Xbox Live manager meets gay charity to tackle homophobia issues

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Xbox Live policy manager Stephen Toulouse has met with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to discuss the issue of homophobia in the game.

In March, a player revealed that she had been harassed by other players and subsequently banned from playing Xbox Live online because her open lesbianism “offended” other players.

Teresa said: “Microsoft does nothing to stop this or prevent it, but instead sides with the homophobes.

“No one will help me get the word out about Microsoft’s anti-gay policy. Not even the HRC who says Microsoft has a positive image with them. Not to me it doesn’t.”

Gamers also complained they were banned from using the word ‘gay’ in their profiles. Microsoft had said the problem was in determining what was a slur or not when used in a game.

In a podcast, Toulouse said the meeting had been productive, describing it as a “great engagement”.

He said: “I can’t talk about what we discussed specifically except to say that we provided them with a lot of information about what we do today, why we do what we do and how we do it. And then we asked them the question, ‘How can we do this better?’ And we have some ideas. Here are some ideas.

“That dialogue was super, super helpful. I think it was a great engagement. Justin and Jeffrey who came out from GLAAD really appreciated the effort that we’re putting into it – and had great ideas, like they brought up some stuff we hadn’t thought of.”

As yet, no changes to the company’s policy have been revealed.

A survey published in 2007 found that online gamers face a homophobic culture.

The Gaymer Survey, conducted at the University of Illinois and involving over 10,000 respondents, found that gay gamers experienced a high level of homophobic attitudes and language.

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