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Blizzard President Apologizes For BlizzCon Video Insult

blizzcoo.jpg

I just received the following from Blizzard HQ regarding the outcry over the use of an insensitive video at BlizzCon. Blizzard president (and Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain band member) Mike Morhaime expressed his apologies for the incident:

Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year's BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I'd like to respond to some of your feedback here.

As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We're proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.

- Mike Morhaime President, Blizzard Entertainment

Thank you, Blizzard, for a quick and sincere apology. And thank you Mike, for making it personal: your willingness to take personal responsibility for this snafu transforms the event from an insult to a teachable moment, and those are hard to come by.

To those of you who sometimes wonder if, in the course of our pursuit of equality, we sometimes come across as overly sensitive - this is why. To encourage leaders to speak out on our behalf. It does not happen in vacuum, and it does not happen when we are silent. To that end, and if you still have doubts about the relevance of this entire discussion, I'd like to link to VorpalBunny's astoundingly brave self-portrait, also hosted as a guest editorial at Kotaku, and which was written in response to the discussion following BlizzCon.

57 Comments

Jamie said:

This can't be real! There's no weasel words, no equivocations, no implications that it is wrong to be offended... Just responsibility and remorse. No American company does /that/ anymore!

Seriously, good on them. They messed up, and messed up badly, and they seem to Get It.

Rosa said:

Good on Blizz, being so cool about this.

Also you can bet that if "gamer" were being used as a prejorative slur for something lame, stupid, weak, or pathetic, these "wah wah you're so sensitive" people would have been downright offended. They usually are.

oldtaku said:

It gets better!

It does. So ponderously, but the climate is changing.

Decompiled said:

I feel a little better.

blackboy said:

Yeah, I totally believe the company that wanted to require all users to use their real names (because no one is ever bullied) http://gaygamer.net/2010/07/battlenet_forums_to_require_yo.html
Or closes a guild created to be gay friendly because that's sexual harassment http://wow.joystiq.com/2006/01/28/political-correctness-gone-mad/

It seems to me to just be another drop in the bucket for a company that either wants to generate press by "riling up the gays" or is really stupid enough to not think two steps further to how their actions will be perceived, or worse, thinks these things have been good ideas.

Regardless, it doesn't smell right to me.

whiteboy said:

I don't think the reason they wanted to use real names in their forums was because "no one is ever bullied." To their credit, they decided to not go through with that change because they respected the concerns of their community. Regarding the gay-friendly guild, I'm pretty sure they reversed their decision on that as well and recognized that it was a misinterpretation of their policies that led to the wrong action being taken. If anything, Blizzard has shown that they are human and they make mistakes, but unlike many, they're willing to own up and their leadership takes responsibility. Hopefully more companies will follow their example. I highly doubt that it's their strategy to "rile up the gays," as you put it.

OtherSide said:

Fag! Nigger! Bitch! Ho!

Yes, words that are everywhere. Words used a LOT in "certain" videogames. I know we're not supposed to be hyper-sensitive to these words any more, but damn!

These words are meant to hurt. To wound. To belittle. Just because they can be said in a comedic way doesn't make them any less hurtful. Just because every mindless Rapper uses them more than actual punctuation doesn't make them any more reasonable to use.

As a Hererosexual gamer even *I* get annoyed by all this rampant Industry homophobia. Not to mention the deliberate racism and sexism.

mythrai said:

As a Hererosexual gamer even *I* get annoyed by all this rampant Industry homophobia. Not to mention the deliberate racism and sexism.

OtherSide, any particular reason you felt the need to post uncensored slurs in your comment then? I feel really uncomfortable with a self-identified heterosexual using gay slurs on a gay-friendly site (not to mention the other misogynistic and racist ones)

Mikey said:

I think when you're talking about the stupidity and hurtfulness of words, you should be allowed to say the actual words. To censor them is silly, when we all know what f*g and n*gger means. We can't pretend they don't exist - they do.

The context is important. "Fag is a really stupid, hurtful word" - "F*g is a really stupid, hurtful word". What's the difference? None, really.

It IS jarring to see the words. But in the right context, using those words can be justified.

