Or maybe they hate you more? From their PR, it’s kind of hard to tell, but the gist of the news is this: Gamers can now use the word “gay” in their username if they so choose. Gay, yay! In a press release, Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten tells gamers:
Typically most corporate PR is horribly executed, but the above manages to paint the company in a positive light after what could’ve been a PR disaster. It manages to make me feel warm and fuzzy feelings for XBox when my first reaction was set to stun.
They’ve made an important distinction in admitting that gamers often use the word “gay” (and all its hatefully misspelled derivations) as an insult, and positioning themselves as simply trying to protect that demographic. Whether it’s true or not we’ll never know, but I kind of want to shake the hand of whatever PR flak actually wrote that letter, because we all know it wasn’t Marc Whitten.
To put this whole thing in context, here’s a PSA from Wanda Sykes waaaaaaay back in 2008:
What do you think, fellow nerds? Was it just an oversight on XBox’s part? Were they really trying to protect their gay players’ feelers? Or were they just being what most companies are: Juggernauts of social mores, laser-focused on the bottom line, and way behind the times?
*Photo from the wonderful Consumerist blog.