Microsoft has announced that it will silence swearing and cursing players on its Xbox Live online gaming service.
Although Redmond reassured cursing customers that they will still be able to turn the air blue in private chats, they will have to be much more discreet when shooting up some stranger on the other side of the world. As well as this, they will have to be careful when uploading videos featuring naughty words.
From now on, Xbox Live will feature a sin bin system for anyone who cusses too frequently. They will be banned for periods of up to 24 hours.
The issue was first highlighted on Reddit, by a gamer who was f@$*ing furious that he had been booted from Xbox Live for calling someone a d**khead in a video uploaded to Microsoft's Upload Studio.
In a post (which we have corrected slightly to make the writer sound a little less primeval) he said:
"I made a video and said a bad word. It wasn't really a swear in my opinion, just the nickname used for people called Richard.
"Now I am not able to put Kinect videos on my uploads or upload gameplay at all. I have no idea how long this will last. I do understand I shouldn't have said it and know where Xbox is coming from, but I wish there was a disclaimer about it since I had no idea I would be banned for that. Like I said, ignorance isn't an excuse, but I'm just warning you guys in case you didn't know."
Another gamer took to Twitter to claim he had been shown a message which read "choose something else to play" after swearing in a private Skype call. His Xbox then told him he was being booted from a multiplayer game "because of your past behaviour".
Microsoft have issued a statement clarifying the situation. It said:
"To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously.
"We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members."
Some forum dwellers on the official Xbox chatroom have questioned why Microsoft bans potty mouths whilst allowing swearing in game trailers.
"I think it's so over the top considering there are videos on my activity feed of Dead Rising 3 with people being chopped up and Battlefield 3 with the characters of the game saying all the swear words," one poster wrote.
"Just ridiculous and needs to be sorted."
"Being banned for saying cr*p and plonker on the video stuff is just stupid."
Some posters issued a brave mea culpa admitting to swearing in their videos.
"I was out of control in my video," one wrote. "I said f@@k three times in a humorous way."
And hasn't that make you chuckle? ®
Many XBox games involve military characters engaged in intense combat. Helmet-cam video of Royal Marine Commandos fighting in Afghanistan during 2007 can be found here, the soundtrack of which is likely to be NSFW (for non-servicemen, anyway) and which illustrates a realistic level of swearing for elite troops during a firefight.