Dehnus said:

Oki.. but that is more aimed at me. What about that woman with the Neck Injury? Why not apoligize to her and hint that you will have people present against violence done to other players next year?

She spends over 400 Euros to go to your crapfest only to be assaulted by your fans and insulted by your staff.

Dehnus said:

BTW I had nothing against Morhaime he didn't do this crap. It was Samwise for whom I lost alot of respect, after all he should apoligize for the people there feeling like they where about to be beaten and that poor woman that thought she had arrived in a horror movie.

So while I think Blizzard scored points again with me, Samwise lost alot, and that while he was one of my favourite guys there. I really hope they will make it up with that woman and her husband. And that Samwise gives a clear message to people that this stuff is UNACCEPTABLE!

mythrai said:

mikey, I know for me personally, it's a lot more jarring to see the uncensored word though I agree that context counts for a lot, and I don't think I would've condemned a post like the one you suggested.

however, in the comment I'm criticizing, it's just a list of slurs before the actual comment, which is more than jarring. it comes off as edgy and try-hard. and yes, I think a hetero person using words queer people are trying hard to reclaim as a slur is not appropriate.

Franko said:

THIS is the company i believed in. thank you, mr. morhaime, and thank you, blizzard. (samwise, you are still in time out, i'm afraid).

Dehnus said:

@Mythral, they can use queer all they like, I wouldn't mind. It is the setting Blizzard set over the years, where people are spat upon or bullied for their choice of character. Which really rubs me the wrong way. I was a Horde fan that thought Alliance should take a joke and whine less, but since this slur thing hit the fan, a lot of people got the guts to say what happens at Blizzcon. Where normally there where only rumours.

And I'm appalled by it, I think Blizzard should watch the Film "The Wave" or read about the experiment. As they are exactly doing, mostly without knowing, what that teacher is. As people feel they belong to the better group then the other, and the other can be made fun off, bullied and assaulted. If anything they should at least issue a statement that next year this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and that people will be present to see that it doesn't

It is a Computer game people, not a way of life!

12thGay said:

Except that the anti-gay slur "pansy" is still used in the game by NPCs. They aren't apologetic about that.

BlackRabbit said:

Personally I don't think an apology does enough. It's nice to know he doesn't want us to be offended, but what is he doing to make sure the larger Blizzard community is taught the lesson he had to learn the hard way? How is he going to counteract the negative stereotypes he has now had a hand in helping to perpetuate? Apologies, especially sincere ones, are lovely but not enough in my opinion.

Mr.Bonestripper said:

This is funny, it doesn't surprise me, and how fitting for Blizzard! Might as well cater to the majority, right Blizzard? Anti gay slurs (including others, like anti racial slurs) are tossed around in Blizzard's multi player games all the time by players through player chat. I know because I report most of them. It's nothing new and it doesn't ever stop; I see that crap every day in Blizzard games. It would seem to me that Blizzard never follows through with complaints because I never see any changes or experience anything different as one of their customers.

A public apology from the president? That's it? Sorry, not good enough Mike Morhaime. Screw you too! This is just another reason for me to close my accounts and tell my friends not to purchase your online products. How about terminating the guy(s) responsible for booking that band and allowing it to be aired? Do it and publicly declare it. Does it really need to be explained why you should do this? And hey, since you are claiming responsibility for this as well, how about you fire yourself?

fastmode said:

I played WoW a long time. Years. Recently took a break and was thinking about coming back.

I wrote Blizzard and told them I wasn't coming back, and I told them this was a big part of it. I just can't keep supporting companies that treat us badly, as hard as that can be sometimes as the list keeps growing.

