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Blizzard Responds To Gay Guild Debate

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the something-is-better-than-nothing dept.

Role Playing (Games) 444

Edge Online reports that Blizzard has responded to the issues raised by a gay guild trying to recruit in public chat. From the article: "We encourage community building among our players with others of similar interests, and we understand that guilds are one of the primary ways to forge these communities. However, topics related to sensitive real-world subjects -- such as religious, sexual, or political preference, for example -- have had a tendency to result in communication between players that often breaks down into harassment." We discussed this story when it first came up last week.

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444 comments

A small difference (5, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607910)

", we prohibit mention of topics related to sensitive real-world subjects in open chat within the game, and we do our best to take action whenever we see such topics being broadcast. This includes openly advertising a guild friendly to players based on a particular political, sexual, or religious preference,"

You decide upon your political allegiances
You decide upon your religion beliefs
You do not Choose your sexual preference .

I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay

Re:A small difference (-1, Flamebait)

wolfmanXUG (747138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607951)

I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay now everyone should see this as a flamebait

Re:A small difference (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608039)

It's the truth, and is well supported through many years of research. You're entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to your facts. I don't think a factual statement deserves to be labelled flamebait.

Re:A small difference (-1, Flamebait)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608105)

It's not a fact. It's not proven anywhere. There are many recovered homosexuals you can meet who would be happy to shake your hand and tell you they no longer desire to sodomize another man. Mostly it is determined by a relationship to the subjects father, meaning that is it not genetic but conditioned.

But expecting moderation to properly label anything is out of the question.

Re:A small difference (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608228)

Once again, you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. The information you have is completely wrong. There are resources other than what you are receiving at your church, and I urge you to educate yourself.

Re:A small difference (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608322)

Amazingly, neither side in this thread has offered any facts. Go figure.

Re:A small difference (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608358)

i can't see how that is flamebait. just because it calls out the fact that homophilia isn't "natural"? wow, nice overreaction there slashdot. do pedophiles not have a choice? that guy that died because he had a horse sodomize him, did he not have a choice? was it so dominant in his mind that he just had to let a horse sodomize him until he died? no.

and if someone created a "straight guild" or a "homophobic guild" would people have problems with that? yes, of course

Re:A small difference (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608414)

Mostly it is determined by a relationship to the subjects father, meaning that is it not genetic but conditioned.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean at all by this. I do not know my father. Neither does a very close friend of mine. I am straight. He is gay. We grew up in the same neighborhood, were raised in a very like fashion, and even have many of the same interests (hell, we even work similar jobs.) I'm not sure how the relationship with our fathers (or more like lack of) caused this. He doesn't choose to be attracted to other men in the same way I don't choose to be attracted to women. I just am, it's not something I chose, just like I didn't choose to be a white guy. I control what I do in regards to my attractions, but I don't choose who I'm attracted to.

And how can someone "recover" from being gay? You can recover from the flu or from a bad injury. You don't recover from being gay, there's nothing wrong with a gay person, so there's nothing to recover from!

Re:A small difference (4, Insightful)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607977)

So what? Their contention has nothing to do with a player's choice in these matters. They claim (I'm not arguing for or against this line of thinking, just that your point is completely beside the point) that the topics mentioned are prone to bring up heated debate and therefore they don't want them in their game. No one anywhere in this argument is claiming that a gay person chooses or does not choose to be gay.

"I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay"
Prove it.

Re:A small difference (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608030)

"Prove it" is always my first reaction, but then I thought about something a little more banal.

I can't STAND broccoli. Something about it bugs the crap out of me. I don't like its taste or it's texture and it gives me gas something fierce. So I don't eat it. But do I chose not to like broccoli? I chose not to EAT it, but I don't actually choose not to like it. Seems like the situation would be better all around if I just chose to like it. So why don't I like it? Etc etc...

So now I just try to avoid shouting "prove it".

Re:A small difference (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608159)

An interesting point. By that same notion, I don't really choose a religion. I have a certain connection with God, I feel it, it's there, it predates even the notion of religion in my life. I can only assume it would be the same for someone being gay or straight or bi - they choose their behavior, but the preference itself is sort of built in.

However, I totally side with Blizzard on this topic. Starting a guild themed around any sexual topic is crass at best, openly advertising it in a public chat window is unwanted by the majority of the WoW community, and violates the ToS signed by the player base every time the game is updated. In different games this might be completely acceptable, I would approve of this in a game such as the Sims Online. But this is Warcraft. There's no sex in your violence.

Re:A small difference (3, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608111)

No this is exactly the issue , WOW is rampant with homophobic speech as has been conveyed to me by many friends who are addicted .
It is natural that people would want to avoid a hostile environment and try to become part of a community in a community where they are accepted and don't risk insult because of who they are , even if not directed at them it is still really irritating .
Imagine sitting through a conversation with someone who was insulting who you are .

As for proving it , well , I don't find men attractive ,simple as that .

Basically what Blizzard are doing is trying to keep them quite as they are offering a safe haven , in case it offends some bigots .. instead of tracking down the bigots .

