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Gay Guild Recruitment Disallowed From WoW?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the double-standard dept.

Role Playing (Games) 514

Fireball394 wrote with a link to an article on the site 'In Newsweekly'. The article, entitled "Blizzard of GLBT gaming policy questions", discusses the application of a harassment warning on a player who was recruiting for a GLBT guild. From the article: "In her follow-up letter to the company, Andrews explained that there was an obvious misunderstanding and that she was not insulting anyone, but merely recruiting for a 'GLBT friendly' guild. The response from Blizzard was, 'While we appreciate and understand your point of view, we do feel that the advertisement of a GLBT friendly guild is very likely to result in harassment for players that may not have existed otherwise. If you will look at our policy, you will notice the suggested penalty for violating the Sexual Orientation Harassment Policy is to be temporarily suspended from the game. However, as there was clearly no malicious intent on your part, this penalty was reduced to a warning.' Blizzard's stance was clear that recruiting for a guild using 'GLBT' was inappropriate as, the company said, it may 'incite certain responses in other players that will allow for discussion that we feel has no place in our game.'"

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Okey dokey (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581077)

This cannot possibly backfire in any conceivably way.

Way to go, clowns!

Re:Okey dokey (4, Insightful)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581394)

Actually they are really acting within the best interest of most of the people involved. If you go out of your way to create a 'GLBT' guild and advertise it for all to see, then you, and your guild members are certain to become prime target for the rest of the server that are not quite as ok with the alternate sexuality as the guild members.

I'm sure if such a person wanted to create a 'GLBT' guild they could go to one of those forums mentioned in TFA and announce it there, having the effect of reaching a large fraction of the people they wanted to reach while keeping those who have no business with it out. Anything else is just asking for pure grief from the vast majority of the community.

When you consider how many players blizzard may have lost had such a guild come to exist, became publicized, then had all of the members harassed versus the few they will lose over this announcement you should see where I'm coming from.

Re:Okey dokey (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581601)

You are completely right.

However, the potential backlash from players and the media over a decision that (while defendable) will be unable to escape the anti-gay stigma would be far more damaging than just letting a few goofballs have their way for 15 minutes until it gets boring.

Re:Okey dokey (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581644)

That's a nice way of putting it. As a longtime gamer, I can say with assurance that there is a LARGE segment of the MMORPG player population who would not react with maturity and tolerance...I'm not saying that they're bad people, or that they'd necesarrily act that way irl, but when you add in anonymity and the kind of sexual purience you get out of highschoolers (who tend not to react well to stuff like that because they haven't really grown into their sexual identities bla blah), you're bound to get some ugly scenes.

Re:Okey dokey (4, Insightful)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581952)

Hmm... maybe I misinterpreted you, but it sounds like you're agreeing that if there's a problem here, it's not with the folks who want to start an LGBT--it's the puerile kids who haven't yet learned how to function in society. So the question is: why is Blizzard supporting the latter instead of the former? I'm guessing because there's a lot more of the latter, and a lot more, to Blizzard, means a lot more money.

Ok, so... (-1, Offtopic)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581096)

How long till we get posts from the GNAA trolls about this?

Re:Ok, so... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581275)

10 minutes, bitch!

Seems Standart (2, Insightful)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581112)

From what I have read, Blizzard is pretty tight on what sort of character names, etc that they allow. The decision in the article seems to be consistent with their in-game policies.

Re:Seems Standart (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581501)

So basically, we are looking at a don't ask, don't tell kind of thing?
Rimshot

Re:Seems Standard (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581885)

I suppose so. If people are staying away from overtly racey content, then I imagine that everyone will be happy.

Gay / Lesbian / Bi Trolls? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581115)

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Blizzard is right (3, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581133)

WoW is a fantasy world and they just want to take the issues of contemporarly life out of it.

It's not like a gay couldn't play WoW, as I'm sure thousands of gay people do play, but rather that recruiting people to a gay guild is adding unnecessary tension. It's like naming a guild "republican lovers" and trying to recruit people in to that kind of guild. I'm sure many people would dislike that too and I'm almost certain Blizzard would act similarly.

Re:Blizzard is right (3, Insightful)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581330)

It's not like a gay couldn't play WoW, as I'm sure thousands of gay people do play, but rather that recruiting people to a gay guild is adding unnecessary tension. It's like naming a guild "republican lovers" and trying to recruit people in to that kind of guild. I'm sure many people would dislike that too and I'm almost certain Blizzard would act similarly.

And what is wrong with either? I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time, if I am playing a game that takes advantage of teamwork, the best bet is to try and get players around you that have similar ideals, passions, ways of thinking, etc. This provides an opportunity for players to form deep-seeded friendships, which online games do for a lot of people. If my passion is being a Republican (or Democrat, or snowboarder, or whatever), then I don't see why I should be disallowed from forming a group of players together that have these similar passions when I am clearly not doing so out of malicious intent.

Re:Blizzard is right (3, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581666)

Because they are trying to foster role playing and create groups based on the characters rather than the players.

