Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!

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Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Stand Up and Be Counted

Blizzard, I expect better of you. You are the company that challenged the great gamer/nerd prejudice that orcs are bad. To you, orcs were kind of cool. And then undead and trolls, too. But, apparently, not gay people.

Well, I'm sure you're happy to have gay people work for you and play your games. I bet you're a pretty progressive employer.

However, at the end of the latest Blizzcon, you showed a video featuring George "Corspeater" Fisher, from Cannibal Corpse talking about his love of the Horde, and also his hatred of the Alliance, which was described using homophobic language. If you follow this link, you will find a version of the video shown. If you watch it, be warned, it's so very, very NSFW.

What did you expect from a Death Metal head? It's pretty clearly meant to be a joke, just way, way too far over the top. But some people aren't going to be able to take it that way. There are lots of instances of that, and I've been on the other side, attempting a joke that others found hurtful.

And George clearly ascribes to the idea that if he doesn't use the word "fuck" or a derived form twice in a sentence, he wasn't being "authentic" or something. He's clearly of the "don't use a normal word when I can say something offensive" school of thought.

The video was bleeped out, but they showed it anyway. Does that make sense to you? How was this decision made? Let's offend over half of your audience? I can appreciate how someone just thought it was funny, and kind of mocking. There's a thread of self-mockery in George's tone, it seems to me.

But would someone who has been beaten for being gay hear that? Or someone who has been humiliated repeatedly for being not quite "manly" enough?

I'm not sure Blizzard has made an official response yet. It seems to me the Blizzard is a fairly progressive employer and fosters a gay-positive workplace. But WoW players, and particularly raiders, use some of the most vulgar language out there, including homophobic slurs. So, will they affirm their own values when doing so might upset some of their best customers?

I expect them to stand up for what they pretty clearly believe in.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Wilhelm said...

Update for you:

http://gaygamer.net/2011/10/blizzard_president_apologizes.html

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

The problem is that Blizzard has had a dodgy reputation when it comes to LGBT issues. Remember them threatening to ban a LGBT-friendly guild? Not exactly a sparkling reputation to begin with. :/

2:59 PM  
Blogger Rita / Karaya / Jacquelyn Heat said...

"What did you expect from a Death Metal head?"

Easy there, slugger. Let's not turn into the very people we're trying to admonish. Some of the best, most supportive people I know happen to be death metal heads. I myself keep a few death metal favorites on my iPod. That Cannibal Crap guy speaks only for himself.

That said, thanks for blogging about this. You rock, T ;)

4:16 PM  
Blogger Rita / Karaya / Jacquelyn Heat said...

Immediately after posting that last comment, I realized your article put this song into my head. It's one of my favorite death metal songs, and quite apropos. When I was first coming out to the world and presenting as my female self, I'd often find my courage flagging. this is one of the songs that would help me galvanize my willpower and forge ahead:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Dn02bR4pg

Arch Enemy - We Will Rise

Tear down the walls
Wake up the world
Ignorance is not... Bliss
So fed up with the Second best
Our time, Is here and now

I am the enemy
I am the antidote
Watch me closely
I Will Stand up... NOW!

We Will Rise
Above (x2)

Stereotype fools
Playing the game
Nothing Unique
They all look the same
In this Sea of Mediocrity
I can be anything
Anything I want to be

I am the enemy
I am the antidote
Watch me closely
I will stand up... NOW!

We Will Rise
Above

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was pretty disgusting. He didn't even seem to use the term in a tongue-in-cheek ironic way. And even if he had done so, it's hard to pull that off in front of an unknown audience.

Though, to be honest, I couldn't even listen to him until the end. His immature stance of "I must use bad bad words every sentence to show what a tough guy I am" is something that just makes me feel embarrassed for even listening to it.

At least it seems Blizzard apologized for it. Though, as Brian pointed out, they don't exactly have a spotless track record.

Does anybody know what exactly happened with that LGBT question at Blizzcon? I read about it, and I also read the answer in text, but I would be curious what the crowd reaction was, and the part of the answer that you can't read in text (tone, for example).

1:13 AM  
Blogger flosch said...

That was pretty disgusting. He didn't even seem to use the term in a tongue-in-cheek ironic way. And even if he had done so, it's hard to pull that off in front of an unknown audience.

Though, to be honest, I couldn't even listen to him until the end. His immature stance of "I must use bad bad words every sentence to show what a tough guy I am" is something that just makes me feel embarrassed for even listening to it.

At least it seems Blizzard apologized for it. Though, as Brian pointed out, they don't exactly have a spotless track record.

Does anybody know what exactly happened with that LGBT question at Blizzcon? I read about it, and I also read the answer in text, but I would be curious what the crowd reaction was, and the part of the answer that you can't read in text (tone, for example).

1:13 AM  

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