September 16, 2010 Volume CXXVIII Issue 2

Xbox LIVE causes controversy

Staff Writer

Personally, I am not a supporter of homosexuality. I do believe, however, that all human beings have a basic right to state where they are from. Some people, on the other hand, appear to think differently.

Microsoft, these people, holds a rule for the Xbox world that you can state information about yourself on your profile but you cannot say whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, etc. Josh Moore found out the hard way that apparently he could do neither of those things.

Moore, an almost 30 year-old-man, put his hometown as “Fort Gay, West Virginia.” Microsoft deemed this inappropriate material because it violated the gaming Code of Conduct and booted Moore off of Xbox LIVE. Looking farther into this situation, they found that Fort Gay was a real place and Moore was actually from this place.

There are two controversies in this situation. The first is that Microsoft should have looked into the town’s name before kicking him off. It was offensive to Moore and the town of Fort Gay to go through the process without knowing the facts. The second is why people are not allowed to state whether they are homosexual or straight.

Microsoft, in any case, should fulfill their job duties and make people stick to the conduct code. The representative who booted Moore off may have thought that Moore was trying to be clever and state his status by putting it into the form of “Fort Gay.” Homosexuals might argue that the representative was possibly homophobic or prejudice against gays. In either case, Microsoft now has to apologize to Moore and his hometown.

The rule that people are not allowed to state their status, in my opinion, is a good one. I know of people who, if they see that someone is gay, would possibly make fun of them online. Some people would even go further by sending hate mail and terrorizing people on Xbox.

Even worse, some people can take things out of the Xbox world into the real world and begin to torture people through e-mail and tracking people down. Some people, especially gays and gay-rights activists, may argue that it is a right of the people to say what they want about who they are. Well, on Xbox, it is not. If you want to play, you need to follow the rules, end of story.

People might argue that it is a basic right in the law to have freedom of speech, but they need to realize that Microsoft is protecting themselves and all people from the damage that can come out of hate crimes. I personally think that rallying together in a public space to fight this rule is more offensive than the rule itself. But that… is just my opinion.

VMAs go gaga for Gaga

Copy Editor

Lady Gaga arrived at the VMAs with several members of the US military.

Until I came to college, I never really cared much about the VMAs. I really didn’t watch much MTV in general. But when in Rome…

So, this year, some friends and I gathered around the tube to enjoy the show. With performances by Eminem and Rihanna, Florence and The Machine, Taylor Swift and other popular favorites, and the first ever female host, the raunchy but everlovable Chelsea Handler, we knew we’d probably be well entertained. Not to mention a small part of every viewer was hoping for some Kanye-style antics to keep us occupied on YouTube for the next few months. Sadly, there were no such antics, but let’s focus on what the show is really supposed to be about: the Moon Men. And who won the most on Sunday night? That’s right, Lady Gaga. While some people may be annoyed that she won in almost every category for which she was nominated, I think she deserved it all.

Perhaps I am biased. I do love Lady Gaga. I am mesmerized by her every move. But let’s look beyond all that. Love her or hate her, she catches your attention. To make it in the world of pop music today, that is an absolute must. And she is so good at doing this, her influence can be seen popping up in the work of several other artists in her genre. From Christina Aguilera’s racy leather outfits to Ke$ha’s glitter and face paint, I don’t think it’s wrong to say that Lady Gaga’s over-the-top style has forced other artists to try just a little bit harder.

And then there is her obvious talent. She doesn’t rely on Auto-Tune and can even play the piano all by herself. If you doubt her talent, just look up Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga’s given name) on YouTube. There you will see her playing in small clubs with no flashy costumes or strange dances, just her, a piano, and the songs she wrote and wanted to share with the world (my personal favorite is one of her performing two original songs at NYU). And when she accepted her award Sunday evening, she gave all of her “Little Monsters” a preview of her upcoming album, by singing a piece of a song a capella, a feat that might ruin some artists’ careers.

And, back to her outrageous style, she should get an award for simply being able to move in those clothes and not fall in those heels, if nothing else. But she can do more than just make some bizarre fashion choices. She has managed to capture the attention of millions while actually making good pop music and giving amazing live performances, which I hope I am able to experience someday. So congratulations, Lady Gaga. You did it!

Thoughtful opinions needed

Students need to take responsibility and speak up in a thoughtful way
Sports Editor

Following her induction as the Student Government President at Tuesday’s Opening Convocation ceremony, Sophomore Molly Shoulta spoke to the importance of campus-wide involvement in student government. “It’s your responsibility to…ask why things are changing and say no to new policies,” she told students, challenging them to “consider the everyday impacts of [their] actions.”

Shoulta’s words certainly apply in the case of The Georgetonian. It’s important for us to voice our concerns about issues on campus, and the paper is an excellent outlet for doing so. However, the implications of putting pen to paper and railing against the administration in print are entirely different from the implications of voicing such complaints aloud.

Publishing an article here on the Opinion page gives one the potential to be “heard” by the entire student body, by staff and faculty members, by the administration and alums, by GC parents and Georgetown residents. So consider before you write— what is your purpose in writing? Are you merely complaining for your own satisfaction, or are you trying to constructively inspire thought and change?

It’s easy to repeat complaints—and to complain in general—and harder to investigate and consider an issue, or the (oftentimes completely valid) reasoning behind a policy. It’s harder still to find a way to help solve the problems that are easy to point out.

But if it’s worth a 500-word criticism (which you’ll be paid 25 cents an inch for writing), it’s worth an effort beyond the keyboard and computer screen.

Perhaps that’s a lot to expect from our little campus newspaper and our little campus, and perhaps I’m taking myself a bit too seriously here. But in the end, when Whitley Arens and I write “Snowmen vs. Snow Angels: Part 2,” it’ll all balance out.

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