You can't be a Republican in a fantasy age. They don't exist. You can't be a snowboarder -- they don't exist. Your character does not snowboard, and there's no such thing as Republicans, so how can you form a guild based around it? Note that you could create a players association... this is specifically about in-game groups called guilds. There are no players who are members of a guild -- only their characters are.

And a thought just struck me... in the World of Warcraft, I'm fairly certain that Blizzard has not written sex into the actual game, so therefore it doesn't officially exist. You can't have a gay or straight character -- you can't have sex at all.

--
Evan

Re:Blizzard is right (0, Troll)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581345)

It's like naming a guild "republican lovers" and trying to recruit people in to that kind of guild. I'm sure many people would dislike that too and I'm almost certain Blizzard would act similarly.
 
I don't know... That might actually entice me to start playing, just for the joy of killing their characters whenever possible. I know there are plenty of others who feel the same.
 
Both parties are a bunch of morons, I would prefer to back neither, but the Democrats are closer to representing citizens (rather than corporations) in my book.

Re:Blizzard is right (2, Funny)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581429)

Obviously "republican lovers" would be just another attempt at creating a GBLT friendly guild...

Re:Blizzard is right (4, Insightful)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581468)

From TFA:

Sara Andrews has stated that she will not be renewing her World of Warcraft account due to Blizzards lack of support for a GLBT friendly environment, "It seems to be OK for general chat to be flooded with, 'That's so gay!' and 'I just got ganked! What a fag!' yet advertising for a GLBT friendly environment where we don't have to deal with such language is deemed inappropriate."

---

But I don't see any links about "Damn republicans! Stupid GOPs!" or anything like that. If done right it can be a positive thing, and people see that there are gay gamers [gaymer.org] out there. A thing more rare than women it seems. It doesn't have to be an isuse, it can be a positive thing. Instead of grouping with a bunch of people who just yell anti gay slurs and being a closet-case-ork.

The problem is the society, you can't take the issues of contemporary life out completely, and it never hurts to group up with similar people so you don't have to worry about those issues either.

What blizzard has done has simply left those issues in.

Re:Blizzard is right (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581738)

Blah blah. Right or wrong, "Gay" and "Fag" are common parlance of annoyance and insult with the younger set. I myself was quite enamored of the word "Bitch" which I applied impartially to men, women, and machinery. It's offensive to some people, but when it's in common use as a general purpose insult, you're just going to have to get over it, and wait for the fad to change.

Re:Blizzard is right (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581471)

Res Publica would be a great guild for a RPG, as would Demos Cratos. The guild in question wasnt Gay, but Gay friendly.

Re:Blizzard is right (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581649)

I'd agree if they are even handed about it- all guilds that they know about which are based on rl things banned. I doubt this is the case though- I know there were religious based guilds (rl religions, not rp ones) on several servers that Blizzard didn't break up. If you're going down that road, do it to everyone.

Re:Blizzard is right (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581774)

Christian Guilds are allowed.

WoW is a fantasy world and they just want to take the issues of contemporarly[sic] life out of it.

One of the issues in contemporary life is ostracism and bigotry. Can you understand why a gay person would want to leave those issues behind and have a great time gaming with friendly people?

Bad Analogy (4, Interesting)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581872)

There's nothing wrong with a gay guild from the perspective of total in-game immersion. Homosexuality is not something artificially created by contemporary society - it will exist in any environment where humans, and indeed other species, are present. There's no republican gene that would cause an elf to magically align his or her self to what is, compared to the number of possible outlooks on life, a relatively narrow band of thinking. However, where nature can only incline you to be attracted to one gender or a combination of the two, then probability says it is definitely going to happen.

Take a mythology with 10 races, all of whom are loosely based on humans. In total, you're going to have as many gays over all as, for example, dwarves. Your argument appears to equate homosexuality (an inherent characteristic) with any of a number of artificially defined concepts, such as religion or political alignment. If it's ok to base a guild around in game concepts, say all those who worship some in game deity, why is it not acceptable to base a guild around concepts which exist both in game and in the real world? Would it be a violation of Blizzard policy to create a race of herbivores? I think not. Why then is it wrong to differentiate between (loosely paralelled) homosexuals (herbivores), bisexuals (omnivores) and heterosexuals (carnivores)? If anything, denying the existence of homosexuality within the world of warcraft reduces its verisimilitude and only serves to alienate people further.

Good for Blizzard (3, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581149)

Why should a guild be limited to GLBT? What if someone tried to make a "whites-only" guild? The whole POINT of an online game is that you can get away from your real self and become another persona - a person's sexual orientation, race, creed, color, or taste in music has exactly jack squat to do with the game or the game world.

Re:Good for Blizzard (4, Insightful)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581243)

The whole POINT of an online game is that you can get away from your real self and become another persona...

So why can't this other persona be gay?

Re:Good for Blizzard (2, Insightful)

TWooster (696270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581714)

You avoided the question. That is really, neither here nor there.

