Microsoft banning Call of Duty players using swastikas

The head of Xbox Live’s moderation team has warned that users who use a swastika symbol in online multiplayer games of Call of Duty: Black Ops can expect to be banned.

Black Ops allows players to design their own emblems from scratch, which led to one user dimly asking Stephen Toulouse what would happen should he create and use a swastika while playing online. Toulouse’s response that he would be banned caused an outcry amongst Internet Jerks. Many of the Jerks argued that:

1. Microsoft was being hypocritical (as the single-player game contains swastikas), or
2. That the swastika can have other meanings, or
3. That OMG YOU’RE DESTROYING THE VERY PERSONAL FREEDOMS THE NAZIS WERE TRYING TO TAKE FROM US.

All of which, of course, is monumentally stupid.

Firstly, the single-player game in Black Ops is rated ‘Mature’ so you know what you’re getting, whereas an online component of any game is impossible to rate. Secondly, while the swastika hashad other meanings in the past, it is overwhelmingly known as the symbol of a regime that committed the mass genocide of millions, so using it is just being hostile and trying to deliberately rile people. Thirdly, shut up.

Anyway, in response to these complaints, Toulouse wrote an eloquent (and entirely correct) response (that you can read in full here), stating:

“Most [people complaining about our banning of the swastika] are just contrarians. They would never dare to wear a swastika openly, but they love to argue about how the world has “misunderstood” this symbol. Or they view any opportunity for human interaction, no matter the appropriateness, to push their point. […] It’s not political correctness, it’s fundamental respect. If you think the swastika symbol should be re-evaluated by societies all over the Earth, I think that’s great. Your Xbox Live profile or in game logo, which doesn’t have the context to explain your goal, is probably not the right place to do that.”

I’m not usually a supporter of censorship myself, though even I recognise that, every now and again, it can be for the greater good. And this is one of those times, folks. Don’t be an antagonistic ass for the sake of it, eh?

[StepTo, via CVG]