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Not being a gamer, I wasn’t aware that there are online stores where you can buy – with real dinero – equipment to trick out your avatar to personalize them. And guns have been just one of who-knows-how-many options in Microsoft’s Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace to customize the virtual you. But that won’t be the case for much longer…

Todd Bishop of reports:

A new policy taking effect Jan. 1 will remove “gun-like” items from Microsoft’s Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace, the online store where gamers can buy items to dress up and accessorize their avatars, according to a forum post by a community manager for Epic Games, the company behind the blockbuster Gears of War franchise for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.

Virtual weapons affected by the new policy include the Gears of War “Lancer,” the combination chainsaw/assault rifle being brandished by my Xbox Live avatar [above] in the accompanying picture.

Why would MSFT reduce the number of purchasing options available to their gaming customers? In a world where players can rock MG42s in Call of Duty or gnasher shotguns in Gears of War, why so sensitive about an avatar holding a shootin’ iron? It’s for the children, of course.

…Microsoft is trying to expand the Xbox 360′s audience while continuing to appeal to hard-core gamers, which can be a difficult balance to strike. Avatars represent users across the Xbox Live system, raising the possibility that a younger or more family-oriented user of the console might encounter an avatar holding a weapon from an M-rated (for mature audiences) game.

You can only imagine the pee-stained carpets in front of flat screens spanning the globe as unsuspecting little ones inadvertently cast their gaze on tiny fake people holding scary computer guns. Oh, the humanity.

Again, not being a gamer, Microsoft going all gun-grabber in their little virtual world is no skin off my nose. But if I were one to wield the occasional controller, in order not to support this kind of idiocy, I’d probably be pushing buttons on a Playstation. Maybe if Microsoft spent more time on customer service and making sure their products work as advertised and less on politically correct avatars, their stock price would be a little higher.

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  1. Great catch! 2A’ers need to be constantly vigilant in showing the hypocrisy and idiocy of the “few” that affect the “masses”. The “masses” need to have more influence & control over the “few” for this type of lunacy to cease.

  2. To be totally non -PC I had my youngest Daughter play Call of Duty and Call of Duty Big Red One when she was young. Her Grandfather was a medium machine gunner who supported the 1st Infantry Division in WWII at Normandy, and later to the Third Army to the liberation of the Concentration Camps. I figured it would be a good way to sort of teach her about her Grandfather’s War.

      • No, not history, clearly. But, interestingly it can give a compelling vicarious perspective on the campaigns. With just a tad bit of empathy (Dad helps here) a child can put historical info and Grandfather’s stories in a more personal context. Does it teach history? Again, no, but it’s a great vehicle for getting kids involved in learning this history if dad does his part.

        Or were you just enjoying your snark?


      • Becuase Gaming on Mac is Better? Pssh there hasn’t been a Mac built that is fit to compete with a high-end gaming laptop much less a purpose built gaming tower. Mac’s are great for people who want to spend money on shiny toys and talk about how much more shiny they are than everyone else. Gaming on a Mac is great with gripping and cutting edge titles like The Sims 3, or Age of Empires 3 or Doom 3…..hmmm that’s is about it, oh yeah they just released the 2009 epic Batman:Arkham City… and World of Warcraft you can play that now. Sorry but Mac gaming is a joke, just likes Mac’s in general.

        • Nope, your a photographer, and you may be inclined to use a Mac because they are fairly good machines to edit and Video and Still photography on, but if you compare a PC to a Mac with the same specs, PC’s are cheaper and preform better or the same as their more expensive Mac counterparts.

        • Dude, calm down. This is gun blog. You’re not allowed to get that irate unless you’re talking about 9mm v .45.

        • Hrmm 9mm is cheaper, faster, lighter, smaller, generally comes with higher mags in the same frame, whereas the .45 is more expensive, slower, heavier, larger and has smaller capacity magazines than the German round. Meh, performance of the 9mm vs the .45 depends on the round type, load and shooter… Wait this really is a different type of argument. PC vs Mac is about closed architecture, limited models vs open architecture and a diverse market selection where speed, ease of use and aftermarket accessories divide party lines. This argument is more akin to a Glock vs 1911 debate.

        • The architecture isnt really isnt more open or closed. They’re both x86 PCs with diffrenent OSes. If anything you can at least get the source code to the underlying OS from Apple thru the Darwin project, good luck getting the same from MS.

        • Your wrong. Macs have been shipping with 3d accelerators for well over 10 years, and supported them since god knows when, I remember supplanting my ATI card with a pair of 3dfx Voodoo2s in my beige G3. Before that we had developers like Bungie, who was bought out by Microsoft for Halo, which was originally going to be a Mac only game. And your also ignoring that they have been able to boot other OSes, including windows since the mid 2000s.

          And let me get this right, your saying a 12 core xeon Mac Pro with a Radeon 5870 cant compete with a PC laptop?