A character's sexual orientation has no bearing on gameplay. If you choose to orient your online character as gay, that's fine, even though your character can't really get it on with another character (though, "cybering" might be the exception here). What they wish to prevent, I assure you, is becoming liable for not properly policing hate issues towards the people BEHIND the personas. Which is where a GLBT guild would certainly lead.

I'm sure they'd have no problems with guilds built around in-game character differences. You could have a dwarves guild or a magic-users guild. The moment you start involving anything from the outside world into the game, you're going to have to begin dealing with hate issues. A male-only guild, a gay-friendly guild, a pro-choice guild (hey, you can RP it, right?) has no place in the game.

On the other hand, "gay" and "fag" in public chat conversations should probably be limited. It adds nothing to the ability to communicate, and is breaking the RL/game boundary. And say Blizzard doesn't implement that, if you wanted to enforce that for a guild, you simply set up a policy, whereby players in the guild who do use language you deem inappropriate are warned/removed from the guild.

I'm siding with Blizzard on this one, though their response seems a bit weird.

Re:Good for Blizzard (3, Insightful)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581926)

So deal with hate issues by, oh, I don't know... dealing directly with those who are doing the hating, perhaps? The end result here doesn't make sense. This person's GLBT-friendly guild isn't anti anything, nor are they starting their group with malicious intent.

By going on assumptions that a guild like that may lead to hate issues, they're not doing anything to remove the true negative elements from the game. Instead, Blizzard chooses to limit positive social interactivity between benevolent like-minded gamers.

And by the way, calling people "gay" or a "fag" online has nothing to do with breaking any kind of RL/game boundary. It's simply ignorance and hatred. (I've been called a "fag" many times online, and I'm not gay in RL.)

I agree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581725)

All my female characters are promiscuous lesbians.

Re:Good for Blizzard (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581943)

Because there is no in-game sex in WoW. There is not even an in-game concept of sex. Characters have gender, but that's little more than a "costume" providing a body shape that has typical gender identifying characteristics.

Guilds are character associations, not player groups. (A player can have multiple characters, say a cleric and a rogue, but if his cleric is accepted in a guild, that doesn't grant his rogue any special status.) Guilds are for gaming concepts -- and there is no gaming concept of sex in WoW. You can start a rogue's guild or an Ironforge guild. You can start a We Farm URBS guild. You could start a racist "elves-only" guild or a "no gnomes allowed" guild if you want. You could even have a "no-girl-characters" guild, and disallow any female characters. But they're all character-based, and based on the in-game reality. In real life, it doesn't matter if it's a male or female player controlling the male or female character.

Re:Good for Blizzard (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581317)

Why should a guild be limited to GLBT? What if someone tried to make a "whites-only" guild? Intent.

Like the replier above me, roleplaying a gay barbarian archmage should be fine (if unthematic). The sexuality is based on the character. "Whites only" is a term being applied to the player, which breaks the fantasy setting they're trying to foster.

Aren't "no stinky elves" and "death to the horde!" guilds allowed?

Re:Good for Blizzard (2, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581329)

I get the feeling blizzard made a similiar assumption, but from what I can see from the original recruitment, it was just supposed to be a GLBT _friendly_ guild... so no ban on hetrosexuals in the first place. I am truely baffled why 'friendly' must mean 'everyone else is banned'

Re:Good for Blizzard (1)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581346)

The biggest gay guild in Wow (Roughtrade, http://www.roughtrade.ws/ [roughtrade.ws] ) is not EXCLUSIVELY gay as you are implying. They are mostly gay, but they accept any kind of players in it.

They allow... (5, Insightful)

Luthair (847766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581467)

Christian guilds, why should other communities be blocked.

Re:Good for Blizzard (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581479)

*sigh* read: GBLT Friendly it doesn't say only gays...it says its an organization that GBLT people can join and be confident that they won't have to deal with the insane ammount of harrassment that usually occurs when 13 year olds are sitting behind a keyboard feeling brave...

Re:Good for Blizzard (2, Insightful)

Brantano (908473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581598)

Okay, then what about the christian guilds? are you telling me that a completly gay guild is going to get more flack than a christian guild, in a fantasy mmo? Where people use magic (and we all know, according to most christians, harry potter and magic is the devil), are elves, and go around killing magical beasts? If anything a religious guild should be banned as well. But they wouldnt do that, gay people suck right, christianity is where its at. (sarcasm)

Re:Good for Blizzard (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581602)

Why should a guild be limited to GLBT? What if someone tried to make a "whites-only" guild?

This is a role-playing game. Just because you join the GLBT guild doesn't mean you are a giblet. Nor does joining a "whites-only" guild require that you be a white - it just means you play one on tv, er, WoW.

Re:Good for Blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581643)

I'm sure the reason for wanting a GLBT friendly guild has to do with the rampant amount of homophobic, racist, and otherwise antisocial comments that you get exposed to during your average session of WoW.

Guild chat, world chat, group chat... I experienced all sorts of off-color remarks during regular play.