A nice try, and I'm glad he did it, but i'm in the camp of "not enough". Just my guild had over 6,000 GLBT people spending a ton of cash with them and evangelizing their game and attending Blizzcon etc. etc. I'll spend my hundreds of hours and $300-500 a year I was spending on WoW-related stuff elsewhere, thanks.

no said:

you all need to take a step back and reevaluate your anger. the video was made and the person in the video said some bad stuff. we all understand that. but before the video was even aired they edited it and bleeped out the offending words. the aired version had no slurs, just bleeps. at what point does the right to free speech get chopped off? you are all under the impression that we shouldn't hear anything from this man ever just because he used slurs that never made it to the broadcasted video. i appreciated his passion for his side of faction choice. while i do not condone what he uses to express that fervor, it is none the less a potent showing of emotion even with the edits.

you are all angry because he said the slurs. but in the originally intended for air version, those slurs never came out, only bleeps. so what can you be mad at blizzard for? for doing their part in censoring but airing a passionate players response to questions asked? i think blizz was perfectly in their right to air a censored version of this video, because it is the perfect definition of where the boundary of the right to freedom of speech should lay.

no said:

you all need to take a step back and reevaluate your anger. the video was made and the person in the video said some bad stuff. we all understand that. but before the video was even aired they edited it and bleeped out the offending words. the aired version had no slurs, just bleeps. at what point does the right to free speech get chopped off? you are all under the impression that we shouldn't hear anything from this man ever just because he used slurs that never made it to the broadcasted video. i appreciated his passion for his side of faction choice. while i do not condone what he uses to express that fervor, it is none the less a potent showing of emotion even with the edits.

you are all angry because he said the slurs. but in the originally intended for air version, those slurs never came out, only bleeps. so what can you be mad at blizzard for? for doing their part in censoring but airing a passionate players response to questions asked? i think blizz was perfectly in their right to air a censored version of this video, because it is the perfect definition of where the boundary of the right to freedom of speech should lay.

Jeremy said:

They didn't mess up at all. Anyone who assumes that the lead singer of a black metal band is going to "censor himself" is foolish.

I am very happy for how Blizzard handled this, but I personally never got offended. Blizzard didn't give him a script to read. He's a vicious foul mouthed lout who's entire life revolves around saying the most insulting comments in existence.

Hopefully none of you are insulted by Corpsegrinder. He wasn't directing anything at the gay community. His insults to the alliance were just standard gamer drivel. (you have to admit, both us and the alliance can be full of bitches and sissies at times.)

Those of you that are being all dramatic and screaming that its "not enough"..well..you are entitled to that opinion just as Corpsegrinder is entitled to his foul mouth. But the fact you are holding blizzard responsible makes you out to be an unreasonable dumb ass that fits the "stereotyped status quo" of all the rest of the fools out there that care nothing for wisdom and just want to hear the sounds of their own voices.

I hope this post is insulting and enlightening at the sametime. Laugh a little! It makes life worth living.

shinymac said:

blackboy - The guild issue you're referring to is FIVE YEARS OLD. And it's *not* an issue any more. So... nice try.

It's also important to note that the RealID fiasco was reversed in LESS THAN A WEEK, also with an apology directly from Mike.

Your move, ace.

PixelByte said:

LGBT and decent straight gamer allies shouldn't be made to feel guilty or greedy for expecting more than this sterile display of lip service. For the ridiculous fees they charge you monthly, you would think Blizzard, a company that allegedly respects the dignity of minority players, could set aside enough dough to address the extremely common hate speech and virtual harassment against lgbt people, women, and people of color. I would go as far as to say that this severely poor level of moderation is a game-breaking flaw for a game as social as WoW.

Perhaps the most sickening aspect of WoW is that minors are regularly exposed to this hate speech, when they've probably already got their undeserved fill in school, church or at home.

Pixel Byte said:

LGBT and decent straight gamer allies shouldn't be made to feel guilty or greedy for expecting more than this sterile display of lip service. For the ridiculous fees they charge you monthly, you would think Blizzard, a company that allegedly respects the dignity of minority players, could set aside enough dough to address the extremely common hate speech and virtual harassment against lgbt people, women, and people of color. I would go as far as to say that this severely poor level of moderation is a game-breaking flaw for a game as social as WoW.

Perhaps the most sickening aspect of WoW is that minors are regularly exposed to this hate speech, when they've probably already got their undeserved fill in school, church or at home.

ur

cleaude said:

@Pixel Byte

Got any solid evidence for that?

So far my experience with Blizzard customer service has been excellent and while I've never felt the need to report someone for harassment, I've been told that they act swiftly and sometimes (from "victims" of the sanctions) with pretty harsh suspensions.

