QUOTE(http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=276956) said:Microsoft has warned Call Of Duty: Black Ops players that they risk being banned from Xbox Live if they adopt the Swastika as their logo during online matches. Because, you know, some people can't come to that conclusion themselves.
Stephen Toulouse, the Director of Policy and Enforcement at Xbox Live, took to his blog yesterday to discuss enquiries from gamers who wished to use the emblem online.
He said that some players had called the policy into question - as variants on the symbol hold religious connotations which have nothing to do with Nazi Germany.
However, Toulouse was unapologetic, calling those who had raised the enquries "contrarians", and reiterating that they'd be struck off Live if they used the logo in their profile.
Tonight I got asked one of those questions that only my job can apparently engender, namely "Hey, I'm not a genocidal hater of Jews but I really love the design of the swastika because its actually considered religious from hundreds of years ago, can I use it as my Call Of Duty: Black Ops logo? SWASTIKAS ARE AWESOME."
No really, someone asked me this as a serious question on twitter. So I of course replied, "no, of course you can't, we'll ban you."
UH OH! OUT COMES THE INTERNET PUNDITS!
You know the type I mean. They've read an article that's contrarian to some position widely held, or they've found some obscure fact that contradicts common interpretation. Some of them claim to have known it as innate fact, others claim it to be widespread common knowledge taught to every single person in elementary school. Of course, usually neither is true at all. Most of them are just contrarians. They would never dare to wear a swastika openly, but they love to argue about how the world has "misunderstood" this symbol. Or they view any opportunity for human interaction, no matter the appropriateness, to push their point.
Under some religions, the specific design of the Nazi swastika is a relatively obscure symbol. It was not unique to the German Nazi Party. In some cases, it can be interpreted to mean unity depending on how it is oriented. But somehow, (I know, calm yourself) the prosecution of an entire world war in the 20th century co-opted that symbol for most civilizations into a symbol of evil and hatred. Let's be clear: no educated human on the planet looks at the swastika symbol in "the year we make contact" and says "oh, that symbol has nothing at all in any way to do with global genocide of an entire race and, even if it did, one should totally and reasonably ignore that because it's a symbol that was stolen or coop-ted from religions where it is relegated to minor symbolism or reference."
Well, no educated human on the planet that is, unless we're talking about the Internet. Because according to the Internet, certain orientations of the swastika symbol was stamped on all money, food, foreheads, temples, and just about everywhere any reasonable person could find it. And the Nazi's effectively won world war two if anyone promotes banning the Nazi orientation of the symbol.
Suddenly, my twitter stream was filled with people stating that Xbox LIVE should equally ban the star of David, the Christian cross, and yes I am not kidding, the infinity symbol because under various niche interpretations of those symbols, they are as evil as the swastika symbol and I should apply ethical relativism to all symbols on Xbox LIVE to respect all viewpoints because of the United States First Amendment.
Even better? The argument that because the single player of the game is rated mature, the online experience should allow for all manner of horrible genocidal viewpoints.
I hate to do this Internet, I really really do, but let me lay out some reality.
It's not political correctness, it's fundamental respect. If you think the swastika symbol should be re-evaluated by societies all over the Earth, I think that's great. Your Xbox LIVE profile or in game logo, which doesn't have the context to explain your goal, is not the right place to do that.
TL;DR: If you see offensive symbols in Call of Duty, Black Ops, report them using the in game option and they will be taken care of. If you want to argue that swastikas are actually AWESOME, go to another forum. On Xbox LIVE they are not allowed. :>