World of Warcraft's anti gay policy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Agathon, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #1
    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.
     
  2. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #2
    I saw this on digg (and the amount of childish homophobic responses to it was disturbing) and its bothersome. On one hand it is a private service so they can make their own policies, but the reasons they give for this is thinly lined uncomfortableness around homosexuality.

    Bothersome.
     
  3. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #3
    You should read the thread in the WoW General Forums. I haven't seen that much stupidity in a while.

    I'm not sure how the law stands on this, but I'd love to see Blizzard sued.
     
  4. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    VA
    #4
    Aha! I've always suspected spending hours on end in front of a screen playing mindless video games can make you stupid.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Location:
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    #5
    Can you privide a link to the forum?
     
  6. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #6
    Sure. I don't know how long this will last though. Blizzard has been deleting threads on this topic. The original thread from yesterday (which contained the facts of the case) seems to have been deleted (edit: no, it is in fact a broken thread), but the facts are in the link I posted above.

    The WoW forums thread:

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?FN=wow-general&T=6834854&P=1
     
  7. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
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    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #7
    I kept on going back to the link where I found it (digg) and kept reading through the comments. Most of the people on digg in general are chill about most things and don't like to cause too much of a stir but this one brought out some of the worst in people, I don't think I've seen so many intolerant gay-bashing posts in one thread anywhere. Depressing. :(
     
  8. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
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    Location:
    State College, PA
    #8
    I understand and see the frustation of the person this happened to.

    BUT, I also think that Blizz does have a reason behind this.

    If Blizz were to allow guild recruitment for gay guilds, then they'd also have to allow recruitment of straight guilds.

    Seeing "We are recruiting for a STRAIGHT guild. PST to join!" would send many gay folks up in arms.

    Really, this is a lose-lose situation.

    I know that this case the guild was open to non-gay members, but there are, and would be, guilds strictly for gay/bi/etc. In that case, there would also be straight-only guilds.

    That kind of sub-culture division does not belong in a game. One needs to put their sexual orientation aside when playing a game. Wether my guild mates are male, female, bi, straight, purple, or blue does not matter to me. What matters is that we are playing a game and having fun - all of which can be done without introducing sexual orientation.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    Unfortunately I have to agree with this. However, I also feel that the OP should report any hateful remarks or name-calling.
     
  10. Royal Pineapple macrumors 65816

    Royal Pineapple

    #10
    nobody is advocating having a gay only guild.
    we are talking about advertising the fact that this guild will admit members who are gay and treat them respectfully. end of story.
    they just like having a group of people who DONT insult, degrade, and ridicule them for their sexual preferences, not an absurd thing in my mind.
     
  11. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #11
    First. The person was not recruiting for a gay guild, but for a gay friendly guild. i.e. not a guild of homosexuals, but a guild which does not discriminate against homosexuals. So your argument simply misses the point.

    Second. Even if Blizzard wanted to deny gay guilds because of the possibility of straight guilds, the cases are not equivalent. This is a common piece of bad reasoning that occurs when people ignore the context. The reason to allow gay guilds and not straight guilds is that the reason for having gay guilds is because there is a fair bit of prejudice against gay people. There is no equivalent community prejudice against straight people.

    The same argument is raised when people argue against female only gymnasia and say that anyone who operates one should provide a male only gymnasium too. That's completely stupid, since the reason for having women only gymnasia is that women are (as everyone knows) by far the prevailing victims of sexual harassment in mixed gyms.

    The same goes for having space reserved for black students on campus. The reason we don't have space reserved for white students is that they don't live in a society where a large proportion of the population is anti-white.

    The lesson here is that different treatment is often justfied by the circumstances, and that ignoring the circumstances to promote a foolish and ill-considered consistency just misses the point.

    People who have to deal with significant prejudice are allowed certain things that the rest of us aren't in order to protect them from such prejudice. That's just common sense.

    No.

    No there wouldn't. To believe that this must be the case is the result of faulty reasoning.