In either case, blaming Blizzard for what is generally a problem of the internet, and really is not more prevalent in their game than anywhere else, is sort of hypocritical. I know companies make easy targets, but the true cause for these issues is rooted deep in society and does not simply vanish no matter the statements, laws etc. There are some few issues remaining on the "official" side in the western world, such as gay marriage in some states and countries, adoption etc. The underlying homophobia and stereotypes will need time to disappear and we can't do anything but deal with it and wait.

Charlie said:

@No and Jeremy

Everyone always brings up "freedom of speech" in these situations. This is not about his right to make these statements, it's about him representing a game company when making these statements.

I need officially sponsored videos from Blizzard to not contain homophobic hate speech whether bleeped out or not. I don't care who is spouting slurs on their personal blog but when they are endorsed by a company that message is tied to that company.

Saying "He wasn't directing anything at the gay community." is not the issue at all. I don't care WHO he is talking to anti-gay hate speech is a problem and has no place in a video aired by Blizzard.

Calling someone gay as an insult and expecting gay people to not be offended is ludicrous. Do no use those words if you are going to be upset that people are offended. And any large company will definitely need to be careful not to use those words.

Briker Ed said:

And now that he apologized, Blizzard gets a pat on the back, while this goes away as if it never was. Until someone on their forums (or in game) is reminded, by other racial/religious/sexual insults that still go on, how this was yet another insult that could be filed under the 'Ooopsie, we let this one get too much attention.'

They should have apologized, now get them to speak about the stuff happening on the forums and game chats.

Osoart said:

Thank you, GayGamer.

thatguy said:

I read through a lot of stuff here on this thread, and I can't help but think the following.

A word is just a word, people. I'm pretty sad to say that while the general makeup of the current newage gamers are entitled, more and more do I see gay gamers getting "outraged" by something and screaming SO loudly that they have to be heard. I'm sorry, but this isn't what the world is about. Demanding an apology from someone isn't an apology. It's a gag. To receive an apology, it has to be something that is given through respect, admiration, or a persons own morals.

I will be candid in the fact that while I do not think that homosexuality is right, purely from a creation standpoint, I do not have a problem with someone choosing to love another person. However, I find, after being a gamer for many years, gay people and the organizations that "represent" them typically are the loudest if they feel slighted in any manner.

It is from that stance, I'm curious as to why people, not even gay gamers, DEMAND apologies in this day and age. I just don't get it. I really don't. If someone says something, whatever. They are going to make themselves look bad. If in their regret and hindsight, they wish to issue an apology, it makes the apology THAT much better, because you know that they truly reviewed what was done, and took action to try to correct it and potentially express regret.

Demanding an apology serves no purpose in current society. If a gay person called me some sort of slang offensive name for a white straight dude, I wouldn't care. I don't take anything seriously that anyone says. It wouldn't enrage me. I wouldn't demand an apology. It's just really sad to see organizations setup that are "non-profit" that make more than any of the regular people posting here that demand apologies, and sadly people who align their views with those organizations because they seem to defend them, only make it worse. GLADD is one of the worst organizations when it comes to entitlement.

At the end of the day, I think people take things far to seriously, and this was blown well out of proportion. Specifically since it was in reference to the Alliance in a virtual world and story, and not the gamers who make up the faction.

I just wish people would practice more tolerance and patience on all sides. Demands are lame, and I really hate them. Worse than calling someone a bad name, imo.

Finally, for those of you who demanded Samwise's termination. Get the fuck over yourselves. God damn idiots.

thatguy said:

I also want to note that this site is sexist, as it's monicker is "for boys who like boys who like joysticks!" There is no mention of female anything, but your site is representing gay gamers as a whole. What a load of crap, and a total bite of hypocrisy.

MadM@ said:

I wonder what it takes to appease some people...

I'm glad there was a prompt clear apology with no rationalizations, justifications, ifs, ands, or buts. Blizzard has a track record of being awkward regarding queer issues (like the 5 year old article linked to in comments) but they do come around.

