Microsoft Corp. and the chief rules enforcer for Xbox Live are apologizing to a small West Virginia town and a 26-year-old gamer accused of violating the online gaming service’s code of conduct by publicly declaring he’s from Fort Gay â€“ a name the company considered offensive.
The town’s name is real. But when Moore tried to tell Seattle-based Microsoft and the enforcement team at Xbox Live, they wouldn’t take his word for it. Or Google it. Or check the U.S. Postal Service website for a ZIP code.
Instead, they suspended his gaming privileges for a few days until Moore could convince them the location in his profile, “fort gay WV,” wasn’t a joke or a slur: It’s an actual community of about 800 in Wayne County, along West Virginia’s western border with Kentucky.
“I figured, I’ll explain to them, ‘Look in my account. Fort Gay is a real place,'” Moore reasoned. But the employee was unreceptive, warning Moore if he put Fort Gay back in his profile, Xbox Live would cancel his account and keep his $12 monthly membership fee, which he’d paid in advance for two years.
“I told him, Google it â€“ 25514!” Moore said, offering up the town’s ZIP code. “He said, ‘I can’t help you.”
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