Re:A small difference (0, Troll)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608165)

"No this is exactly the issue , WOW is rampant with homophobic speech as has been conveyed to me by many friends who are addicted . It is natural that people would want to avoid a hostile environment and try to become part of a community in a community where they are accepted and don't risk insult because of who they are , even if not directed at them it is still really irritating . Imagine sitting through a conversation with someone who was insulting who you are ."
Nothing in what you said has anything to do with whether or not people choose to be gay or not. Your initial diatribe made that assertion. I can just as easily say, "WOW is rampant with liberal speech as has been conveyed to me by many friends who are addicted. It is natural that people would want to avoid a hostile environment and try to become part of a community in a community where they are accepted and don't risk insult because of who they are , even if not directed at them it is still really irritating. Imagine sitting through a conversation with someone who was insulting who you are."

Your argument has nothing to do with whether homosexuality is chosen. Is your assertion that anti-Semitism should be allowed because people can choosen to adopt Judaism but anti-homosexual statements should be banned since, in your view, homosexuality is not chosen?

Re:A small difference (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608275)

I have an inherent interest in doing away with anti-semitism .So perhaps I am biased..
people can choose to become Jewish , some people are born ethnically Jewish as well , so that doesn't wash.
though Anti-semites don't give a shit about whether you chose to be Jewish or if your Jewish parents begot you .

I am not here to prove to you a common theory on Homosexuality , there is plenty of info on this for you to study , either at your local university library or on google even .
However what I am stating is that allowing bigots to use Faggot as an insult all the time , then starting on a group which is a safe haven for people who don't want to hide what they are and to avoid hatred .. is frankly appalling

Re:A small difference (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608418)

That's just the point. With biggots running around saying Faggot, then people who don't want to hide who they are [i]can't[/i] avoid hatred. And your statement almost implies that the biggots are encouraged. So because using the word faggot doesn't get you instantly banned, that means that it's allowed? Not exactly, it's just too easy for people to be falsely accused and too hard to catch everybody.

Hell, I call things gay or queer all the time, it's become a figure of speech only meant to brand something/someone as something it isn't/they aren't. A friend in high school used to call things hetero when he disagreed with them, so who's going to make the distinction of when it's a harmless comment or a hateful slur?

Re:A small difference (1)

iotashan (761097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608309)

Perhaps it's just a simple business decision... There are 5-6x more bigots than non, so instead of banning over half their user base, they'd rather ban a small percentage.

This post is just something to provoke thought. I did not research and my numbers are just an example.

Re:A small difference (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608420)

I quite agree with you , it most likely was a business decision, Fiscally it probably makes a lot of sense , ethically however it is rather untoward .
Had they been honest about it , I would have a little more respect for them . They are however selectively choosing when to enforce their own rules , if you make rules then stick by them ..

this entire story is by it's nature pure flame-bait , I am not trying to incite a flamewar here , only state my views on the apparent hypocrisy .

Re:A small difference (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608009)

No one chooses to be a gay nigger. They are born both nigger and gay. I suggest you try starting a gaynigger guild and see how far you get.

Re:A small difference (5, Insightful)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608069)

You decide upon your political allegiances You decide upon your religion beliefs You do not Choose your sexual preference . I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay So what? Nobody choose to be black either (just ask Chris Rock =-) ), but if you had a "Black people friendly" group, I bet they'd have some issues as well. Or to head the other direction... a "White male friendly" group would probably get near universal scorn. You choose to publicly profess what you are in places you know that could offend. You don't choose what you are. The hair on my left arm is slightly darker than on my right. I don't choose that. That is how I am. Does that mean that I have to create a "Lopsided arm-hair color friendly" guild?

Re:A small difference (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608143)

It does if you happen to be gay and half the things other people playing the game say is "OMG U R GAY U FAG LOL."

Re:A small difference (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608261)

> OMG U R GAY U FAG LOL

Which rearranged can say "FOAL GULAG RUG GOY"

I don't even want to guess what these people are really into... Lesbian Russian Jewish Cowboys?

Re:A small difference (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608072)

It has never been proven that people are born gay.

Re:A small difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608343)

How is that a troll? Point me to hard proof that people are born gay if it is really true.

Re:A small difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608090)

i agree with wolfmanXUG, your point (right, wrong or otherwise) really has nothing to do with blizzard's statement.

Re:A small difference (2, Insightful)

frikazoyd (845667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608094)

The point was made in a previous thread that Race (which you do not choose) is equally as charged, and if a guild was started that advertized itself as "Black friendly" or "Hispanic only", they would probably receive the same warning.

Re:A small difference (2, Insightful)

tringstad (168599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608109)

You decide upon your political allegiances
You decide upon your religion beliefs
You do not Choose your sexual preference .

I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay

Actually, all 3 of those are preferences, and could be better stated as:

You declare your political allegiances based on your political agenda.
You declare your religious affiliation based on your religious beliefs.
You declare your sexual orientation based on your sexual desires.

I could no more choose to be Republican or Muslim than I could to be Homosexual.

Not that there is anything wrong with being Muslim or Homosexual.

-Tommy

P.S. I think Blizzard is wrong, but then, I think they're wrong about a lot of things when it comes to managing the community, which is why I quit.

Re:A small difference (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608140)

You decide upon your religion beliefs

That one's debatable, too.

I didn't choose to become a believer in Christ; God chose me.