        • So let me get this right, on your 12 core Mac you have to boot Windows to Play games essentially turning your over priced Mac into a windows machine? Great, now you have a super expensive 12 core PC with a mac logo and a shitty mouse. 🙂 Bungie used to make games for Mac, but now they don’t, it takes major games developers up to a year (or more) to re-release games for MacOS. If you want to game on a Mac you have to boot into Windows to do it.

        • Oh noes, you have to reboot to play call of duty, and its a computer which is outside of your budget! If a customer service rep or helpdesk grunt cant afford it, it must be crap. Now go back to work phone jockey.

          If its any condolence to you, i’m using a PC to run MacOS X. And it is unable to reboot when VT (virtualization) is enabled, it just hangs on POST code F3, don’t have that problem on a mac. Vendor acknowledged flaw, EVGA X58 Triple SLI.

        • Not all PC fanbois are Service Reps or Helpdesk, some of us rank a little higher. The hardware is essentially the same, you have to boot out of the shitty Mac OS and then Reboot into another OS to play a game. If the reason you built the computer in the first place is to game why not buy/build a computer in the native OS to game in. Once you boot out of Mac you give up most of the benefits of having a Mac machine.

          So wait, You have a PC and your trying to boot OSX? WTF? If you have a PC why do you need OSX? Unless you have a Mac and your trying to boot camp Windows. Was the PC built by Mac? If not your going to have trouble booting in and out because of the architecture of OSX. Try loading Snowleopard onto a virtual machine. In any case you fail greatly and you should probably try to learn how to use a computer on a Leapfrog instead.

        • Your right not all PC fanbois are helpdesk reps, but you sound like you are. And oh noes, you have to reboot! If those 60 seconds that your not gaming are that critical then why even use a PC at all, bust out a console and have something that is pretty much instant on.

          I didnt build my PC to game on, most people use PCs for work. I have a PC and run OS X because I wanted a lot of disk capacity without having to have stacks of external drives, and Mac Pro cases are limited to 4 disks.

          And yes, I’m better than you. I proved the largest data security company on the planet doesnt know how to implement encryption in their enterprise class management products, nor do they audit their own code even though they sell these auditing services to the government and private sector:

          In case your wondering, no i’m not an Apple fanboi either. At my last job I used Windows, AIX, Solaris, OS X and RHEL.

        • What is your argument that Macs are better becuase they have to boot windows to play games? That doesn’t make them the better gaming platform, that makes Windows the better gaming platform. If the OS cannot run the games then hardware running the software is useless. So what is your argument?

        • Go back and bother to read my posts. My argument was that your statement about Macs being incapable of playing games/being worse than a laptop, and there being no developers was wrong. So quit with the nerdrage and go back to helping Susan figure out what type of toner cartridge she needs.

  3. Screw Xbox gun control. Parents should exercise Xbox control. Teach the kids to read and make them to do their homework. We’re raising a generation of illiterates.

    Oh, well. I learned a long time ago that every nation must have factories to make wheelbarrows and baby factories that make people to push them.

    • These kids are so lazy that they won’t even qualify for any factory job. They’ll go on welfare and keep playing with their silly x-box.

    • I’m a dedicated gamer & I agree with this, however parents need to lead by example. Plenty of parents are just as lazy as their kids, they just use something other then a gaming console to waste their time. It’s the age old problem of parents not being involved in a positive manner in their families lives.

      At my age my parents cant do anything about me playing xbox, sitting in front of a tv grinding away at achievements likely saves my parents money as I don’t eat much when I’m in gaming mode.

      Playstation is for people who want a blueray player, wieners, & people who wanna play metal gear solid 4. Oh sure there are few good games that are playstation exclusive but they’re far & few between. Xbox has the largest share of the game market & caters heavily to online gaming, there’s so much more available to a gamer with an xbox. Switching over from xbox to playstation is a down grade.

      Xbox started off as the “mature” console. It was marketed towards males in their late teens, early twenties. It’s controller was designed for people who were fully grown, it’s games were for marketed towards mature audiences. It was made as the opposite to the family friendly nintendo offerings, but over the years in order to expand market share microsoft has made the xbox more & more family friendly (something I as a mature gamer am not fond of), so I’m not at all surprised by the decision to ban all gun things for avatars on xbox live.

      Guns were essentially already banned anyways. Only 2 of them became available recently and that was for Gears of War 3, losing the ability to have those guns isn’t a big deal since Gears of War games & things associated with them aren’t even that important.

  4. @ Matt

    I read all of your comments and your logic doesn’t make sense. If you have to boot into another OS then you’re not running Mac OS, you’re running a Windows computer. Mac OS does not support/is not supported by major game developers, and the ones that do support OSX do so a year or so after the initial launch date. For Christ’s Sake Steam just this year started to support some titles for OSX. Mac does not make gaming computers; the high-end computers they do make do not support the vast majority of games. If the only way to play the bestselling computer games is to boot camp your OSX machine into becoming a Windows machine that means OSX/Mac computers are not better than Windows machines. Now if you don’t mind I have to go get Susan some toner and take your mom on a date, I trust you will be in the basement jacking off to pictures of Steve Jobs while I bone you mom.


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