Jihad Al-Mofadda, a Saudi Arabian gamer who has been operating under the PSN handle “iJihaD” since 2010, recently had his account banned by Sony on the grounds that “jihad” is a violation against the network’s terms of service.
Following an email from the company, Al-Mofadda found that his access to his account, games, and other online services had been revoked. Upon further enquiry, Sony offered the possibility of changing the PSN username but once the company reviewed Al-Mofadda’s proposed alternatives, the ban became permanent.
As Game Informer notes, more than 9,800 PSN users currently integrate the term “jihad” into their ID and though it’s considered a derogatory remark in western culture, Al-Mofadda believes the true meaning denotes “struggling and putting an effort in doing something noble, good, and highly valued.”
Soon after news coverage and piquing the interest of the Reddit community, PlayStation UK stepped in to resolve the issue, eventually restoring Al-Mofadda’s account with a new username. Unfortunately, that means select social features, friends and possibly trophy progress will be wiped.
Here’s the latest statement from Al-Mofadda himself.
“Good news (Technically only OK news). I just got of the phone from Playstation UK, they re-offered changing the name and apologised,” Al-Mofadda told me via email. “Also said I still cannot keep my actual name though. And they said their name changing system has many issues!(What a nice thing to hear!) I will lose all my friends, might be trophies also and any social appearance or interactions! I hope fellow Gamers don’t have to go to the media to get their service handled properly!”
Now that the debacle is beginning to reach its somewhat messy conclusion, what do our readers make of this?