    Except it isn't the gay people who bring it into the game. There would be absolutely no need to allow gay guilds or gay friendly guilds to advertise if a significant proportion of the WoW playerbase wasn't actively homophobic. The gay people aren't the ones bringing their orientation into the game: it's the thousands of teenage noobs who spend their time calling other people "fags" that are doing it.

    Create a Horde character and spend half an hour in the Barrens at peak times reading the general chat. You'll see why it is not unfair to allow gay people to have their own guilds.
     
  12. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #12
    Sorry, but there ARE gay-only guilds on WoW - to say there is not is just ridiculous.

    I also understand that the guild in question is a 'gay-friendly' guild and not strictly gay. But no matter how strict the membership is, Blizzard does not define a guild in terms of how gay it is. Any guild that is built around sexual orientation, in any way, is against their policy.

    Blizzard does not want guilds that cause seperation of their members bases on sexual orientation. That's really not that hard to understand.

    Just because someone doesn't shed a tear and agree with you does not mean their logic is faulty.

    The logic is very correct: Gay/bi/etc guilds WILL lead to straight guild. That is not only logical, it has actually happened.

    Is Blizz wrong for not wanting that to occur? No. What Blizz is doing is entirely correct, and I don't blame them for doing so.

    Having guilds based on sexual orientation acknowledges that there may be discrimination based on orientation in the game. By not allowing guilds based on that, you make it so orientation is not acknowledged in the game - which it indeed has no part it.

    Blizzard is not wrong in doing that.

    Thinking that game developers who created a game that has nothing to do with sexual orientation, should cater to one group's wants, is wrong.

    Sorry, but its the truth. If you can't put your sexual orientation aside when you are playing a game, that is your problem to deal with; it is not a problem for the developers to fix, or other players for that matter.

    If you don't like the things a member in the guild says, kick them out. Easy as that.

    You might want to correct the title of this thread too, as it is not an anti-gay policy. The same thing would happen to a straigh-friendly guild. WoW's policy is not "ant-guy" but "anti-seperation based on orientation."

    You are trying to twist a very small issue into a giant thing which it is not. You are trying to make a big "them vs us" situation out of one that does not exist. You are mentioning feminist rights, racial rights, and every other unrelated thing. If the correct policy of a GAME is your only vehicle to cause some sort of commotion, and attempt to get attention drawn to a gay rights issues is your only means, perhaps you should reconsider.

    It's obvious what your agenda here is. Sorry, but a game does not represent society, and by attempting to correct a game (that has done nothing wrong) you will not correct these "flaws" you feel society has.

    Sorry. Wrong again. If there weren't guilds advertising their orientation-friendliness, then no one would know who to call what, and orientation, any statement about it, or any acknowledging of it, would not exist. The gay/bi/l/etc guilds brought it into the game by advertising their guilds like that.

    Straight people don't have 'Straight-pride' parades; they don't go around advertising their orientation - they just dont. Straight people did not cause your problem. YOU did by bringing your orientation into the game.

    You cannot discriminate against other players' orientation until those players make their orientation known.

    If you would have done exactly what Blizzard wants and left your orientation out of the game, there would be no mentioning of orientation, discriminating or otherwise.
     
  13. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #13
    I suggest you go to college, because your arguments are so poor that you are in dire need of it.

    No it doesn't, but in this case your logic was flawed.

    Um... that's not a matter of logic, that's a causal inference. Causal and logical inferences are distinct. If you want to argue with me about that, go ahead, but given my background I will slam you every way and then some.

    And in any case, even if it was a causal inference, it is still false. If Blizzard permits gay guilds, and other people form straight guilds in response (which would be a causal consequence), Blizzard could simply ban the straight guilds.

    Have you actually played the game? Homophobia is rampant in WoW. You cannot go for 30 seconds in some areas without someone making a terrible comment.

