Call of Duty spurs strong anti-swastika message on Xbox

Posted by Mike Luttrell

If you want to display the infamous symbol of Nazi Germany, you'd better not do it on your Xbox 360. Otherwise, you'll face getting banned.

If you put up the symbol as your Xbox Live profile picture or in-game logo, your account will be banned. It's as simple as that. Don't bother arguing that it's some sort of historical icon or educationally relevant.

"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," said Xbox Live's Stephen Tolouse on his blog.

The message comes as the latest Call of Duty game, Black Ops, saw an emergence of people wanting to display the swastika with pride.

The game has, of course, struck all sorts of controversy with its real-world grit and potentially offensive representations of the Cold War, War on Terror, and other hot-button real-world conflicts.

Tolouse has been busy banning a whole swath of players putting up the Nazi symbol, and has been inundated with people arguing that it should be treated with the same "religious" freedom as the Star of David or the Christian cross.

"No educated human on the planet" would honestly believe all those symbols are equal, he says.

Indeed, putting up a swastika as your gamer pic will be offensive to a lot of people. Anyone doing so has to be aware of this. So because there is no context to your static icon/profile pictures, and everyone on Xbox Live can see them, swastikas won't be tolerated.

Some may see it as a bit extreme, while others will find it justified. But everyone should know Microsoft is very strict with its Xbox Live censorship, so no one should be surprised.