This will stir up too much in the Games section, so I am posting it here. I am a World of Warcraft player, although I have suspended my account until the current batch of technical problems is sorted out (the service was becoming too erratic and I also needed a break after six months of hardcore playing). I am also straight and happily married. If you've played the game, you will know that there is a policy against using language relating to race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. in an insulting manner. This is a punishable offence in WoW and you can be banned for life if you are a repeat offender. So I was checking the WoW forums to get a sense of whether the technical problems had been fixed, and I came across the following. -------------- Apparently, Blizzard has an "invisible" extension to the harassment policy that makes it an offence for a guild to advertise itself as gay friendly when recruiting in general chat. For a record of the interaction between the sanctioned person in this case and Blizzard here's a link http://www.forumplanet.com/gamespy/topic.asp?fid=1422&tid=1832156&p=1 Even worse is that Blizzard is in print saying how their game is gay friendly. Reading around I see that this has happened before and some people report being warned for merely answering a question about their homosexuality in the affirmative. So it doesn't appear to be a troll or the actions of a rogue GM.. and even some of the player community reps (appointed by Blizz) are uneasy with it. For those that haven't played the game: the general chat channels and most of the others are always replete with examples of juvenile homophobia, especially in certain zones where the immature seem to congregate (like The Barrens). The kids are always calling each other gay or other people "fags" or talking about "buttsecks" and so on. It's no surprise that gay players want to join guilds where this sort of thing won't go on in guild chat, and also where they won't be booted from their guild if it comes to light that they are homosexual, which has also happened to some players (in my experience people always talk about their RL stuff in guild chat, so it is bound to come out sooner or later -- in any case no one is punished for talking about their heterosexual relationships). Note that this person was not warned for advertising a guild that is for gays only, but only for advertising a guild which had a policy of nondiscrimination against gays. If you read the email exchange with Blizzard (from the link above) you will see that their reasoning is that they want to protect gay players by not letting them talk openly about their sexuality in the game, and they are concerned because other players (read: fundie loons) might find the notion of someone else being a homosexual offensive. What the hell? That's the lamest excuse I have ever heard. It's like making holding hands illegal for homosexuals to "protect" them from harassment by bigots. I bet the real excuse is that they have no spine and would rather that people who are offended by homosexuality just don't have to deal with gays "pushing it in their face" rather than letting gay players advertise for groups that won't harass them. Gay people have to deal with enough crap as it is, and even more than usual in that game. Now they aren't allowed to explicitly look for guidies who won't treat them like garbage. And all this in a game where the platemail that female characters wear looks like a metal bikini and their dance moves come straight from a stripper's routine, and where female avatars often do strip dances for admiring throngs. Yet you're not allowed to say publicly that you want gay friendly people in your guild. Why would any self respecting gay person want to pay Blizzard money to be treated like garbage? Do you think it's OK to do stuff like this? I think it's an outrage.