    The reason some people want GLBT friendly guilds is because they don't want to join a guild with people who say that sort of thing. They may be gay... they may not be. I'm not gay and I prefer that sort of guild. It has nothing to do with wanting to base a guild on sexual orientation and everything to do with isolating themselves from the Neanderthal portion of the population.


    Um... the characters are gendered, have access to sexual emotes, and interact with NPCs who have romantic relationships. PCs sometimes enter in game "marriages".

    You haven't even played the game have you?

    It is not the truth. Stop talking rubbish. Nobody puts their sexual orientation or personal life completely aside in WoW. Guild chat is full of people moaning about their SO, their kids or their jobs. So is general chat on occasion. It's a social game: people like to talk. Yet apparently gay people are not allowed to do exactly what the straights do all the time.

    Again... you simply haven't played the game.


    And if you join a guild, and put weeks of work into it, only to have them boot you out when they find out you are gay (perhaps by accident) is fair?

    Why can't people advertise for a guild that has a policy of not allowing people to abuse people like them?

    It's obvious that you are an illiterate teenager who doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Other groups are allowed to advertise in game depending on their preferences. Gays are not. People have been banned for discussing their sexual orientation because they are gay, when straights are allowed to do so freely.

    So if you are gay, you aren't allowed to tell anyone, so that you can't advertise for players that share your own values and whom are unlikely to unload abuse on you.

    Uh... RTFP.. I'm not gay.

    You are a despicable bigot by the sounds of things. How dare those homos even mention their preferences just because everyone else is allowed to and does so freely?

    Straight people have no need to do these things because they aren't discriminated against the way people are. When was the last time you heard of a straight person being beat up just because they were straight?

    Now you are just repeating yourself. People do reveal their orientation all the time. It's hard not to. Your guildmates would think you were weird if you didn't. People talk about their wives, boyfriends and kids all the time. Apparently it's only actionable if you are gay.


    Look.. go to college... or at least finish high school. At least come up with some arguments that address the point at issue. What you have posted here is irrelevant rubbish.
     
  14. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #14
    Let's subsitute "race" for gay in your argument and see what the result is.

    Great.. so if you argument was applied to race (and there seems no reason not to, since the logic is the same in both cases), people would not be permitted to tell other people that they were African-American and preferred to be in guilds where people didn't make derogatory comments about African-Americans. All this despite the fact that half the population spends their time making racist remarks and assumes that everyone else is white. Black people offend them, and, according to Blizzard, it is better for black people not to advertise their guild as non-discriminatory, since this might lead to them being discriminated against (when they are already being discriminated against).

    Your logic is warped...
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #15
    Well I guess technically, if the organization wanted to be discriminatory, they might be able to get away with it.

    Though I'd bet they'd still get sued by gay and straight member who pay good money for it and are disgusted by the policy. But they are advertised as non-discriminatory, which is kinda false advertising, since they only seem to be protecting those that hate instead of those that are victims of that hate by pretty much telling gays to pretend to be something other than what they are or just say nothing. They don't have a problem with people being rude and mean to those who are gay putting their beliefs out there, but God forbid a gay person simply exist and be themselves and suddenly they are "forcing their agenda down everyone throats". Kinda like the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Wonder what ever happened to "live and let live"? Then again, this is a mostly anonymous internet gathering ground filled with teenage boys and immature people (present company excluded, of course).

    If people who have a problem with the gay friendly groups, why couldn't they just stay away? It would almost be better to have them advertised, so people don't get as offended in the immature groups and gay-bashers don't have to deal with those sexy young fags. ;) I doubt the negative publicity will help them, so I'd expect Blizzard to issue some sort of response that's better than the one they've given.
     
  16. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #16
    Blizzard's latest response to all this is to reiterate the policy as it stands, which is equivalent to "Don't ask. Don't tell."

    Homosexuality has been deemed a "sensitive" topic, so while everyone else is free to talk about general heterosexual issues, it is an offence to do so about homosexual issues.

    So good luck gay people. You are now no longer allowed to talk about your preferences in general chat because this might make other people harass you. So you have to shut up. Talk about blaming the victim.

