How the moniker, Karen, got reinstated on Xbox

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Following notoriety that sees the name “Karen” alluded to the privileged middle-aged woman who has a penchant for looking down at people of color and asking to speak to the manager of serving staff, the moniker has seen inexplicable banning on Xbox for over a year. Here’s how a curious journalist unwittingly reestablished the appellation on the Microsoft gaming platform.

It all starts with one deputy editor at Eurogamer whose passion for Wasteland 3 led to a topic at Reddit that’s getting abuzz concerning one name—Karen.

Hero in the Making

Wesley Yin-Poole, the said editor, was glued at Wasteland 3’s subreddit for character build tips from other players. Only to encounter a thread about users complaining about why they cannot use the word “Karen” for a name.

Sparking his innate curiosity, as any journalist would, Yin-Poole describes what appears to be a series of inquiries. All to come up with the answer regarding the question, “Why is ‘Karen’ an unusable name?”

In case you’re wondering, no, this is not the case of someone else having “Karen” as a name before. One that would prompt the user to look for another name. Rather, this is a case of a community of gamers whose alias is anything else but “Karen.” Quite literally, no-one is “Karen” in this platform. At the least, nobody can.

Seeing It First-hand

But even before a series of questions have to be made to the right outlets, Yin-Poole has to verify the issue. First, with the PC version of Wasteland 3, which poses no problem. Then, to the PlayStation 4 version, which also did not show any issue. Until finally booting the Xbox One, which, indeed, displays an error pertaining to a certain “offensive name.”

“Potentially offensive names are not accepted, please input a new one,” the error claims.

Contacting Wasteland 3’s developer, inXile, did not necessarily get the answer to the problem. Themselves jokingly seeing the name “Polly” getting prohibited equally an issue pertaining to the foul-mouthed bird in their game. But the subsequent discussion on the topic led to a more appropriate source—Xbox.

Solution: Just Ask

As it turns out, even the people at Xbox were not aware that the moniker, Karen, is technically banned in the platform. This is despite the awareness that certain words cannot be used in it due to word filter of some sort. Which, funnily enough, has managed to elude the word “an*l” as part of the overall scheme.

Arising from the conversation, the word has “gone through a lot of channels”. Leaving everyone who heard the question equally as perplexed. However, as of yesterday, it seems that the name Karen becomes usable again.

So, there you have it. A story about a journalist’s inquisition that led to the reinstitution of the name “Karen” on Xbox. Inadvertently, his heroic feat. especially for the “Karens” who had seen infamy to their name undeservedly.

Image used courtesy of Daily Blast Live/YouTube Screenshot

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