Re:A small difference (0)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608368)

No you had a choice , Just as I had a choice to follow the my Jewish religious side or not .You are not forced to follow the will of G-d , you are however bound by your sexual preference in who you find attractive.
This would normally not be an issue as people have stated above with their polices saying no groups about any thing of that nature .. but the rampant homophobia in game is ignored whilst people wishing to avoid it are castigated

Re:A small difference (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608192)

"You do not Choose your sexual preference "

I don't see how that's relevant to the restriction.

But if you think that's relevant, how about pedophiles - should they be forced to abstain from practising their sexual preferences (in a consensual way of course) because of society's disapproval?

Should a Pedophile Guild be allowed?

Re:A small difference (1)

panthro (552708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608241)

There is no question of right or wrong here. Blizzard is not trying to be a moral compass or a public censor, they're just doing what they think will draw and keep customers. Evidently, they reasoned that not disallowing gay guilds would indirectly result in harassment (either by or against such guilds), ultimately losing them customers, and that they would lose fewer customers by simply censoring them out, figuring most gay people can get along just fine without a gay guild. Whether or not it's right or by choice or whatever is irrelevant -- all that matters is the bean counters' bottom line inside a specified time frame.

Although I am absolutely against censorship and whatnot, remember that this is an opt-in, paid service. Your 'rights' are only determined by what Blizzard thinks they have to do in order to continue maximizing profits. If you don't like it, you can stop playing World of Warcraft. Blizzard's only responsibility is to their shareholders, which translates into a responsibility to minimize the number of people who don't like it.

No homophiles, coprophiles, pedophiles, necrophile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608266)

No homophiles, coprophiles, pedophiles, necrophiles. WoW is about gaming not deviant sexual practices. There are other forums for that.

Re:A small difference (5, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608279)

You do not Choose your sexual preference .

Obviously, it's not that black-and-white. Sure there are gays who were "born gay", but it seems quite obvious to me that there are people who choose or are influenced to be homosexual.

Anecdote: A woman I know gave up on men after a third date rape. She started experimenting with women and is now happy in a long-term relationship with a woman. She admitted to me that she still finds men attractive, but she refuses to let herself be hurt again. She considers herself to be gay now.

There are plenty of cases where gay people didn't grow up feeling "different" or "out of place" or just knowing that they were gay. I know of gay men who went straight...I recall a Christian musician I heard about a while back who was gay, found religion, and is now happily married and raising children.

There's no one "cause" of homosexuality. Genetics, environment, and experiences all contribute to how a person is sexually attracted to others. Just look at the varying definitions of beauty in different cultures...what is attractive in one place is disgusting in another.

Re:A small difference (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608357)

I no more chose to be straight than a gay person chose to be gay

And what does this have to do with grinding a political axe on an MMORPG?

You can't even fuck on WoW, so what's the point?

-jcr

Bullcrap. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14607925)

I don't buy Blizzard's response.

I see tons of pro-Christian conversations and Guild named all night long when I play. Blizzard never shuts them the hell up or takes action to remove these offensive-to-me names.

Blizazard's perception is that of homophobes. I can't see them any other way with this type of behavior.

- Posting anonymously so their GMs don't *find* some reason to kick me out of the game.

Re:Bullcrap. (3, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607959)


I see tons of pro-Christian conversations and Guild named all night long when I play.

You mean like these people? [landoverbaptist.org] ...

From their website:
"I think the reason so many people are open to hearing about Jesus in the World of Warcraft is because the majority of people who play the game are lonely kids who don't have any friends. I doubt any of them play sports [landoverbaptist.org] so you can pretty much guess that there are lots of gay boys [landoverbaptist.org] and fat little pale-faced Wiccan girls [landoverbaptist.org] on the servers who hate themselves and escape into virtual characters so they don't have to deal with their pathetic lives. When they hear that someone loves them, even if it is just the Lord Jesus Christ, they always want to hear more!"


If you think that was funny, try checking out the links!

Do do you know that site's a spoof, right? (3, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607991)

And anyway... I can understand Blizzard's positon. I mean, you wouldn't be able to use 'camping fag' as an insult anymore, and that could cause the world of online gaming to grind to a halt.

It's a satire, everyone . . . (2, Informative)

James_Aguilar (890772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608102)

Just making sure . . . you realize that that website is a satire, right? I think the polemicized Slashdot population might not realize that. It's not a real church. Not that there aren't Christians who really think like that, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they are a minority.

Re:Bullcrap. (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608272)

Yes, of course it's bullcrap. I mean, listen to what they are actually saying. They are saying that granting homosexuals a guild that is explicitly friendly towards them would cause these people to be a target of harassment. So they are saying that WoW is an environment that is inherently hostile towards homosexuals, and the only thing stopping a homosexual from being harassed is that nobody knows they are. Joining a "GBLT friendly" guild would be like "coming out of the closet", and the only way to stay safe is to stay in the closet.

Just like in real life. And having a support group in real life is a bad idea for the same reasons, people might find out who you really are and harass you. So keep it a secret and don't get any support... that's obviously the answer to intolerance. [/bitter sarcasm]

Yet it's exactly how WoW isn't real life that makes this argument even more stupid. Having a GBLT-friendly guild is exactly how you would get around harassment in WoW. If you have your guildmates, then you don't need to worry about random strangers to try to get groups. If someone outside your guild trys to harass you for being in your guild, then you just /ignore them. I /ignore jackasses all the time, and once you've done that what on earth can they do to you?

