Microsoft alters code of conduct policy after controversy
Gamers who play via Xbox LIVE can now identify their sexual orientation as part of their profiles.
This morning, Microsoft announced that it has altered its code of conduct to allow Xbox LIVE members, if they so choose, to identify themselves as straight, gay, lesbian, bi and transgender in their gamertags.
Microsoft has been under pressure from gay rights groups to allow gamers to share their sexual identity with others. Last year, a player who identified herself as lesbian in her profile was reportedly banned from Xbox LIVE, and the news stirred a furor in cyberspace.
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and other gay rights groups began a dialog with Microsoft, which stood by its policy that the global company didn't allow users to declare their sexual orientation in an effort to prevent player harassment.
Xbox LIVE's general manager, Marc Whitten, sent this open letter today to Xbox LIVE members:
“Since the beginning, Microsoft has made an investment in the security and safety of Xbox LIVE and created tools and monitoring practices to ensure it is a fun and welcoming entertainment experience for people of all races, nationalities, religions and sexual orientations. And thanks to this investment and the enthusiasm of community members like you, we’re proud to be the strongest and most diverse online community of its kind at 23 million.
“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.”