I'm doubly glad that the outcry was not just from queer gamers but allies too- this is the cultural shift of gaining allies we need to survive. We need them not only to come to our side for big things like this but also to tell people in chat, their guild, etc that calling someone a fag as a derogatory isn't acceptable. I think it's unreasonable to expect a game company to go through the effort of continuous active censorship and we need the players to come out and make it taboo to use slurs. If you don't like general chat, turn it off. There are tools for finding groups and for buying/selling so you can function very well with general off. Or you can play on Proudmoore which is very gay and very australian :D

If the game company is the one censoring we will get awkward enforcement like what happened in that article- and we'll be seeing suspensions and bannings for people using self-depreciating humor and recruiting for gay guilds. Homophobia and misogyny run deep in the gaming community and it's bigger than Blizzard and WoW.

Gamescook said:

@thatguy

A straight, white, Christian man who has little idea how much they actually take for granted is not the one who ought to be lecturing minorities of what, how, when, or even -if- we should be offended at slurs. You are simply unqualified to speak on the matter.

UMadBro said:

@thatguy:

Wow... your post is so full of ignorance and entitlement I'm surprised no one else has called you out on it. So let me be the first.

First off, words mean things. Telling someone not to let it offend them or to "get over it" does not make the word any less offensive or hurtful to the person. You don't know that person's life or what experiences they have had to make that word have an effect on them. And do you honestly think there would have been an apology if no one would have brought attention to it? Because, guess what? There most likely wouldn't be one.

Secondly, you say you don't think homosexuality is right based on some view based on creation? You do know the world is overpopulated, right? Did you ever stop and think it's evolution's way of population control? Or is that too logical for you? Also, I don't know about you, but I don't actively choose to love someone. It just happens. And I have yet to meet anyone who has told me they chose to feel love for someone as if they could turn it on or off with a switch.

LGBT people have to be loud about the wrongs that are done to us, or else who will? While the world it slowly becoming more accepting of us and we are slowly gaining non-GLBT allies, there is still a lot of ignorance and hate out there towards us. Sitting around and hoping that one day people are just going to accept you doesn't work.

You claim to want more tolerance in the world and don't see why people get so worked up over a slur. I'll tell you why you don't understand: You are a straight, white, male. You can't get much more privileged than that. You will never know what it is like to be discriminated against for being the "wrong" ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. Never. And for you to act like it's "no big deal" is downright insulting.

If you don't like that Mike apologized, tough. He did the right thing, regardless of whether or not you thought he was somehow pressured into doing so. Frankly, sir, I think you are the one who needs to get the fuck over themself.

P.S., If you took ten seconds to look to the right side of the screen, you'd see it also says, "And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!" HTH

Gamescook said:

@thatguy

And another thing, "And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!" is right up there on the upper-right hand corner of the site.

Bigoted dumbass.

Gamescook said:

@UMadBro

Wish I had said what you did with that much skill.

UMadBro said:

@Gamescook

Thanks! I feel it could have been a little more fluid, and I wish I had proofread it first to fix my typos instead of posting it while filled with anger, but I'm glad I was able to get my point across.

Jotacon said:

@thatguy
I normally don't comment here (mostly because I only check the site ever couple months), but I really feel this needs to be said.

As a straight, white, male gamer it is of my opinion that you are the one who really needs to get over yourself. You do not get to decide whether something is offensive and obviously you are blind to all of the issues at work here. Especially the idea of entitlement. Everything else I can say to you was already said by UMadBro and Gamescook.

On the topic at hand, I am glad that there was an apology. Was it "enough"? Not really, but hopefully this is a good sign.
What I am really confused at is how they can air that video in the first place? Or why they would want the lead-singer of a Black Metal band to represent them at all?
Here is to hoping that Blizzard as a company is sincere and actually DOES "get it." Even if just a little bit.

Silly said:

"I think it's unreasonable to expect a game company to go through the effort of continuous active censorship"

But nobody asked for "active censorship". What people asked for was Blizzard not actively promoting hate speech.

Completely different beast.

It's not a freedom of speech issue, it's not a censorship issue.

The in-game chat cannot be moderated to this degree in the first place, anyway.

