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Microsoft man defends Xbox swastika ban

The man tasked with making Microsoft's Xbox Live on-line gaming service a safe and pleasant place for all has been forced to defend his decision to ban the swastika from being used as as a personal player logo in the multi-player version of Call Of Duty: Black Ops.

Apparently, one game-playing individual, who by all accounts isn't too bothered about goings on at the top of the pond, tweeted “Hey, I’m not a genocidal hater of Jews but I really love the design of the swastika because its actually used by numerous religions, can I use it as my Call Of Duty: Black Ops logo? SWASTIKAS ARE AWESOME."

As a right-minded individual living in the 21st century and being in posession of a full set of working syapses, Stephen Toulouse - who is better known to his gaming chums and blog readers as Stepto - fired back the ineviatable response: “No, of course you can’t, we’ll ban you.”

Apparently, Toulouse's in-box was soon so jammed with idiots quoting the First Ammendment of the US Constitution that he felt he had to respond to the avalanche of Internet pundits defending the use of the swastika because it was co-opted from other religions by the Nazis.

"You know the type I mean," he writes. "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."

It's true that the swastika is not the exclusive property of the Nazis. India is covered in them, which is, even given hindsight and a decent education, still surprisingly shocking to most western eyes.

It has been so ingrained in most of us that the hated symbol represents evil, that seeing it in the context of a peaceful Hindu temple has the power to unsettle.

Suggesting that its a suitable logo to be used in a game where you run around shooting people in the face with high-powered rifles is just wrong on so many levels that we won't comment further, we'll leave that to Stephen Toulouse:

"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."