If you penetrate the crap and look at what Bliz's real motivations are, I'm pretty sure that really they don't want to be seen as truly "gay friendly" for fear of losing the demographic who sees "gay friendly" as basically "Satan friendly". Yet they don't want to lose the actual gay-friendly demographic either, so they toss out this half-assed excuse for why this is really all about tolerance and preventing harassment.

Re:Bullcrap. (1)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608306)

Are they carrying out their conversations in one of the public chat channels, and do you report them, with specific reasons why it offended you (ideally directly related to the topics mentioned in thier policies), often?

The problem which happened here, is that somewhere along the line someone likely lodged a complaint about this guild. And, due to the extremely strict wording of Blizzard's policies, they had to take action (although in this case it was the lightest action they could). If you raise enough of a stink I'm sure you could get these other guilds into a spot of bother too. They're bound by their own policies to try and prevent people feeling uncomfortable due to this sort of thing, if you and others actively report it I'm sure they'd feel compelled to do something about it.

Re:Bullcrap. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608365)

"I see tons of pro-Christian conversations and Guild named all night long when I play. Blizzard never shuts them the hell up or takes action to remove these offensive-to-me names. "

What are the names that are offensive to you?

Should Blizzard also take action on people who use offensive (to Christians) words and phrases like God/Jesus (as an expletive), or Jesus-f'ing-Christ?

How about if people did the same thing to the name of Muhammad whom the Muslims revere? Should Blizzard take similar action too?

Consequence? (5, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607934)

This argument is sometimes used to justify prejudicial behavior. In this case, it's being used to try to prevent it, and it's still wrong. Basically, "she was dressed like a whore, so she deserved to get assaulted" is the line of reasoning being used.
If the guild's recruiting has the -potential- to incite prejudicial comments among the immature and clueless, then they shouldn't be allowed at all? No. It's always the transgressor's fault. Always.

Re:Consequence? (1)

frikazoyd (845667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608161)

I think that Blizzard approached this from a business standpoint rather than a "100% fair to everyone and true to real life" standpoint.

Consider:
1: This decision takes far fewer man hours to police than it would to police the trolls and attackers. Fewer man hours means fewer men, and thus fewer GMs you have to pay.
2: Blizzard makes everyone agree to a EULA, and they own your character and are able to set all rules and interpret them as they wish. And while anyone can argue and point their fingers, Blizzard still has millions of subscribers and will still make a hojillion dollars. If everyone started quitting WoW they might change their stance (since it hits them where it hurts), but I don't see that happening.

Re:Consequence? (2, Insightful)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608273)

Preventing people from dressing like a whore in a private establishment in order to prevent sexual assault seems perfectly reasonable to me. It has nothing to do with whose fault it is.

Sensitive. (4, Insightful)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607958)

It's really a sensitive topic. It'd be like having a guild comprised of black or black-friendly people. It would prompt political debate on whether or not black people should be able to live without asshole rednecks declaring jihads on their asses. Same thing with gays.
And, really, who wants an argument?

Re:Sensitive. (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608047)

I am with this guy! if Blizzard really wanted to be PC then they would abolish all guilds not just a gay one. I was on a Dragon Ball guild on City Of Heroes. i knew people that would bash us becasue "only kids" watch DBZ.. Now if we wanted to sit in the main city and recruit people then who says we cant? thats right no one. but if our guild was about gays, or transgender or somehting else would the CoH people stop us? ir is this just a stupid WoW thing? i really dont get how in this day of PC and stuff how they can say hey you in you cant tell people that you like the same sex.

Re:Sensitive. (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608329)

So do you also think that Blizzard should be fine with a whites-only guild? Or, specifically, an asshole rednecks-only guild? Would the resulting inevitable debate/argument/fight/flamewar between the various guilds, overall, help or hurt the game? Would it, overall, help or hurt Blizzard's profits?

This is not a troll or a flame, I'm completely serious.

Re:Sensitive. (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608437)

"So do you also think that Blizzard should be fine with a whites-only guild?"

Of course not. The whole point is that there should be no mention of any real-world issues that could be disagreed upon in the game.
I mean, this is a community spanning millions of subscribers, all intent on reaching their next level, not a group of humans who want to discuss real-world issues. They're not MMOing because they want to interact with people, it's just the immersive leveling system that draws them in.

What a maroon (0, Flamebait)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607987)

If this guy used any more grovelling, shameless weasel words in that pathetic excuse for an excuse, he would surely have reverted back to the protoplasmic ooze from which he is comprised.

Same enforcement? (4, Insightful)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607994)

With that small bit of clarification - "religious, sexual, or political preference" - I wonder if they actually enforce this policy uniformly for all of the above. Do they shut down guilds that align themselves with Christians, Jews, Islam, libs/dems, left/right, etc? If not, then you've gone from potential harassment and being singled out by other players to definite harassment and being singled out by Blizzard.

