XBOX Live Updates Gamertag System

XBOX Live is updating its gamertag system to support additional languages and to allow users to change existing gamertags (something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile). The first gamertag name change is free for existing subscribers, but subsequent changes will cost $9.99 (presumably to prevent people from automating the system for fraud and impersonation purposes).

We are updating our gamertag to a 12-character maximum, Unicode-based name of your choice with an auto-generated suffix. We now offer 13 different alphabets for gamers, which support over 200 languages worldwide.

Existing gamertags will remain unchanged with no suffix and no action required unless the player wants to make a change.

New Xbox players or players who want to change are allowed to register a gamertag of their choice, up to 12 characters. If it’s already taken by someone else, we will assign a suffix with numbers to differentiate you from other people with the same name. We will also auto-format the gamertag to show the suffix subtly in a different font so focus will be on the name you chose but the suffix will always be shown. If you want to change your gamertag using these updates, your first change is free, but every subsequent change will cost the same amount we currently charge for a gamertag change ($9.99 in the U.S.).

Player Fails In Attempt to Sue Game Company for Muting Him

From Elansari v Jagex Inc., District Court, ED Pennsylvania 2019:

July 15, 2019.

AMRO ELANSARI, Plaintiff, pro se.


MARK A. KEARNEY, District Judge.

Amro Elansari sues a video gaming company located in the United Kingdom for allegedly “muting” him from playing his game. He pro se alleges the video gaming company deprived him of due process, free speech and human rights. He filed a Complaint using the Court’s preprinted form asserting claims against four Defendants but only alleges conduct by Jagex, Inc. He also moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. We grant Mr. Elansari leave to proceed in forma pauperis but dismiss his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Mr. Elansari asserts we enjoy both federal question and diversity subject matter jurisdiction. He only alleges constitutional claims. He cannot state a constitutional claim against a private gaming company precluding him for amending to assert a federal question. As he does not assert a state law claim, we dismiss the case without prejudice for him to allege a potential state law claim against parties who may have diverse citizenship.

. . .

To the extent Mr. Elansari seeks to assert federal constitutional claims against the Defendants based upon his being “muted” from his game, his claims are implausible. He makes no substantive allegations about how Shanghai Hongtou, Network Technology Co., Ltd, Shanghai Fukong, and Interactive Entertainment Co., Ltd. muted him from his game. While he alleges Jagex Inc., an entity located in the United Kingdom, muted him and denied his appeal, these allegations cannot state a plausible constitutional claim. The First Amendment and its constitutional free speech guarantees restrict government actors, not private entities.[11]Defendants, who are not alleged to be state actors, are not subject to constitutional free speech guarantees.[12] The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause “appl[ies] to and restrict[s] only the Federal Government and not private persons,” and does not act against a private company.[13] Mr. Elansari also fails to allege these private entities acted in concert with a state actor to violate his rights.

. . .

We dismiss Mr. Elansari’s complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state plausible claims. As it appears an amendment to assert a federal question is futile, the dismissal is with prejudice as to a federal question but without prejudice to possibly timely pursue state law claims in a court exercising personal jurisdiction over the United Kingdom defendant.

Feature on Soviet Arcade Games

This is a fascinating look at a museum dedicate to arcade games from the Soviet era.

With two locations in both Moscow and St Petersburg (opened in 2007 and 2013 respectively), the museum plays host to an wide collection of original video game and electromechanical machines, which not only showcase the uniqueness of Russian engineering and industrial design, but also reflect Soviet ideology of the time – their themes intended to provide practical skills (driving, shooting and aiming), rather than what might be regarded as more trivial pursuits like shooting down exotic invaders from space or saving stranded princesses from the clutches of oversized gorill

Soviet Arcade Machine
Soviet Arcade Machine