DorkLord said:

Words only have the power that people allow them to have. I know it's hurtful however and taking that power away from those who wield those words derogatorily isn't going to happen overnight, but I hope that someday they'll lose the power to hurt.

As far as the comments on the video, despite having a good number of gay friends myself (most of whom are gamers), I'm slightly more offended by the implication that my chosen faction makes me some sort of negative (they could have chosen any negative-implied word to describe Alliance players, really. The fact that he chose the ones that he did makes it a double insult.) I like the Alliance. That doesn't make me weak or stupid, Blizzard. I hear enough of that crap from actual Horde players, thank you very much.

I still want to know why the monster races are so popular anyway. Is it a desire to be the underdog? A desire to play something darker and more sinister? I know I've seen many a WoW player remark how "badass" the armor that makes one's character look like fantasy villains is. Maybe I'll never know.

Dehnus said:

Still a lot of people miss the point a bit. People got hurt on Blizzcons because they play the other faction. Yet still people only focus on the words "Queer, Faggot, Pansy" and the likes. I couldn't care less about those. What I do care about is the systematic setting that Horde people are better people and thus allowing some weak-minded individuals to think it is OKAY to hurt people who play the other faction's races.

That also pissed a lot of people off, yet we only seem to focus on the gay aspect of the insult which.. frankly... was not such a big deal. The part where he told people to die actually is, because the whole crowd began to cheer it. But yet Blizzard too misses the point and only apologizes for the gay remarks.

Newsflash Blizzard, people got hurt yet AGAIN this year. PHYSICALLY hurt, actual sticks and stones! Yet that they seem to not even care, nor care that they might have to send out a message that that is not acceptable.

The least you could do is refund the money for the people who actually where assaulted (there are plenty of camera's on Blizzcon to check if a person is speaking the truth). As you cannot expect people to be your unwilling whipping boy, expect them to pay for it and then go "LOL take a joke!" to the victim. If you want that go start an S&M club.

I am not talking about in game balance or who is favoured in game. I am talking about quests like pissing on Alliance corpses, telling them on Blizzcon they should die, In every interview call them wusses that should but beaten... the list goes on and On. This sets an atmosphere where the weaker of mind will act on it, and have acted on it. Furthermore many Alliance players seem to be having Beaten Wife Syndrome, as they don't seem to care any more and blame themselves for it like a proper abused spouse is supposed to.

I can tell you one thing, what if the next one will be aimed at some people who do NOT take it like the Abuse Spouse. That do not listen to the "LOL take a joke!" retort. And actually beat up the person that assaults them. If that gets out of hand you'll have a riot on your hands as usually when someone starts to hit back, it won't be long before others start joining in. And then what? Is it then also the fault of that Elf Player (and let it be known I HATE Elves in the game) for not taking the joke like a proper abused spouse?

tropicofanatic said:

People who think words are just words are utterly fucking stupid. Words are the most powerful thing a human being has. They can persuade people to join together in solidarity, they can persuade people to build huge monuments and projects, and they can be used to persuade others to kill others for being different. If words are just words, why did the Nazis become experts in using them for their own means? If words are just words, why did George Orwell devote a large part of 1984 in explaining how people use words to oppress people? Grow the FUCK up, grow a fucking brain, and deal with the fact that words have consequences.

Charlie said:

If you've ever been physically attacked for being gay the word "faggot" is the word you hear while you are being beat down by one or more people.

Words are not just words. They are an endorsement, they connect the speaker with an ideology. The words in question are used by people who hate gay people. If you use those words in a non-ironic context you will be identified as someone who hates gay people.

Thatguy, you swing in here and say you don't think being gay is right because of a "creation standpoint." Not a great way to make your case. If I pop up on a Christian forum and say I don't believe Christianity is right because the Bible constantly (constantly!) teaches the degradation of women with its verses about women not speaking in church, women being forced to marry their rapists, or stoned to death for not being virgins... how likely is it that the people on that forum will listen to me?

DorkLord said:

tropicofanatic: You're telling people to "grow up" in a way that's quite ironically making you look like a huge hypocrite.