Re:Same enforcement? (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608214)

I've yet to see someone attempt to start such a guild. But I'm sure someone trying to start say a Christian Right guild, or a Pro Life guild, would meet similar opposition. If you want to form a social group regarding such things, there are plenty of more appropriate places to do it than in a fantasy world game.

Well, I guess my only question is (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608007)

To promote a positive game environment for everyone and help prevent such harassment from taking place as best we can, we prohibit mention of topics related to sensitive real-world subjects in open chat within the game, and we do our best to take action whenever we see such topics being broadcast. This includes openly advertising a guild friendly to players based on a particular political, sexual, or religious preference, to list a few examples. For guilds that wish to use such topics as part of their recruiting efforts, our Guild Recruitment forum, located at our community Web site, serves as one open avenue for doing so.
I don't play WoW, so I don't have any way to know: Is this actually Blizzard's policy? Or is this just a selectively enforced rule that's getting brought down in this one particular case? What does happen to political/religious guilds when they advert? For example, I'm pretty sure there existed at least one time a Christian guild on WoW; did Blizzard treat them this way?

If this really is the policy that applies to everyone and Blizzard's just saying "keep to the guild recruitment forum", that's really just kind of reasonable and I can't really get upset about this. But if the GLBT guild is getting slammed with rules that no one else is obligated to follow, that's unconsciable and I'm amazed Blizzard would act in a way that's such an overt slap in the face to a nontrivial portion of their members.

So why no action against the other guilds? (5, Insightful)

quantax (12175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608013)

... sensitive real-world subjects -- such as religious, sexual, or political preference, for example -- have had a tendency to result in communication between players that often breaks down into harassment.

So my question is, why haven't they taken any action against the Christian guilds? Nothing against Christian guilds, but they obviously exist and it seems no action has previously been taken regarding their existence before this GLBT debacle. Personally, I think Blizzard is blowing this issue since they never took action on 'sensitive real-world subjects' before this point, atleast with religious guilds, so it definitely seems that they are applying a double-standard here. Given the immature atmosphere of any online game, having a guild of like-minded folk whos first reaction to any intelligent piece of personal information is NOT to curse and mock the individual, well, that seems like something that should be encouraged rather than dismissed. Otherwise, Blizzard should start the Great Guild Purge of 2006 and get cracking on those religious guilds (and if they exist, political guilds, never seen any though) as well as any other 'sensitive real world topics' instead of their current method of selective enforcement.

Re:So why no action against the other guilds? (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608202)

They typically respond to "reports" of rule-breaking, as they don't have a team large enough to be proactively monitoring everyone all at once.

Re:So why no action against the other guilds? (1)

quantax (12175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608301)

I understand what you are saying but given that Christian groups have been around as long as WoW has been out and are quite open about their own existence (what player hasnt noticed them), why has Blizzard not even once tried to enforce this rule upon them? Its possible they did and no one heard about it, but thats something of a moot point since we just do not know unless Blizzard says they did. From the context of the entire thing, especially with Christian groups in such prominence for this long, it comes off pretty strongly that Blizzard is selectively applying its rules here.

Re:So why no action against the other guilds? (3, Interesting)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608236)

You must remember that Blizzard was not objecting to the existence of a GBLT guild, but rather to the public recruiting thereto.

IANA WoW Player, so I can't say whether or not these "Christian" guilds recruit as openly as the GBLT guild. In Blizzard's view (and, incidentally, in mine), it's irrelevant. If Christians were a hated minority, and I were a member of a Christian guild, I would also be hesitant to advertise/recruit openly.

Although it seems (and may be) discriminatory, we have to keep in mind a few things. First of all, this is a computer game. And like someone else already mentioned, Blizzard wants to keep the focus of the game on the gameplay, and not on the politics/religion/race/sexual orientation of the players. The intent of the game is NOT to recreate real life, but to create a fantasy world, and effectively entertain the players.

Secondly, Blizzard has a lot to lose from allowing a free-for-all on their forums & servers. Yes, we should encourage tolerance and understanding, but a fantasy online world is probably one of the worst places to do so. Besides, by allowing the free-for-all that would probably ensue if they maintained a hands-off approach, the persecuted members would probably leave because the harrassment ruined the game, some of the persecuters would leave out of disgust that Blizzard allowed the persecuted, and everyone would be a little turned off by the inevitable flamewars.

Thirdly, you must remember that Blizzard owns WoW. It's a business. And their priority is to make money. If that means asking some players with unpopular real-world views or characteristics to keep said views or characteristics to themselves in order to keep more people happy and paying, so be it. They are not infringing on those players' rights to free speech elsewhere, or their religion/race/sex/orientation/whatever in real life. It's a private institution, and they can set and enforce the rules as you see fit.

Re:So why no action against the other guilds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608284)

It's a private institution, and they can set and enforce the rules as you see fit.

Well in other countries we have laws that prevent discrimination, so Blizzard might not be-able to enforce rules in a discriminatory manner.

Re:So why no action against the other guilds? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608390)

It's a private institution, and they can set and enforce the rules as you see fit.

And we are free to say it's a shitty move.

I'm with you though. I don't think businesses should have the government telling them who they should and shouldn't hire. If they don't want to hire people with red hair or black skin, that's their business.

But that doesn't mean we have to like it, and we can and should speak against them if we disagree. Once you get to the point of passing a law to force them to stop, that's going to far.

