Microsoft and the chief rules enforcer for Xbox Live are apologizing to a small West Virginia town and a 26-year-old gamer accused of violating online gaming service’s code of conduct by publicly declaring he’s from Fort Gay — a name the company considered offensive. The town’s name is real. Yet, when Josh Moore tried to tell Microsoft and the enforcement team at Xbox Live, they wouldn’t take his word for it. Or Google it. Or check the U.S. Postal Service website for a ZIP code. Instead, they suspended Moore’s gaming privileges until he could convince them that the location in his profile, “fort gay WV,” wasn’t a joke or a slur. Fort Gay is a community of about 800 in Wayne County, along West Virginia’s western border with Kentucky.
Fort Gay was incorporated as Cassville in 1875 but was simultaneously known as Fort Gay until 1932, when town leaders permanently changed the name to the latter.
Microsoft later issued an apology, with a company representative simply saying that they made a mistake.
Dori Monson at 97.3 KIRO FM interviewed Josh Moore: