbing names that can come from idle minds on the internets, and it seems as if Microsoft is putting up the normal "we can’t make exceptions" defense…"

    Yeah, but this is the kind of issue that really should have been resolved in a few minutes by a human being:

    The username’s Richard Gaywood. That’s also the name of the credit card account, so it’s legitimate. Is anyone with 2 brain cells likely to be offended? No. Name allowed, next.

    It’s only an issue because it’s been reacted to like this. The implication is that anything containing the word "gay" must be automatically negative. Instead of risking a gamertag that a few 12 year olds might make fun of during a firefight, they’ve offended a lot more people.

    "Linking ‘gay’ to some negative or sexually explicit content merely fans the fires of homophobia."


  82. 0
    Gray17 says:

    Aside from the obvious question of discrimination, it turns out that “Richard Gaywood” is actually the XBL user’s name, and not some type of sophomoric screen name (gamertag in Xbox Live parlance).

    Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen cases where someone’s first or last name was “Gaylord”. Both people were around 50. Then of course there’s the little detail of a certain bomber “Enola Gay” that was named after someone’s mother.

Leave a Reply