Remember, especially when it comes to raiding guilds, you get to know the people in the guild, you spend hours with them raiding and grouping. I don't think it's too much to want an abuse free game experience.

Although the idea of a GLBT friendly guild is a nice one, the reality is that they'd be targets, so, Blizzard did the right thing for their own sake. I just wish that there was a better solution.

Re:Good for Blizzard (2, Funny)

DingerX (847589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581687)

er...there are plenty of "whites only" organizations both in WoW and in the US society at large. There are also groups implicitly or explicitly limited by country, age, political leaning or any other number of factors. But this is dumbass:

"We have determined that advertising sexual orientation is not appropriate for the high fantasy setting of the World of Warcraft and is therefore not permitted"


According to the letter of the statement, advertising a heterosexual orientation is also not appropriate, but clearly that's not what's meant.

And yeah, "high fantasy setting" and "sexual orientation" are completely inimical. I've never heard of any porn featuring "hot girl-on-girl action" in a "high fantasy setting". I suppose the rules are different when they involve real lesbians engaged in something like real fantasy life than fake lesbians in fantasy real life. Makes sense. After all, you gotta be straight to play the role of a gay cowboy.

In any case, while I understand the point of trying to change attitudes in a homophobic chatroom-with-spells like WoW, a gay clan could do more good in one of those PvP environments. Imagine the fun when the conservative parents find their nine-year-old bitching that he got totally pwn3d by a bunch of homos who ganked him, then repeatedly ass-raped him as he tried to spawn.

Wait a minute, how would anyone be able to tell the difference between that situation and what's happening now?

I'm confused.

Re:Good for Blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581712)

> Why should a guild be limited to GLBT?

Because often people on guild char make gay slurs (not intending to offend GLBT players, but just cuz thats how they talk). Casual slurs can end up offending players; and having a guild that is limited to GLBT atleast keeps guild chat clear from unintentional discomfort.

That said, it makes that guild the butt of jokes for the less sensitive individuals outside the guild.

Re:Good for Blizzard (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581801)

"Why should a guild be limited to GLBT?"

from TFA:
"Andrews' original posting read: "OZ [the name of her guild] is recruiting all levels ¦ We are not 'GLBT only,' but we are 'GLBT friendly'!"

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581155)

Let's see... because doing this MIGHT cause other players to harass and discriminate GLBT folks, Blizzard will head this all off by discriminating against GLBT folks.

So now you're allowed to go around calling other people and things gay, but refer to yourself that way, and you're in trouble.

Quality ideas here.

Re:Huh? (1)

The Infidel (708655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581251)

This looks to me like a direct result of overprotective political correctness gone awry. The rules were spawned out of the PC movement, and now it comes back to bite the very people who were supposedly victims of discrimination in the first place. Damned of you do and damned if you dont.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Muchacho_Gasolino (868337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581258)

The way I see it, Blizzard isn't really discriminating against anyone. Blizzard is saying that any sort of in-game establishment with a specific ideological, philosophical, political, or relgious basis for existence is not allowed. Discrimination requires that different categories of people recieve different treatment. I don't see that happening here.

Re:Huh? (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581736)

> Blizzard is saying that any sort of in-game establishment with a specific ideological, philosophical, political, or relgious basis for existence is not allowed. Discrimination requires that different categories of people recieve different treatment. I don't see that happening here.

I don't play WoW, but other people here have said there are Christian guilds so, in fact, there is discrimination, as you defined it.

Re:Huh? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581819)

People generally throw off on the christian guilds, imho, and Blizz discourages them as well. One thing about them though, is they tend not to organize on general chat, which probably has something to do with Blizz stepping on this particular group.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

Jherico (39763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581789)

The way I see it, Blizzard isn't really discriminating against anyone.
Blizzard has already been discriminating against people by failing to enforce their anti-sexual harrasment policy. As long as someone if free to hurl 'fag' or 'gay' as an insult in game, then Blizzard is fostering a hostile environment for GLBT players. And FTA, the person was recruiting for a GLBT friendly guild. That means it wasn't exclusionary except of course that you couldn't be hostile to GLBT people. You didn't have to be Gay to join the guild. You just had to think that using 'fag' as an epithet was wrong. Besides, Night Elves are very clear already gay.

Re:Huh? (1)

kchrist (938224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581261)

Right, rather than taking action against those who would violate their stated policies (when and if it happens), they're warning someone who isn't violating them in any way on the basis that their existence may cause others to violate said policies.

The mind boggles. Where do they find people who come up with stuff like this?

The ONLY question (2, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581281)

is "do they allow other guilds based on sexual orientation?" the Guild of Heterosexual Males? The Guild of White Men From America?

If so, then this decision is wrong. If not, then this is a nonissue and that's that.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

Godai (104143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581389)

Actually, they're quite consistent. They don't allow the discussion of sexual orientation in any way. This is in keeping with their desire to maintain a 'family safe' environment.

You wouldn't even be allowed to discuss whether Elton John is gay or not -- in fact, I know of a player who was suspended for 3 hours for doing so. Rightly or wrongly they've decided that rather than try to evaluate such discussion on a case by case basis they'd rather simply disallow discussion of the topic. This would include bannig discussion about whether or not Brad Pitt is straight so it's not discrimination.