I agree with Blizzard (4, Insightful)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608050)

It's a game - the reason you're playing it is to escape reality. Why would you try and bring real world issues into it? Just shutup, and enjoy the game. Blizzard certainly has two feet to stand on regarding this issue. Do you really want to see a guild war between the Pro Lifes and the Pro Choices?

Re:I agree with Blizzard (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608112)

hell yeah i would like to see that battle. i see where you are coming from about the excape from reality. but in the end an online game is to play and meet people with similar interests. so if i wanted to meet up with people that are also anti-religon then i should be able to have a god is dead guild. if i wanted my guild to then kick the butt of the jesus loving freaks than that would be a fun game. Or blizzard can do what SoE did with Final Fantasy XI was just give the gay comunity a whole server to play on.. ie: the Fairy server. no matter where you go reality will catch up to you. if you want to excape then play a game of cards by your self in a closed room with no windows.

Re:I agree with Blizzard (1)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608190)

I agree with everything you've said. I guess what I kind of meant to say, is that I don't see grounds for anyone being furious with Blizzard on a serious level. You can make a case that you should be able to express yourself however you like, but I don't think that Blizzard trying to keep certain subjects out of the forefront of the game puts them in the same league as China censoring the internet. People need to remember that it's a game. And now that you do mention it, I'd kind of like to see that fight too...

Re:I agree with Blizzard (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608252)

yeah you are so right there. i am sure they are trying to keep it out.. but on the other hand any news is good news for them i think. as long as WoW is in the head lines then they are happy i think.

Lazyness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608087)

Personally, I think MMORPGs should make every effort to allow people to group together in any way they want. Gay, anti-gay, pro or anti-(*insert*race*here*), political or whatever. They already have a TOS that forbids harrasment of other players, but they (Blizzard) don't want the headache of enforcing it. Easiest way out: ban anything controversial.

In the end, they are excluding certain individuals and groups, thus showing prejudice. Shame on them.

Love it or leave it (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608100)

Though they are paying customers, WoW players are tenants of the virtual property owned by Blizzard. They have the right to welcome, tolerate, or decry whatever kind of behaviour they wish.

WoW players are not citizens, they are guests who must abide by the law of the land.

I'm all for free speech and the right to congregate, recruit, and broadcast, but I think Blizzard is well within their right to dissolve whatever guilds they want for whatever reason they wish. The situation is akin to putting up political posters in the lobby of a hotel - it's the establishment's right to do it, but it might dissuade people from staying.

Re:Love it or leave it (1)

greywar (640908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608176)

Lets use your anology. These are guests in the hotel. They announce that they are all gay. You the hotel management tell them, yes you are welcome to stay but you cannot encourage other gay people to stay at this hotel because folks might complain. And its against hotel policy for anyone to stay at the hotel and encourage others to stay there based upon their religeous or sexual beliefs. When you point out the Christian group staying at the same hotel chains hotel across the street with the huge banner out front saying "Christians stay here!" they ignore you. When some protestors hear about your hotel they protest outside, and all of you are asked to leave.

Re:Love it or leave it (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608345)

I'm unaware of what hypocrisies exist since I don't play the game, but the policy is a fair one if Blizzard really does abide by it. If what you say could be proven by GBLT proponents in court, then Blizzard might be in some real trouble. Otherwise, as long as Blizzard is equally intolerant of all "special interest groups", I fail to see any problem.

Re:Love it or leave it (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608296)

Many people are defending Blizzard's actions based on the principle that it is a private company, with private servers, that people choose to play on, and therefore Blizzard has a right to enforce whatever rules they wish to. My thought on this is that just because one has the right to limit freedoms in their private sphere of influence (in this case in a virtual world), doesn't mean that commonly held rights shouldn't be extended into that sphere as much as possible. I argue that one should err on the side of freedom, and that includes the freedom of association. Blizzard is erring on the side of restriction.

Discriminating policies (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608127)

I find it odd that their policies [blizzard.com] say they may suspend people if their character/guild/pet name contains a reference to sexual orientation, but the worst that happens to a name that contains a reference to religion (covered under "inappropriate") is a warning.

Re:Discriminating policies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608196)

I would suspect that is because it's harder to make a vulgar name using religous references than it is using sexual references.

Re:Discriminating policies (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608227)

the policy specifically addresses sexual orientation...obscene/vulgar names have their own section

Re:Discriminating policies (1)

Parity (12797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608269)

The reason for that is so that if I create something with the name 'DeepCeruleanIsAFaggot' they could suspend me. Basically, if it's used as harrasment or insult, they'd take stronger action. Religious names are less likely to offend that way (DeepCeruleanIsTehBuddha ... err... something) though they may offend in other ways, like naming oneself 'JesusChrist' upsetting Christians. (Of course 'Jesus' is a perfectly valid name otherwise in hispanic cultures (no I don't mean latino, I mean cultures influenced by spanish language & spanish catholicism), I wonder if they enforce against that.)

Re:Discriminating policies (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608310)

*sigh* I guess no one is going to actually read the policies...Harassment is also covered under a separate section.