    Well, I'm done with Blizzard. I'm not giving my money to a bigoted company, no matter how good their game is.
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #17
    Good on you. I suspect this may hurt them a bit if enough people get sick of it. It would be one thing if they were censoring everyone, but it doesn't look that way. I smell lawsuit.

    Oh, and why do I have a feeling that a lot of those who are so against homosexuality are themselves gay? :p
     
  18. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #18
    Well, they have said that they are censoring anyone who talks about religion or politics as well. Not that there's much prejudice on that account in WoW in my experience -- virtually nothing compared to the public abuse heaped on homosexuals. Still.. prohibiting people from advertising in game that they don't discriminate against these things is stupid.

    I sent them a blistering email which expressed my wish that their company get dragged through the mud by the media. This seems to be starting as the story has migrated to all sorts of places since I started following it.

    I love their policy about harassment. If you'd seen some of the anti-gay posts in the WoW forums today, you would be sick. Yet nothing seems to be done by the moderators, which just proves the need for gay friendly guilds again.
     
  19. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #19
    seriously i don't see the fuss about it ... so blizzard what's to keep out real life sexual stuff... that's fine with me...
    i simply don't see the relevance at all, after all you can choose whatever guild you want to join or make a own one ...

    personally i got kicked out of a guild because the guild master had a bad day.. i got kicked of ego shooter servers because i'm austrian ... etc.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #20
    They're a private organization right? Then they get to decide the rules. That's the right of a private organization. You're right is to not patronize them if you find their rules onerous.

    The SCOTUS found that the Boy Scouts had a right to exclude homosexuals -- which promptly led to many cities removing the favored status they'd previously given the Boy Scouts. That's how you deal with an organization that plays by rules you don't like.

    Or take this website for instance. Free speech does not apply here, as much as many would like to think it does. Arn, as the owner of the site, does not have to allow political or religious discussion if he doesn't want to (we're just thankful he does). It's his Apple Rumor site, if he doesn't want it plunging into flame wars it's his right (or his designee) to boot an offending member for no reason other than what they said. Such a member cannot go to court and claim they have the right to freedom of speech in a private, moderated forum.

    Now, none of this means I like what Blizzard is doing and how they're handling it. I can see the reasons for not wanting religion, politics, or sex talked about in what is supposed to be a non-religious, non-political, non-sexual game environment. It sounds like there is some selective enforcement of existing rules, rules being bent for hetros yet not for homos, perhaps some moderators who allow it to happen. I'm not sure how it all goes down since I haven't been big into Warcraft since #2 came out.

    But I'm sure Blizzard's moderators use the same rule of thumb our mods here do: if you are more trouble than you are worth, you will be banned. Not fair, but such is the nature of a private organization.

    I remember having a discussion with a friend who's a pretty committed feminist a few years back when she was distressed that there were still country clubs that were men only. Her position was that they should be forced to let women into their private club -- until I asked her if she would be willing to give up the right to have a women's-only gym.

    Hopefully Blizzard will realize on their own that they need to make some changes.
     
  21. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #21
    Agathon:

    Wow. Your ignorance is astounding.

    I tried to explain a simple policy to you, and with each post your apparent intelligence has plumetted to such a low as I've never encountered before.

    Suddenly, it is no surprise why you could not comprehend a simple policy.

    And just as sudden, you start attacking me as if I am the one who who did "this" to you. Every straight person is just your enemy, aren' they? That's precious, it really is.

    Perhaps you should stop living as if everyone who is not gay is out to get you; I assure you they are not.

    I never said I disagreed with the frustation this would cause someone - I said I disagree in saying it is wrong of them to do.

    I am not against gay-guilds; I am agains guilds based on sexual orientation of any sort. I don't want to see straight guilds in the game either. Coincedentally, Blizzard feels the same.

