Game Eaters

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Blizzard tells GLBT-friendly guild to stop recruiting

An excellent opinion article on ShackNews goes into the details of this WoW situation. The comments are extremely unsurprising but still saddening, with a surprisingly large number of them stating that using racist or homophobic slurs is neither racist nor homophobic.

A Shacker and World of Warcraft player named James S. was aware of the guild in question. "I used to play on that server. Advertisements were merely of the form '< Oz > is currently recruiting members! We are a GLBT friendly guild!'," he states. "From what I recall (correct me if I'm wrong), nothing inflammatory or offensive." When I contacted him for further comment, he made the important point that MMOs are by their nature social games, and it is only to be expected that many players will want a place where they can speak freely, especially through private channels, about their lives.

In their attempt to protect players, the company has played it a bit too safe. In the case of Andrews' innocuous advertisement, it's tough to find any insulting language. In fact, language insulting to gays (and any ethnicity, and disabled people, and so on) runs rampant throughout chat channels in games like World of Warcraft, completely unprovoked. I see it every time I log in, any time of day, and it's disheartening to see it run rampant while Blizzard mismanages the situation by stopping legitimate guild advertisement. I do not suggest Blizzard institute a zero-tolerance censorship policy to compensate; rather, they should simply allow interested players to be aware of a guild that specifically does not want any part of that kind of insulting chat.

1 Comments:

  • There's been quite a discussion about this on Gamecritics.com:

    http://www.gamecritics.com/forums/
    showthread.php?t=10501&page=1&pp=15

    By Blogger Matt, at 3:39 PM  

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