Microsoft announced today that the official code of conduct for its Xbox Live service has been changed to let users express their sexual orientation in their Gamertags and/or profiles.
Xbox Live director of policy and enforcement Stephen Toulouse made the announcement via Twitter this morning.
Live general manager Marc Whitten posted a letter on Xbox.com, which explains that the new terms of service, "allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation." As you’d expect, the conduct revisions will mean "increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms.”
If you’re having trouble changing your Gamertag to include one of the now acceptable terms, just give it time. As Toulouse explains, "We're still sweeping the system for variations of the words so it might not be for a few days that all spellings, phrases, etc are done.”
Microsoft found itself at the center of controversy last year after a series of bans were issued to gamers with Gamertags/profiles deemed to be objectionable, because they included expressions of the users’ sexual orientation. The company then consulted the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to figure out a proper strategy for giving gamers the ability to express themselves without the fear of harassment from other users.