Platform holder Microsoft has outlined its reasoning behind its blanket ban on the use of the swastika in the multiplayer mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The online element of the game allows users to personalise their own badges. So detailed are the tools that the possibilities are endless. However, if Microsoft spots any badges sporting to swastika it has pledged to ban the offending users.
In an extensive post in response to a number of objections to the policy, Xbox Live’s Stephan Tolouse said of those who were unhappy with the decision: “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.
“Under some religions, the specific design of the Nazi swastika is certainly 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 the prosecution of an entire world war in the 20th century co-opted that symbol for western civilizations into a symbol of evil and hatred.
“Let’s be clear: no educated human on the planet looks at the swastika symbol on a video game service 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.
“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.”