You might find that being polite goes a long way toward lending your arguments any sense of validity.

tiny dancer said:

I just want to duck in here to say that bigoted, privileged, deliberately wrong-headed gentlemen like @thatguy are A) one of the reasons this site exists (in addition to create a space where gaymers can have discussions like this, disagreements and all) and B) are the reason that we, and myself in particular, WILL NEVER BE QUIET ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF HATE.

Anyone who thinks that they have an inalienable right to remain ignorant about the effect their words have on others is WRONG. There is no such right.

Rather, there IS something inalienable about creating a world in which words that get used to target LGBT youth for violence are also NOT words that big, giant, responsible-for-their-message companies use to promote their product.

If a company uses anti-gay language to promote a product, expect the people who may SUFFER AS A RESULT OF THAT LANGUAGE to have an opinion.

If that opinion makes you uncomfortable, then that's a personal problem. Really, it is. Trying to convince us to be quiet with backward logic such as "I like gays as long as they're cool about it and let me say horrible words" really just redoubles my belief that SPEAKING UP about THINGS THAT ARE WRONG AND HURT PEOPLE is the right way to live.

Gaymer Genesis said:

Am I the only gaymer, who enjoys when certain game companies continually expose themselves as the homophobic manchildren that we all deep-down suspect they are? Thanks to this issue and the hateful or apathetic responses it has inspired from much of the WoW community, I’m now 100% confident in saying that this game and its community has nothing to offer me, being someone who is not a masochist.

From the little of what I’ve read from the official Blizzard forums, it appears that a significant portion of their forum members are more outraged that the homophobic remarks were made against their fictional Alliance team, as opposed to being outraged that these homophobic remarks affect a real world group of people. That says it all.

LINCARD1000 said:

Thatguy is most likely a troll:

"I will be candid in the fact that while I do not think that homosexuality is right, purely from a creation standpoint,"

"Get the fuck over yourselves. God damn idiots."

Someone who was using religion as a weapon would not typically use that kind of blasphemous language I wouldn't have thought. Having said that, many who have that kind of religious mind-set usually don't have the intelligence not to shoot themselves in the foot either :-)

Would have been nice to see Blizzard offer up an apology without having been shamed into doing so, though.

jay said:

See how he claims to take responsibility as an individual, but shortly after starts writing in plural form.

Either he has multiple personalities or he's just dodging the bullet.

I call shenanigans.

David d said:

I wish that I could offer a meaningful apology on behalf of all entitled straight men. For too long, we have paid lip service to our support of the LGBT community whilst failing to act in any meaningful way. We condescendingly say "Toughen up" or "Get over it." That's not enough now, and it never was.

We can no longer sit on the sidelines as if we are neutrals in a fight between bullies and victims. In the war against bigotry, there are no neutrals. To be a silent spectator to hatred is to be a supporter of that hatred.

Hateful language, in any context, spreads hate. And this hate manifests itself not just in tears, but in blood. Blood is spilled by the hundreds of young people who take their own lives every year.

I wish I could apologize for all of us, but all I can offer is my own personal apology. I'm sorry for every time that I've smiled at a "harmless" homophobic joke. I'm sorry for every time that I dismissed someone for being "overly sensitive." But most of all, I'm sorry for every time that I've heard people spew their hate-filled bile and let them get away with it.

I want to say "never again", and I want to believe it.

Malazoth said:

Unfortunately Blizzard has engaged in rampant homophobia since the launch of WoW in 2004. One of the male Tauren /silly emotes states: "Homogenized? No way! I like the ladies!"

This is simply horrible, unthinking, and tremendously insensitive of Blizzard/Activision whose games should be shunned. Human beings, gay though some of us may be, are human beings and always belong in the category of humanity. Likening gay people to dairy products is offensive and dehumanizing.

If Blizzard wants to make this up to us they will do the following:

1. Make homophobic slurs punishable by an immediate and permanent ban on accounts. (Yes, it is extreme, but Blizzard has engaged in pro-homophobia for seven years. They must remedy this lapse of judgment immediately and with swift, harsh action.)