    So on that note, feel free to lower your pink flag of freedom and and stop fighting some "gay vs them" war that doesn't exist. Stop trying to make everything about sexual orientation and how you are such a victim, and see things for what they are - not for what the aren't.

    Have you ever stopped to wonder why you may have trouble staying in guilds? Perhaps it's not because of your sexual orientation, but your intellectual orientation (or lack thereof). I wouldn't want someone who tries to make a mountain out of an invisible mole hill in my guild either.

    And please do get all hot and bothered, frustered, and attack me in another post. You are SO close to making Blizzard change their mind - one more personal insult to me, and you might just do it. After all, you know I represent Blizzard :D
     
  22. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #22
    Coming from you that's amusing. IRL you couldn't hold a candle to me.

    Pointless rhetoric. Where's your argument?

    blah blah blah... I know... fool

    This is pointless rhetoric. You couldn't argue your way out of a paper bag. Come up with some real arguments, or admit defeat.

    I give this response a D- because I am feeling charitable.
     
  23. Agathon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #23
    The game is full of sexual content. For example: one of the male Tauren emotes is "Homogenized? Nah, I prefer women."

    No one can be punished for talking about their wife or their children, or how they think Angelina Jolie is cute, unless they are gay.

    The reason people wanted to advertise gay friendly guilds is that they don't want to put up with the masses of abuse from the rest of the community. If you've played the game, then you know what I mean.

    Blizzard's response is to tell them to shut up. It's equivalent to telling black players not to mention their race and not to ask that non-racists join their guild because doing so might cause racists to harass them.

    This sort of argument has a long and disgraceful history. It was used to argue for segregation.

    It's Blizzard's choice to do this, but they will have to face the consequences of being labelled as a bigoted company.
     
  24. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #24
    of course they can, the chances are simply smaller for them to being punished.. perhaps he joined a guild of 16 year olds who don't like grown ups in their guild or are all hating angelina jolie

    i don't remember a single time somebody got harassed for being gay(or black or being member of religion xyz in real life etc.) ... mostly people get harassed for being boons, complete idiots or members of the alliance or 3 combined

    seriously i don't remember why the real life sexuality should care anyways.. i play female characters by myself in WoW but i'm still straight ... i know perhaps dozens of players and yet nobody cares as long as you can play your character/class
    well that's it from myself but perhaps i'm not fitting in this discussion because i actually play the game because it's fun and because i want to prove a point or find friends
     
  25. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #25
    You do realize (which, I might doubt that you do), that you have not made one arguement, rebutal, or countered anything I have put forward, other than "Nope. Fool. Wrong. Wah...boo, Im crying" ?

    If you think I am wrong, and that you're some gift of intelligence, superior to all others, than prove it with something worthy of reading.

    You're a typical forum troll. Spouting nonsense about a non-issue, making a big deal of out some political/social sitatuation (that does not exist), and when others prove you wrong, all you say is "thats wrong. not true. no." - you never back up a single one of your claims with any kind of arguement, evidence, or counter-example.

    Yet you tell others they "can't hold a candle to you" and "couldn't argue their way out of a wet paper bag" ?

    Please kid. If you want to be taken seriously, especially when saying garbage like that, at least be able to back it up.

    You have been disagreed with the entire duration of this thread.

    In sincere gesture, I will offer you the last bit of advice I can - don't make yourself look any more foolish than you already have.

    So far we established that a) you cannot read b) you cannot comprehend things told to you c) you cannot discuss an issue without attacking others

    With that, it's safe to conlude you are no older than 13, don't do well in school, and draw no distinction between real life and games. Congratulations: you're a typical middle-school hooligan, mediocre at best.

    Put your ego back in your man-bag, do yourself a favor, and ****. You've been owned - it's been a pleasure, and unlike an unintelligent twit like you, I've got better things to do. I could show you how wrong you are a million different ways again, but you've showed how sensitive your little heart could be. Don't need you writing to magazines about how I broke your heart either.

    So here is a tissue, buck up, and most of all, shut up.
     

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