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Friday, February 10, 2006

A Few Incorrect Assumptions

As the details of how Blizzard's bizarre policies play out between them and the lawyers, some of the blogosphere continues to chew on the subject. Repeatedly, I keep hearing some arguments which usually get under my skin, but I will try to keep a civil tongue. Even if I think some of these ideas are really stupid.

Azeroth isn't a real place, it's Blizzard's creation and they can do what they want
That is an incorrect assumption. While it's true that Azeroth does not really exist, Blizzard is still a company which offers a service and just like any other company offering a service ... they are bound to the terms of agreements within that service as well as any state or federal law that might apply. World of Warcraft is an online game, not a fiefdom.

World of Warcraft is a fantasy world and real world topics aren't appropriate
Well, that's sort of an incorrect assumption. At least this assumption is somewhat in line with Blizzard's defense that "some topics are inappropriate for a high fantasy setting", although their distinctions of being appropriate is what landed them in trouble. And seriously, you can't tell me that everyone in WoW is a hardcore RPer who never talks about the real world. Obviously, there is some wiggle room here.

I don't want to hear about your sex life
You have an incorrect assumption that anyone wanted to tell you about their sex life. Saying "we're GLBT friendly" is hardly anything resembling a sex chat, or sex tips or talking about stroking swords or whatever. People need to get the idea out of their head that every chapter meeting of GALA is an orgy.

If you start a gay friendly guild, I get to start a nazi guild
You're an idiot. Oh, damn. Sorry. I mean, you have made an incorrect assumption about what's being debated here. The problem is not "we want people to advertise whatever they want", it's "people should be able to advertise as long as they aren't harassing other players". Since Blizzard's concern was not that stating GLBT friendly was harassment, but rather that it might direct harassment ... it doesn't qualify. Advertising that you are keen on white power and would enjoy playing with like-minded racist bastards, however, would. So, no, you don't get to start your nazi guild Sorry.

If I chafe a bit more at that last one, it's because I'm so freakin' tired of the "you can't support gay rights because of what will happen next" nonsense. You can't support gay marriage because then people will want to marry mules. Gays can't be open in the military because next everyone will to play dolls on the battlefield. You can't let two women both serve as mothers because next kids will be raised by wolves. Do people realize how ignorant they sound when they go on like that? And don't try and tell me you aren't a homophobe when you state that gay rights might somehow cause the decline of western civilization as we know it.

/soapbox. For now.

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Clamatius said...

I think you missed "destroying the sanctity of marriage". Usually that gets in there somewhere.

Anyway. Never mind the gays, death to shrimp-eaters. It's an abomination in the sight of the Lord, don't-cha know.

Josh said...

I had read many of those Leviticus, but not the shrimp one. I'm sure God meant shrimp in a figurative way *rolls eyes*

I bet Leviticus was always the guy at parties nobody really wanted to talk to. Lonely guy by the dip bowl, always talking about blood upon you for eating the carrot or whatnot.

Josh said...

That joke, of course, somewhat crippled since Leviticus is a title, not a person.

Brinstar said...

I think I'm going to hell, like whoah. I mean, I love shrimp.

Josh said...

That should totally be your sigquote ;)

Clamatius said...


Stoooooonnnnnne Herrrrrrr!


Corvus said...

Never mind that, as I keep pointing out, Blizzard themselves have allowed for the possibility of GLBT gender preferences, by placing comments in game that obliquely refer to to them.

Josh said...

Which is really doubly egregious. You can't say sexuality isn't part of the game, because Blizzard put it there. So apparently it is part of a high fantasy game and you are supposed to make references to it (by using Blizzard's own emotes) ... but only so long as it's not gay.

Blizzard's take on this hovers somewhere between blind and childish.