NCAA 10 Generates, Then Sees Filtered, 'Gay' Roster Name

The ongoing controversy over language filtering on Xbox Live has another curious manifestation - rosters that EA Sports' TeamBuilder auto-names get filtered when they're imported into the Xbox Live version of NCAA 10.

As an example, the above player was auto-named "Jason Gay" at the online TeamBuilder site. But imported into the Xbox 360 version, the player was renamed "Jason XXX." Users may manually change the name back in all modes of play into which created teams are imported, both online and offline.

The filtering, however, does make EA Sports look like it's demonising the word, a delicate and persistent issue in online gaming. But in fact, EA's code has no problem with it; in the game, play-by-play man Brad Nessler says the name for players who have it.

Asked for comment, Electronic Arts provided this statement:

We are aware of the situation in which some auto-generated player names used online in NCAA Football 10 are being edited, due to Microsoft's Xbox LIVE language filter. EA encourages diversity in our online communities, and providing a safe place for gamers to play is a high priority at EA.

When we went to Microsoft for a comment, a spokesman acknowledged the ongoing debate and pointed to the XBL terms of use, which prohibit text in Gamertags or "other profile fields that include comments that look, sound like, stand for, hint at, abbreviate, or insinuate content of a potentially sexual nature."

Both sides gave - quite understandably - policy-based answers to what is ultimately an incremental development in this issue. NCAA 10 may not have the kind of user base that gets fired up about this, after all.

But whether or not "gay" is more a self-identifier or a term of abuse, it continues to be someone's last name. Rudy Gay. Tyson Gay. Efforts to proactively micromanage this evolving word's use may, privately, have the intended effect. Publicly, it will continue to create instances such as these, in which some major corporation wittingly or, in EA's case, unwittingly and through no fault of its own, puts its brand on the implication that the word is inherently shameful.

Microsoft says it's still exploring ways to integrate the word with its community and its TOS. But, really. As decisions go, you're gonna make it now, or make it later. Let some churlish gamer's ugly behaviour speak for itself, and deal with him tomorrow. But you can take "gay" off the filter list today, and end this as a controversy. Kotaku AU Note: Can anyone who has the Xbox version of FIFA or Football Manager tell me if you can play as English team Scunthorpe United, or is that censored too?


Comments

    LOL @ the AU note. But i have no answer for that! =P

    I think these whole little controversy or debate on this filtering is just ridiculous.

    I understand gay people don't like people using the F-Word much like Black people don't like Whites using the N-Word. I believe Gay people like the term Homosexual or Gay, i mean i think Gay is in the dictionary, so one would think MS are being a big stupid & anti-gay but i don't think they are.

    80% of the time, the term used for Gay these days aren't to describe happiness or someones sexuality, its usually used as a sort of swear-word type curse used from one person to another, much like the F-word version of Gay.

    This is most common among young people & teenagers. I think its fit that MS are filtering this. If people can't use a word used to describe someones sexualirty even though it isnt necessarily the correct phrase, properly and use it to make insults, then MS, keep filtering.

    What MS are doing IS NOT Anti-Gay i believe. And if the gays want to think that, let them, who gives a crap. I mean XBL isn't used to promote your sexuality. Its used to play games, connect with others and Download content etc.. If it was PLaystation Home that filtered someone saying, Yeah i'm gay. That might be a little different cause Home is like a virtual world to make friends & stuff.

    But if gays want to make a big thing about this, its just like if Barack Obama didnt get it in the blacks would scream racist and rigged. A load of bullshiz i believe. I mean there isn't even a selection to state what sex your interested in on XBL & its not used for that, so get over it!

    As for its use as a computer AI characters last name randomly generated, thats a little far. But it does prove the security of the filter MS have on XBL. But that doesn't mean anti-gay cause they censored a last name.

    Jay, you're an idiot. That's all I have to say - reading your dumb comments over the last week or so has drained all my energy to reply creatively.

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