So who wants to take odds on... (2, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608133)

How long before I'd be shut down for opening a guild as follows:

"The knights of the White Dragon are looking for new members, we are a guild centered around white christian gamers of conservative viewpoints with strong sense of racial pride"

Then when someone protests shut down all arguement with:

"We're already taking down Rag and don't mind letting you leech tier 1 epics on the weekly runs as we're all decked"

Get Real. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608168)

Blizzard would also crack down on public recruiting for heterosexual only guilds. In fact I've seen people warned about that EXACT thing believe it or not.

God forbid someone not wanting to know about your sexual preferences. Problem is gays and lesbians tend to be hypersensitive about these things. I mean I guess they have reasons to be in all honesty. But it doesn't give them the right to label an otherwise good company as being haters.

I've pumped days. literally days into wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608177)

I've never once seen any sort of guild full of gays or Christians or any other group on the Thunderlord server.

There are two groups... Horde and Alliance.

I am Horde and I kill Alliance, usually two or three at a time. (I'm a shaman and I have an "IWIN" button.)

Quite honestly, I don't like dealing with homosexual people in real life. I tend not to be as politically correct as some of them demand. I truly don't want to deal with them in the game either. I would suggest that gay people roll alliance so that I can kill them and don't have to listen to their pathetic drivel.

What ever happend to just old fashioned cursing? (4, Insightful)

LordDax (703437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608211)

I know that "Aww Gay!" "Dude thats so gay!" is running rampant in the online gaming community. After being accosted by a few friends of mine(RL&IG)of differing sexual orientation, we've gone back to the old days of just saying "Ah fuck" and "Dude! You got fucked!" Cause in essence thats what "Gay!" has become, a replacement "Fuck!".(Wow what a strange sentence)

Why not just go back to saying "Fuck" and not caring if someone thinks you have a lesser command of the english language?

If they harrass you for that, just tell them that... You[I] have taken up the cause to use "Fuck" in order to minimize the negativity and abuse of someone's sexual orientation by using the word "Gay" as an explitive in order to foster a better virtual reality for all manner of gamer.

That should catch them off guard.

Re:What ever happend to just old fashioned cursing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608307)

Yeah! I wash born say'in fuck, shit, piss and all dos utter swears, I wash raised say'in fuck, shit, piss and all dos utter swears nd dad gum it, I am gonna say dem, an no sidewindin bushwackin, hornswaglin, cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter.

(appologies to Mel Brooks)

Interesting (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608225)

Interesting how the most hated group on Slashdot -- Christians -- is referenced on the majority of root posts so far.

"But the Christians..."

Real life and RPGs shouldn't mix (3, Insightful)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608245)

I'll probably get modded as flamebait, but this argument smacks entirely of the whole 'Fear of Girls' video kind of situation, but in reverse.

Instead of a bunch of people deciding to yank role-playing into their lives, the decided to spend their time in MMORPGs and inject their real lives into role-playing.

Last I checked, WoW didn't have sexual orientation, and Christian beliefs weren't part of the fundamental makeup of multiverse created by Blizzard. If you want to role-play, then role-play and enjoy. If you need to socialise and engage in some kind of group therapy, then seek out a professional.

There is nothing more frustrating, IMHO, that people who usurp a perfectly good RPG to substitute for their real-life needs. Your real personality will of course affect your choices in the game, but it's still a game. If you can't handle that, log off, and go seek some help.

Look at it the other way (2, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608271)

Questions:

Are there currently guilds that only recruit heterosexuals? What's Blizzard's policy on this? What should it be?

Are there currently guilds that only recruit African-Americans? How about guilds that only recruit whites?

Re:Look at it the other way (2, Informative)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608342)

Just to clarify, the guild in question was not recruiting only LGBT players, it was recruiting people friendly to LGBT people. I said it before on the last thread about this topic, Blizzard has a policy against descrimination based on sexuality, and this guild was essentially recruiting people who followed this rule. Blizzard then penalized the guild for emphasizing one of Blizzard's own rules. It's ridiculous on its face.

Thanks Blizzard, you saved me a lot of money. (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608285)

Since it seems such a popular game, I'd vaguely considered giving it a go. But if it's official policy that there are just too many homophobic morons in the game to do anything about it, then I'm glad I've not bought it.

Re:Thanks Blizzard, you saved me a lot of money. (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608353)

If the policy for determining such things is the matter of the number of homophobic morons, well, you may want to consider avoiding a great many place in North America, and well as many locales in South America, Africa, Asia, etc.

In fact, well, that would limit a lot of places for you.

The reality is that a game shouldn't be judged like that. It's a game, and it has people. And people are dumb. This is a measure of crowd control. Much like at my job, I don't really care if you're straight or gay, but if you start flaunting it, either way, you get nailed for sexual harassment.

I would love to see better education and enlightenment regarding homosexuality. in society. That would be fantastic. But it ain't happening anytime soon, and I'm not about to think that avoiding things, or creating unconstructive trouble, is going to help.

Sexuality double-standard (4, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608294)

I play warcraft with my wife. Our guildmates know that we're married, and thus they implicitly know that we're heterosexual. In fact, by so much as mentioning my wife, I'm revealing my sexuality. Of course, even if I were reported for that, I highly doubt I'd receive any sort of warning.

