Stephen Toulouse—known as StepTo to those listening to Major Nelson's podcast, or unfortunate enough to feel the cold kiss of the Xbox Live banhammer—has given his two weeks notice to Microsoft. The director of Xbox Live Policy and Enforcement will leave Feb. 16, after 18 years with the company.
A recent crackdown on modded consoles snared "a very small percentage" of Xbox Live users who had done nothing wrong, yet received comprehensive bans from Microsoft nonetheless. Xbox Live's top cop today apologized for the mistake and said these gamers would be reinstated immediately.
Stephen Toulouse, known to many as Stepto, is Microsoft's director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live. That means he's the guy with the biggest, baddest banhammer on that service, making him a prime target for grudge-nursing hackers. Apparently one just seized control of his personal website, stepto.com
When banned 26-year-old Xbox Live gamer called Xbox support to explain that his town of Fort Gay, West Virginia, was a real place and not a homosexual reference, he was threatened with account cancellation.
A change to the Xbox Live code of conduct this morning now allows gamers to express their sexual orientation in Xbox Live profiles or Gamertags.
Two jackasses baiting an Xbox Live moderator and getting banned isn't worth much outrage. But when they doctor a video and expect everyone to believe it on the knee-jerk faith that mods are fascists, that just insults your intelligence.
You may have already seen this over the weekend, but if not, here's a clip that reportedly shows an Xbox Live moderator by the name of "The Pro" suffering from a bad case of ban fever.
Stephen Toulouse gave a presentation at PAX that, like most of his outreach, leavened the dirty work of running Xbox Live's banhammer ops with comedy. His sermon is about how the wicked "Poonhunter" came to be banned from Battlefield 1943.
In the 70s there were just seven words you couldn't say on TV. Today there are thousands you can't say on Xbox Live.