Microsoft Xbox gamers suspended in cursing crackdown
Doug Gross, CNN
6:55 PM, Nov 26, 2013
(CNN) -- What the #@!%? Some gamers uploading R-rated videos of themselves playing on the new Xbox One are learning the hard way that Microsoft is trying to crack down on cursing.
Over the past few days, gamers using the Upload Studio on Xbox Live to share videos online have reported being banned from the network, at least temporarily, after using salty language.
What do they think this is? "Grand Theft Auto"?
On Monday, Microsoft confirmed it's trying to clean up language in its online community.
"(W)e take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users," the company said in a statement. "Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members."
The statement did, however, quell a rumor that Microsoft was also monitoring direct communications such as Skype chats among players using the network.
Because Skype often was one of the apps suspended, some players said they thought their behavior on the voice-calling service was being monitored. Several suspended gamers reported having full services restored after 24 hours.
Not surprisingly, the announcement isn't going over well with some in the gaming community.
"Saying that swearing is not to be tolerated (at least partially) in this one area of gaming on top of a platform that is an obscenity cannon just feels squishy," Alex Wilhelm wrote for TechCrunch. "Also, it's inconsistent. And as I don't think that language deemed by some as 'foul' should be banned while playing games, I don't think that it should be banned in uploaded videos of games being played."
Many online were echoing Wilhelm's initial point: How can a company crack down on profanity while at the same time promoting video games filled with the stuff?
"Xbox Live is suspending accounts for (foul) language. They don't want kids hearing four letter words as they go on a virtual killing spree," said Mike Frankovich on Twitter.
"If Xbox is gonna ban 12 yr olds for abusive language they just eliminated their entire fan base," added Twitter user Malakye Morgan.
In "Dead Rising 3," an exclusive title for the Xbox One, " the words "f**k," "sh*t," and "a*shole" can be heard in the dialogue," according to the game's "M for Mature" rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Players are also able to visit a "XXX supply shop" and buy an adult toy that can be turned into the Super Massager -- a weapon that can be used on zombies.
Microsoft said players who run afoul of its rules are being temporarily suspended from using certain apps, not banned from Xbox Live indefinitely.