Fort Gay Pride Questioned; Xbox Reverses Decision

By: Randy Yohe Email
By: Randy Yohe Email

FORT GAY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hard core video gamers are usually very focused players, not prone to the usual distractions. But an unusual distraction has gamers and the mayor in Fort Gay, W.Va. outraged. Now they're fighting a corporate computer giant.

The battle is all about one three letter word,and pride, Fort Gay pride.

Intense. That's how Josh Moore gets when he logs on to his on line Xbox live account -- paid for in advance -- and does battle with other Xbox gamer’s world wide.

But Josh has an intense fight going on with the Xbox and Microsoft folks themselves, his account was suspended for inappropriate content in his general profile. The content in question -- Josh's home town -- Fort Gay, W.Va.

“I'm frustrated that this would be an issue. I'm proud of where I live and this makes no sense,” said Moore.

Moore tells WSAZ.com after questioning the decision, Xbox lifted a suspension they said was fueled by complaints from other gamers. Moore was reinstated, providing he make no profile references to Fort Gay.

Moore believes it's the word "gay" that is automatically flagged by the computer as offensive, but it's in the name of his home town. "It’s where I live," said Moore. "You can be from Fort Gay, you just can't tell anyone with Xbox.”

Both peeved and puzzled, Fort Gay mayor David Thompson contacted Xbox Microsoft on the behalf of Josh and several other gamers. The Mayor was told the city's name doesn't matter, the word "gay" is inappropriate content in any context.

“I'm amazed that in this day and age they would flag the word gay," said Thompson. "It's the name of this town, other gamers have had the accounts closed and up front money taken.”

Moore says he's now defying the Xbox system by putting his home town pride on his profile. He says if they catch it he will be thrown out with no refund, it’s a violation of the rules.

WSAZ.com contacted Microsoft and Xbox and explained the situation. The company reversed its position.

It now says writing in “Fort Gay, West Virginia" clearly does not violate the code of conduct.

Xbox says they do not want Fort Gay customers singled out. They pledge to update their training on this issue and will "reach out" to Josh Moore, the affected customer.


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