An Xbox gamer says his 12-year-old gamertag was destroyed because of the ligma meme.
Redditor CaptainOfAwesome took to r/xboxone to complain after his gamertag was changed.
CaptainOfAwesome's gamertag is Ligma, which he said he had used since the Halo 2 era on the original Xbox. He came up with the name for a character created in the first Guild Wars called Ligma Rensin, he added. He's even got custom controllers with Ligma printed on them.
A few months ago, Ligma started getting messages on Xbox from people talking about "some sort of sickness".
"Asking if I was sick. Asking if I got other people sick. References to unmentionable body parts that may, or may not also be sick."
This, it turned out, had to do with the word ligma being a meme. Ligma is a fictional disease that was used as part of a death hoax against Fortnite streamer Ninja. Concerned fans would ask what ligma is. The response would be "ligma balls".
For OG Ligma, the messages kept on coming. "It got to the point where I could hardly delete them fast enough. Some of these messages were not very nice, so I decided to make my profile private from messages (which has since been changed back to 'open')."
Then, yesterday, 24th August 2018, Ligma found his gamertag had been changed to "AngryKitten1025" after Xbox had received complaints about the Ligma name.
"I am confused to as why a meme that a streamer 'creates' can allow such action to be taken against someone who has been a supporter of Xbox for so long," wrote Ligma.
"I have nothing against streamers or memes, and I'm not claiming that anyone copied my gamertag. I just made the word up, anyone else can/could too! But, it's pretty uncool when Xbox/Microsoft can use any new meme to destroy a gamertag that's 12+ years old."
The post on reddit blew up, receiving over 36,800 upvotes and over 1500 comments, most of which were expressions of sympathy for Ligma's plight. It wasn't long before the thread caught Microsoft's eye - Xbox's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb posted to ask Ligma to send him an email.
"I can't promise anything but I can inquire on your behalf," Major Nelson said. "In the meantime please go through the normal Xbox Enforcement appeal process."
There's a happy ending to all this: it looks like Major Nelson pulled some strings, as Ligma updated his post to say his original gamertag had been reinstated (you can check out his profile on XboxGamertag.com). "I woke up to many messages from you guys that I had my gamertag back!" Ligma said.
But in a final twist, it turns out his wife, who has gone by the gamertag MrsLigma since 2011, has also fallen foul to Microsoft's complaints system. According to Ligma, her gamertag has now been changed and, at the time of publication, it hasn't changed back.
Come on, Major. Time to pull those strings again.