Gamer's Last Name Deemed Obscene by Xbox Live Cops [UPDATE]

A gamer says his handle has been censored by Xbox Live because it seems too much like a slang word — even though it's his last name.

Christopher Gooche uses his surname as his gamertag on Microsoft's online service. He says he's been using "Gooche" as a name since the days of the original Xbox — and he's been registered on Xbox Live since 2004. Yet while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 last night, he received a message telling him to change his gamertag. He contacted an Xbox Live representative, who told him he couldn't use his last name on the Xbox 360's online network anymore.

Gooche, whose surname might be confused with an explicit slang word, says he's upset about the censorship.

"I mean its not the end of the world, but for the last decade its been my name... my online persona... even on [PlayStation Network]," Gooche said in an e-mail to Kotaku. "How do you change that in five minutes?"

He says sometimes other Xbox Live users would make fun of his handle in chatrooms and game servers, but he'd just use the insults as fuel to make him a better gamer.

"As a child I got into many fights because it was people challenging my namesake," Gooche said. "Back then it was due to Diff'rent Strokes with Arnold always being beat up by 'The Gooch.' I came to terms with the name and wear it like a badge of honor now."

This isn't the first time that Xbox Live has censored people with (what it considers to be) inappropriate last names. Several years ago, customer Richard Gaywood was banned because his gamertag, which was simply his real name, included the word "gay."

Gooche says he's going through the proper channels to contact the enforcement team and appeal their decision. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update if we hear back.

Update: Microsoft sent us an e-mail Thursday night with an official statement:

The Xbox LIVE Enforcement Team works to help make Xbox LIVE a safe and enjoyable experience for our customers by enforcing the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct. Due to the ever-changing nature of Internet slang, it can be a challenge separating content intended to violate the rules by being clever, from content that does not violate the rules. In this case, the gamertag has been determined to be potentially offensive. We have informed the member that he will be required to change his gamertag, which he can do at no cost.