On the other hand, if god forbid a male player mentions that he has a boyfriend, he can get a warning for revealing that he's gay... not to mention getting flamed in forum discussions for "throwing his sexuality into people's faces."

I'm not clear on why someone being gay is an affront to other people's existance. Wingnuts, care to respond to this? Sin or not, why does it bother you so much if someone else is gay? Why does someone else's decision about their own sexuality have to be contraversial? Why choose to be offended when you could shrug it off as none of your business?

Re:Sexuality double-standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608413)

What happens in your guild is not a public forum. There is no "double-standard" you speak of. If you tried to advertise for your MARRIED PEOPLE only guild it would be treated the same as a homosexual only guild. If you constantly made it a point to let people on PUBLIC channels know you're married I have a feeling at some point you would be delt with.

Re:Sexuality double-standard (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608442)

Because it's in the Wholly Babble that homosexuality is a sin, so it Must Be True.

Re:Sexuality double-standard (1)

festers (106163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608460)

There's a difference between pubically advertising a GLBT guild and casually mentioning you have a "boyfriend" in your own guild chat. The latter is no big deal, but the former is pushing an agenda that many people don't want to see in an online RPG. And Blizzard doesn't want to deal with flamewars resulting from Gay, Pro-choice, Pro-life, White/Black/Asian/Hispanic, Republican, etc. guild advertising. And I don't blame them.

Excellent PR, this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608333)

Unless Blizzard is trying to suggest that creatures spawn asexually, then sexuality is definitely an in-game topic. Where there is affectionate emotion, there will exist a multitude of sexual orientations. Additionally, to suggest that homosexuality is more sexual than heterosexuality (implicit in the scant clothing and prominent breasts of female characters, despite rejecting a gay-friendly guild) is downright offensive.

Is it so excessively sexually explicit of me to cuddle my boyfriend while the guy on the next street corner is practically eating his girl's face? Were my childhood crushes founded purely in sex, a concept which I'd not even been made aware of? Bollocks they were. To unconditionally call homosexuality an entirely sexual issue is an outright lie and nothing more than cheap homophobia.

as a tile layer... (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608351)

... i sometimes work at homes there the residents just happens to be gay, and all I have to say that they are much nicer people than the avarage hetero I meet up with.. maybe they're trying more than others to make a good impression but that's the view I've got (and spare me the jokes, they're not hitting on me).

And I believe that people can (and should be able to) do whatever they want with their lives.

So this kind of "news" bothers me, because nobody should really care at all.

I'm hetero btw, just to make that clear. I don't like homosexuality very much but I believe strongly in what I wrote above.

So.... (0)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608369)

So blizzard get the lawyers to write something which more or less says "we're not gonna say anything that may upset anyone, so we're just going to push it under the carpet and try to hide from everything which may upset people". This is as bad as them going "racist people? HA! I'll bury my head and let them do it all they want, but then I'll ruin their house when they try and meet together".

Blizzard take a damn stance, either get rid of all guilds (not going to happen) or let people make a guild for anything from Hello kitty fans to the village people's friday night orgy club. Most people can look after themselvs and if they can't a simple block button to shut them up will do nicely.

Absolutes (2, Insightful)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608381)

Blizzard really only has three options in this situation:
1. Freedom of Expression,
If you say that these people have the freedom to collect together and openly espouse the values/personal choices/lifestyle similarities, than you must open this standard to all "virtual citizens" in WoW. The verbal harassment system becomes moot because Blizzard has given a basic set of freedoms to all its players. This is the, "If Jewish pride groups can march near city hall then so can the Neo-Nazi's" because freedom can fully be offensive," example.

2.Allocate generous resources to monitoring harassment issues and make thousands of daily decisions in a timely manner,
This is the only way Blizzard could decide which groups can come together and advertise and which can't. Leaving behind how in the world they could develope a fair and far-reaching policy standard, the workload for this "Quality of Experience" issue would be enourmous and vastly overload the current less-than-pervasive GM staff. They would set a standard that the Executives agree with and enforce it around the clock. Unless they had the intellect of Solomon, I'm guessing that they would still take a ton of crap.

3. Cut of the problem with a "blanket" ban of things that might incite harassment,
This is the cheapest and least time consuming of the three, as they can just say, "Nope, we don't want this and its ours game so you can't do it." It is fully within their rights. We can always yell and scream about the fairness of our virtual social experience, but they are the one's in control. If you want to punish them, stop giving them money. That's what they are after in the first place. I personally am not all that up in arms about this decision. If you really wanted to do a Guild that espoused a certain value-set or lifestyle, its easy to do so in a way that is on a "person-to-person" level. And you'll probably end up with better guildmates that way anyway.

Racism (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608392)

I randomly chose black as my skin colour for the game. At some point, some Euro kid ran up to me and yelled "NEGER!" which I thought was pretty hilarious given that (a) he has no clue what colour I really am, and (b) we're talking about a made-up land full of midgets and Spocks.

I have to say though that's the one and only time where I've heard anything inflammatory (apart from the usual juvenile Southparkian humour) and I rather suspect he was doing it to provoke.

Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14608453)

The fact that this is an issue that requires debate at all makes me lose faith in society that much more... Don't we have enough things to whine and argue about already? In the grand scheme of life and death, this shit is pretty insignificant...
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