Thus, it'd be hard to recruit for a GLBT guild without discussiong policy-banned topics. In the end, it's their game, it's their policy, and if someone is playing, they've agreed agreed to it. If someone doesn't like it, they're always free to not pay them to play.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581618)

Good point.

I mean, I am about as GLBT friendly as a person gets, but this entire issue just goes too far. In fact, it goes too far on so many levels.

Ok I understand the family friendly stuff... thats why I don't play WoW. I am offended by the familyy friendly nazis everywhere that I run into them. I avoid them. I don't like their viepoint. I don't agree with their implicit assumption that language or exposure to sexuality, or whatever is in some way damaging to children. Frankly, I consider their viewpoint stupid.... but I still respect it. I leave them the fuck alone and expect the same respect in return.

as H L Menken said "We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.". Words to live by in any area of life.

But anyway... GLBT? Good for you. Why is it so important to tell everyone and organize around it. Have your clubs, have PACs, get together and rant and rave and do whatever. Why must you (and I realise this is only a subset of GLBT people that I am addressing here), shove it in everyones face?

In fact, its a game designed to have people team up and work together and be social based on the game dynamics. Why bring in outside dynamics? Why form a guild of GLBTs when GLBT has no meaning inside the game at all? Your character doesn't even have sexual organs for gods sake! Do you really care that much if the people you play with are GLBT? Wats wrong with us straight people?

How would you feel if you saw a "Straight as an Arrow" guild? Wouldn't it seem silly? WoW isn't a dating site, goto match.com or some such and announce your sexuality there, if you really want to converse with more GLBTs... or go to a sci fi con or something.

This is silly. WoW was right. They did the right thing. If you don't like it, then play a better game. WoW kinda sucks anyway... City Of Villians now... there is a game.

-Steve

Re:Huh? (1)

Zanth_ (157695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581813)

Beyond the "WoW kinda sucks anyway" I think this post makes a lot of sense and cuts the heart of the matter. It's a game. A game wherein the characters, though male and female, don't have "parts" per say. This is not a relationship dating service. This is a fantasy game. Fantasy in the folkorian sense, not the sexual sense. I think people are simply too gungho to express themselves and in some ways "shove it in others' faces." There is simply no logical need for a GLBT's guild the same as there is no logical need/sense for a Straight only, or a White only, or Black only guild. Now if there was a human only guild or a wizard only etc. Makes far more sense no? Oh wait..there are such guilds...in a game where these guilds are rational and pertinant to game play. Blizzard gets my vote for making a solid and intelligent decision

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581390)

Blizzard will head this all off by discriminating against GLBT folks. So now you're allowed to go around calling other people and things gay, but refer to yourself that way, and you're in trouble.


Uh, no. They're saying it isn't a good idea to form such a guild, as it promotes a lot of hate-mongering. Additionally, if you'd read the blurb at all, you'd know that calling people "gay" or any derivative can result in suspension (rather than a warning).

Read & comprehend.

Re:Huh? (1, Insightful)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581849)

"you'd know that calling people "gay" or any derivative can result in suspension (rather than a warning)"

Which only serves to further stigmatize homosexuality by reinforcing the notion that "gay" could only be an insult. Good job, Blizzard.

GLBT? (0)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581157)

So what does that even mean?

Ultima Online still has them beat with a practising S&M guild

Re:GLBT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581500)

http://www.justfuckinggoogleit.com/ [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Re:GLBT? (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581513)

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender

Re:GLBT? (5, Informative)

gclef (96311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581560)

Gay
Lesbian
Bisexual
Transgender

GLBT (4, Funny)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581221)

I wish they could come up with a better acronym. I always read it as "Gilbert", which probably isn't the intention.

Re:GLBT (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581626)

I think that it is one of those things that varies depending on the coast. I've always seen LGBT as more common in the midwest. I always thought it should be BLTG so you can assosiate something most people like and can remember (a BLT) with the movement to generate positive association.

Re:GLBT (1)

TWooster (696270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581745)

For the longest time (when I was young, mind), I thought it was GBLT.

Mmm... BLT...

Re:GLBT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581950)

In Dutch, the acronym is "holebi" (homosexual - lesbian - bisexual).

Not about rights... (-1, Flamebait)

neocon (580579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581231)

Isn't the question of whether you like to do a little "brokeback mountin'" when your hands are off the keyboard completely off-topic to WoW? Aren't Blizzard, in fact, very strict about all sorts of non-game-related content [blizzard.com] in WoW guild and character names?

No story here, guys. Move along.

Re:Not about rights... (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581489)

So you don't complain about all the other players who use gay-bashing language, screaming "Faggot!" at anyone who pisses them off, and receive no punishment from Blizzard... But you claim inappropriateness when a GLBT group forms in an effort to counter this abuse?

I guess you think they should sit back down and take the abuse silently like good little homosexuals... I can't believe this received a +4 Insightful on Slashdot.

