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BlizzCon’s Homophobic Gaffe

So here’s a thing: You’re the house band of Blizzard Entertainment, made up of Blizzard employees, and you’re playing the closing ceremony of BlizzCon, your company’s yearly sold out event that everyone in the gaming world pays attention to because you run the MMO that is the 11 million-player-strong gorilla in the room and the RTS that spawned a professional gaming industry in Korea. You invited a guest musician from a professional touring band to your World of Warcraft themed gig, and wanted to play an intro for him to your audience that shows his dedication to the game. You want everybody to know that you didn’t just get any musician, you got a player.

So, would you use a clip from a video where the musician calls out opposing players using homophobic slurs?

It’s one thing to trash talk between factions in a game, and swing into the fun of fake rivalry. We like a good ninjas vs. pirates debate as much as the next person, probably more; which, lets be honest, is what the Horde vs. Alliance debate boils down to. It is another to call players of the other side homos (bad) and in the same breath joke that that they should commit suicide (wow, that’s bad, or have you been living under a rock?).

But whatever, a person can say dumb things. Companies, however, are made up of many people, and many decisions, and we don’t like to think that many persons thought these dumb things were okay. So Blizz. Don’t do this kind of thing. Your players don’t even like it.

(via Rock Paper Shotgun.)


  • Chris Williams

    At the same con, they addressed wanting to include everybody in their games and their willingness to incorporate more lgbt npc’s from this year’s panel discussions. 

    It’s subject to interpretation, but the quest line “The Day that Deathwing Came” involves choosing a male Blood Elf over his female counterparts.

    This is not representative of Blizzard as a company or culture. I really hope they address it soon.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to emote at some hot Orcs on the Proudmoore server.

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    Interestingly (and sadly, as far as I’m concerned), the link you gave to a discussion on the topic led to a post where the emphasis was far more on the anti-Alliance bias in the game than on the homophobia that went with it. Now, the treatment of Alliance members in the game appears to be absolutely appalling, but the poster didn’t seem to think that what was said was particularly important, only that something was.

    Not, in all honesty, that I was planning on joining one of these online RPGs any time soon, but if this is the kind of thing I can look forward to, I can’t see why anyone would want to be part of this.

  • Gabriela Alonso

    Apparently shit got real pretty soon afterwards: If you read the forum thread you’ll see that a woman was assaulted outside Blizzcon just for wearing a Night Elves shirt. Seriously. This needs to stop. Homophobic slurs and threats of IRL violence alike.

  • Bel

    Yes, actually, it is representative of Blizzard as a company or culture.  If you’re placated by being able to choose a male Blood Elf in one quest line despite the history of disbanding LGBT guilds, refusing to support LGBT players who were targeted for harassment, and even suspending people for extending invitations to other players to LGBT guides, then you’re pretty much a part of the problem.

  • Francesca M

    I’d written something else, but I read some additional things and now i’m super pissed. Homophobia and generating hate against a group of people just because we don’t play horde? The whole thing is an effing miss.

  • Anonymous
  • Frodo Baggins

    The Gay-Straight Alliance?

  • Frodo Baggins

    Yet more evidence that, given the opportunity, nerds can and will behave just as horribly as jocks.

  • Chris Williams

    That’s good to know, Bel. I do need to be more familiar with the game’s history, even though it certainly hasn’t been my experience.  But in the future, let’s not try to align _this_ LGBT person with “you’re pretty much part of the problem”, because the whole with-us-or-against-us stance rarely solves anything.

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    I was speaking about online RPGs–like World of Warcraft. I’d have no problem joining the Gay-Straight Alliance. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression.

  • Red Garner

    This makes me want to roll an Alliance char and piss away 7 years of my life just to kill him once in PVP.

  • Bel

    You’re right, sorry.

    Automatic defensive mechanism for dealing with WoW fanboys, you could say. =P

  • Anonymous