Sony’s harsh censorship in its online space has confused members of the gay community and anyone who wants to give a greeting as to why so many words are moderated.
When the public Playstation Home beta open on December 11, 18-year old gay gamer Michael Marsh logged into the virtual world to start a gay community group.
Marsh soon discovered that the words “gay”, “lesbian” and “bisexual” were all blocked from the service’s chat rooms and group names. Religious terms “Christ” and “Jew” were also censored. Even “hello” was flagged for containing “hell.”
“I can understand if they’re filtering out profanity, but I feel like it’s discrimination,” Marsh explained. “By blocking a word like ‘gay,’ which is a preferred term by the gay community, you’re encouraging it as a bad word.”
Home has had a number of user issues since its release. Less than a week after going public, hackers broke the system, allowing for anyone to nearly overhaul and infect anything in Home.
Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesman Patrick Seybold commented to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The key message is it’s a beta and it’s evolving on a daily basis. We’ve said early on that user behavior and feedback will shape where we go with Home.”