Re:Not about rights... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581607)

If we're going to start deciding what people can and cannot say, then we might as well submit to a police state. I have a right to call you a faggot, just like you have the right to call me a prude. I'm not saying it's nice to do so, and probably wouldn't result in our friendship, but it's still protected under the domain of free speech.

Re:Not about rights... (2)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581671)

Not to be an ass, but freedom of speech only applies to the government. Blizzard is free to ban you for using the letter "q" if they so desire.

Re:Not about rights... (2, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581681)

Don't be retarded. Blizzard has a STATED POLICY against sexually based harassment. They are perfectly free to censor whoever the fuck they want, and I have no problem with that. The problem arises when they fail to enforce these anti-harassment policies. It isn't surprising that a GLBT group would form in order to counter this. Only then do they whip out the "sexual orientation" policy in order to snub the group.

This has utterly nothing to do with freedom of speech.

Re:Not about rights... (3, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581695)

I agree with you 100%. Online gaming is a haven for homophobia. The amount of gay-bashing that goes on in in-game chats would be considered intolerable in even the most conservative circles in the real world.

A few years back, a small online FPS game [wikipedia.org] I used to play decided to extend its anti-biogtry policy to protect against gay-bashing. The backlash was severe, and many players left in protest after being repatedly kicked from the game for using offensive language.

Fortunately, the developer running the game stuck with it despite the many rumors circulated that he was gay -- I can't help but admire the fact that he never bothered to defend himself against the rumors. I think he eventually responded in an interview something to the extent of "No, I am not, but I don't feel the need to defend myself against these rumors because I find nothing offensive about it"

Gamers can be so immature. This is probably the biggest reason I no longer game online. These people give the impresion of being 13 years old, and you later learn that they're actually grown adults. Pathetic.

Re:Not about rights... (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581841)

So you don't complain about all the other players who use gay-bashing language, screaming "Faggot!" at anyone who pisses them off, and receive no punishment from Blizzard... But you claim inappropriateness when a GLBT group forms in an effort to counter this abuse?

I guess you think they should sit back down and take the abuse silently like good little homosexuals... I can't believe this received a +4 Insightful on Slashdot.
Where did he state any of that?

Finding it inappropriate for a GLBT guild to form up (reporting it) and finding it grossly offensive (thus, reporting it as well) that someone could run around screaming "Faggot!" are not mutually exclusive.

How the hell did you get a +4 Insightful?

Re:Not about rights... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581871)

That stuff is caught by the profanity filter, like most other obscenity. If you don't want to hear it, keep the filter on.

Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581283)

Can straight people join it? If no, then it's discriminatory. If yes, then there's no point to it.

I really don't see the point of a guild like this. Sure, clubs like this at Uni are a good idea, but why should your orientation be brought into a game that has nothing to do with sex?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581371)

I heard that they all fight like girls. But their thatched-roof cottages are faaaabouloooous!

Re:Question (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581387)

Can straight people join it? If no, then it's discriminatory. If yes, then there's no point to it.

What do you mean there's no point? The guild in question was advertising itself not as "GLBT Only" but "GLBT Friendly." Try reading the fucking article. Blizzard's stated reason for its policies is to prevent sexual harrassment of players. A guild which is "GLBT Friendly" is an inviting safe haven for players who feel they've been harrasses by other players based on sexual orientation.

why should your orientation be brought into a game that has nothing to do with sex?

Has it occurred to you that perhaps these players do not want to make their orientation an issue, but harrassment from homophobic players has forced them to address it? On top of that Blizzard is insulting them by claiming that their safe haven will lead to more harrassment.

Re:Question (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581398)

why should your orientation be brought into a game that has nothing to do with sex?

Take a look at the promotional art for any female character in the history of fantasy and tell me that's not true :)

That's totally different. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581652)

We're not talking about Elf-tang and the sublime exotic pleasures of inter-species love.

Blizzard is Lazy Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581333)

What it comes down to is that, Blizzard is (rightfully) concerned that going around proclaiming "gay and proud" is going to get you targeted for harrasment. Blizzard rightfully says such harassment is wrong, but they don't want to enforce their own policy. They don't want to spend the time kicking gay bashers. However I'm afraid that they're concerned that Pat Robertson will go on television and rail against the "gay satanic game World of War[sp]" and then curse them with a volcano or something.

I'm serious about that. I think they're afraid of pissing off whack jobs. Funny. Ambilence is wrong. Hate is good.

backwards blame? (4, Insightful)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581335)

I may have something wrong here, but it seems as though the company is blaming the gay player for harassment that might come from other players. That would be like banning women from playing so that men don't harass them. It seems pretty backwards to me.

Re:backwards blame? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581420)

I actually see this argument quite a bit in the 'should gays be allowed to have kids' debate. One of the arguments against is that children of gay parents will be harrassed more in school which will make it harder for them to fit in and therefore gays shouldn't be allowed to have kids.

Disturbing.. but not uncommon. And dovetails nicely with the 'if we tell our children to be nice to gays then we are telling them that it is 'ok' which is wrong' argument.

Re:backwards blame? (2, Insightful)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581510)

The company (Blizzard) cannot possibly be certain that the promoters of the guild are actually attempting to create a GLBT-friendly atmosphere. In the past, people have done similar with the intent to harrass any recruits or inquisitive parties (whose guilds have been shut down rather quickly, but the damage was done).

Re:backwards blame? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581847)

I think the argument is silly, but try reversing the situation. Would you support Blizzard if they nixed "straight" guilds, should someone try making one? I don't think either would necessarily be helpful in creating peace and understanding, and I don't think this sort of segregation is a good idea.

Re:backwards blame? (1)

Sunrun (553558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581873)

I may have something wrong here, but it seems as though the company is blaming the gay player for harassment that might come from other players.

You may indeed have it wrong. Replace the word "blaming" with "protecting" and the word "for" with "from" and you'll have it correct.

That would be like banning women from playing so that men don't harass them. It seems pretty backwards to me.

Yes, that would be backward, except that that's not an apt analogy. More accurately, it would be like preventing women from announcing that they're women in an environment in which it is possible or even likely that men would harrass them.

Re:backwards blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581965)

"I may have something wrong here, but it seems as though the company is blaming the gay player for harassment that might come from other players. That would be like banning women from playing so that men don't harass them. It seems pretty backwards to me."

Exactly, it's like Muslim women having to cover themselves from head to toe so Muslim men will resist temptation

Good riddance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581449)

I mean, come on, two Orc's having sex??

Gay people are just fucking wrong...literary

What I am curious about is (1, Troll)

Daysaway (916732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581485)

Individuals fight for Gay Rights. They fight for equal opportunities. They fight to be recognised as equals. Then they form a guild to spotlight the fact that they are different than the common society.

If you don't want to stand out in a crowd, don't call attention to yourself. There should never have been a guild in WoW that was allowed to recruit based on sexual preference. It is only a target for harassment.

Otoh, I can see how Blizzard has an express interest in keeping this sort of thing from happening. After all, the more accounts they have to ban for harassment, the less residual income they make. Although with their current numbers, tossing a few bad apples from the bunch wouldn't even make a dent.

Re:What I am curious about is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581645)

They allow the Christian community to recruit based on religion so why shouldn't they allow gays to recruit on the basis of sexuality. In fact sexuality is much more a concrete basis for a guild than some myth and a rewritten book.

Re:What I am curious about is (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581656)

Individuals fight for Gay Rights. They fight for equal opportunities. They fight to be recognised as equals. Then they form a guild to spotlight the fact that they are different than the common society.

No. Would some of you dense people read the fucking article? The guild was formed because WoW is rife with homophobic abuse. Yes, Blizzard has a policy against it but it is not enforced. And the guild is "GLBT Friendly" not "GLBT ONLY." What does GLBT Friendly mean? It means guild members can rest assured that they will not receive homophobic harassment from other guild members. It does not mean this is some sort of "gay sex club." Get a fucking grip.

Re:What I am curious about is (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581891)

Yes, Blizzard has a policy against it but it is not enforced.


Right. Which is why several people I've reported (for typing homophobic remarks) have gone to whine about their suspensions/bans on the official forums, right? Reporting people for improper conduct is the best way to get them disciplined for said improper conduct.

Re:What I am curious about is (1)

Jherico (39763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581894)

If you don't want to stand out in a crowd, don't call attention to yourself. There should never have been a guild in WoW that was allowed to recruit based on sexual preference. It is only a target for harassment.
You're an ass. The guild was promoted as being GLBT friendly. The idea is that you don't have to be gay, you just have to think that being gay isn't inherently wrong, and maybe that using words like 'fag' as an epithet you hurl at people who ninja your loot might be a tad insensitive, or even outright wrong.

And on what basis, pray tell, should guilds be allowed to recruit? If you strip out all possible real world ties, then all that's left is style of play and level of dedication to the gameworld. That's hardly healthy. I'm in the one of the Penny Arcade guilds because I like Penny Arcade. If PA suddenly gains a state GLBT friendly policy, does that make my guild suddenly in violation? Where do you draw the line? As far as I'm concerned, the line should be drawn at hate speech or offensive language. But since many consider 'fag' to be both of those and Blizzard clearly allows it, they're not even drawing that line.

Blizz owns WOW (3, Insightful)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581496)

They can do what they want with the game including make the rules, change the rules, and break the rules. Your options are limited to playing the game they way they want or not playing it. Accept it.

Many legitimate purposes for a GLBT guild! (4, Funny)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581517)

A GLBT guild has many practical applications in WoW:
  • Campaigning against Night Elves cybering in Ironforge.
  • Fashion shows, modelling, and finding pirate outfits.
  • Seeking out phallic landmarks.
  • Offering support services for gnomes abused by priests.
  • Paladins.
  • /dance
  • Parades through Stormwind

Re:Many legitimate purposes for a GLBT guild! (1)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581603)

Sorry if I offended anyone:
I did not mean to limit the campaign against Night Elf cybering in Ironforge to the GLBT community. It's a problem that all dwarves must face, regardless of orientation. I hope that many brave Dwarven communities from all walks of life will pick up the mantle against this horrific practice.

Two questions (2, Insightful)

vslashg (209560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581520)

I have two questions here.

  1. What would you want Blizzard to do if a guild started publicly recruiting with a "straight people only" policy?
  2. How is this any different?

Re:Two questions (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581630)

1. Shut it down
2. Because the "GBLT Friendly" guild allows straight people to join

Ratings (2, Informative)

manonthespoon (607414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581531)

The game is rated Teen and not Mature. I imagine that the Teen rating limits the sexual content of the game, and blizzard's Terms of Service reflect that rating by also restricting people's ability to discuss sex and sexuality in game.

Ultimately it doesn't matter if your character is Gay/Straight. World of Warcraft is not supposed to be a game in which sex and sexuality is a defining aspect of a character. I wonder how you are supposed to recruit for a Gay/Lesbian guild while not being allowed to discuss sex in game?

Anyway, the "why?" is the Teen rating. Blizzard may need to work on the "how?" especially since they seem to be just pissing more people off with their current policy of "Don't ask, don't tell."

Simple. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581586)

I agree with Blizzard that this is merely consistent application of their policies.
Would GLBT people object if I said "I'm recruiting for a guild, we really only want heterosexuals pls, kthx." Of course they would.

Personally, I think that's wrong headed, but I'm a freedom-of-association type myself. If I want to have a guild for blue-eyed tall people into bestiality and reject anyone else, what would be wrong with that? But no, once the formulation becomes general enough, people nevertheless excluded from the generalization declare 'victim' status and call the lawyers...

Re:Simple. (1)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581777)

Your post would make PERFECT sense, if only the guild in question was not allowing hetrosexuals to join. However, as was pretty clear to me from the summary (no I did not RTFA) they simply were GLBT _friendly_ - not exclusive. In other words, a place for people to go to escape the usual bigoted crap thrown around during online play. I'm hetro but if I played WoW and saw such a guild I'd probably join myself, those "OMFG!!!SO GHEY!!!" losers get very tiring.

If you want to go and form a "hetrosexual friendly" guild of your own go for it, you will be one of _many_.

My Two Cents (1)

Zonk (12082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581657)

A reason I could see for taking exception to this is the specificity of their objection. I've seen 'all female' guilds, Hispanic guilds, Asian guilds, etc. recruiting in City chat, and as far as I know none of those folks have been warned.

I can understand why these folks would be annoyed; Blizzard is essentially saying that simply by mentioning their lifestyle they're inviting harassment. Ergo, they themselves are harassers. While your RL sexual preference has nothing to do with your ability to game, isn't everyone entitled to group with folks that share the same interests?

It's a tough question.

Blizzard is right! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581805)

Everyone who plays WoW is gay.

Complaint based system (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581823)

Since I haven't seen this mentioned yet, Blizzard works off a complaint based system. That is, mods are not actively seeking out policy violations on the server. Players report players. Someone took exception to the recuitment message. You got griefed!

I read the second message as, "We messed up, but we are not totally backing down from our previous position." Company policy or uppity support tech? You decide.

gays... (0, Flamebait)

fashionfirst (949194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581892)

I sleep with girls and I'm a guy, I sleep with girls and I'm a guy, I sleep with girls and I'm a guy... Now wasn't that unnecessary? So are sexual deviates screaming in public that they perform perverted acts. If you're going to live a lifestyle that is against nature, sinful and basically sick to the majority of the world then keep it to yourself and you won't have problems. I don't see bank robbers and child molesters running around making guilds or having parades...

When I write my dark futurepunk MMORPG... (2, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581911)

I'm going to fill it full of gay bars, trannie bars, and the like. A core part of the game will be shopping in goth/punk/hellokitty type areas in order to equip your character with all the correct gear for their sexuality. Instead of Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic it'll have Straight-Bi-Gay-RichardSimmons... (yes, this is a joke). It'd get all the business that other games don't want.

I can understand Blizzard's POV - let's not bring these things into the game, it's a game, it's fantasy.

OTOH I can understand that some people might want to be with people who (external to the game) are like them. That's natural. It's like older gamers not wanting to play with punk 14 year olds with attitude problems.

Common Culture (3, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581922)

I, for one, think Blizzard is completely off-base.

There's certainly Chinese guilds, French guilds, mature guilds, and 1337 guilds; why not a GBLT guild? Being GBLT isn't about primarily about sexuality, it's about gender roles and common culture. Just as geeks have sites like slashdot, GBLT persons have common forums, movies, and books with which they identify to create common cultural references.

Defined gender roles and attitudes toward them have an integral role in any cooperative community -- real or virtual -- and I believe that it's perfectly reasonable to use this set of common beliefs to form a guild.

(Note: I am not GBLT, but I am friends with quite a few)
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