2. Create gay and lesbian world leaders for each faction (i.e. one gay and one lesbian set of world leaders for the Alliance, one set for the Horde.) Such world leaders should be paragons of virtue, courage, and strength, not stereotypes. In order to compensate for their failure to acknowledge gay people as a distinct and measurable percentage of their player base, Blizzard should DOUBLE the hit points of these leaders, making them more difficult to kill by enemy players who might otherwise target these leaders for being GLBTQ leaders.

3. Permanently ban the account of Mr. "Corpsegrinder" in order to show that Blizzard does not tolerate homophobia in game no matter who is doing it, how big a celebrity they are, or what they do for a living.

4. Send all developers to sensitivity training in order to prevent this kind of catastrophe again!

5. Permanently remove the above mentioned emote from the male Tauren's repertoire of vocalizations.

Until such time as Blizzard/Activision is willing to acknowledge that they have a serious homophobia problem in their corporate culture, gay gamers would do well to boycott all of their products. If you feel you can't get through life without your WoW fix, you can always substitute LotRO or some other F2P MMO as your methadone to WoW's heroin.

Dehnus said:

@Malazoth,

You go a bit too far, besides I liked that Tauren joke :).

I more am riling against the violence caused to players of the other faction. And a good Gay Joke is always good :). Blizzard said they where sorry for the gay remarks... fine... I wasn't angry about that in the first place.. but thanks I suppose. But I feel they miss the point. They told Alliance players to die in an atmosphere where violence against these players happened.

Frankly that is what they should be apologizing for!

Gay jokes rule, provided they are smart and funny.

AnthonyJaxsin said:

As a straight married gamer I have to say something. I am sorry that a metal band that I used to like insulted you in this way. I actually had to read the news twice on this and I do not think that somebody just waving a hand saying "My Bad" is enough. Blizzard should have known better. They should have actually taken the chance and time to go and see what this band is all about. I am not saying that they should not have been there, I am saying that they should have put more thought into it. Thats like having a neo nazi band play at a Baptist BBQ and then wondering why they got pelted with rocks and fire bombs afterwards. Its just not right no matter how you look at it and having friends that are happy with their partners it just makes me furious.


You guys got a lot of love out there!

Luke said:

given the amount of responses I haven't read, this may all be redundant, but I feel like I spent 500 hours writing this essay so here goes:

the "words are just words" argument is the stupidest pile of horse squat.
so words have no consequences, I guess. we should be grunting philosophical and scientific ideas at each other. that could work. during political debate, candidates could fling feces at each other instead of explaining themselves in a civilized manner. people shouldn't talk to each other at all, nothing is being said that couldn't also be said by a staring contest. or psychic uplinks. diagrams. complex dances. practical things like that. in fact, readers may be surprised to learn that words don't really exist at all. they're all in your head.
and surprise twist: the dictionary was lying to us the whole time! faggot doesn't actually mean gay anymore, it means stupid OR gay. aren't you happy that the word that used to just be a slur now refers to you AND everything stupid and horrible? is anybody else feeling the warm, loving rays of acceptance? how could you possibly not? I'm so happy now that we're all so progressive.


and because of that kind of vapid attitude, this whole thing went down. I mean, even the damned censors thought it was alright to air this. I get that it's bleeped, but it's still bigotry and not in an Archie Bunker kind of way. this is a real person saying these real words with conviction and regard for the real definitions of those words. it makes me feel... pity and disappointment, disgust more than anger. this guy didn't go out of his way to apologize, someone unrelated came by to save face for their company. that's it. no real atonement here. but that guy was pretty passionate about those homo cocksuckers during the interview though! at the time Blizzard sure loved the crowd reaction and that says more than all the PR responses in the world.

sorry if I sound pessimistic, but this and the subsequent reaction in the gaming community is a bigger version of a lot of little excuses I've heard for a long, long time. I've had too many people explain that 'fag' no longer means both what they think it means and what it has meant, they wants me to scrap that latter part. does that sound reasonable? them using an offensive word that refers to ME to the point of it losing meaning for a large chunk of the population? I'm expected to be alright with that? no one reclaimed any gay slurs. the reality of the evolution of 'fag' is far more depressing than people like to believe. it'll take a while longer to separate it from it's old-fashioned meaning. in a generation or two maybe we'll see the a real before-and-after. for now, it means exactly what I think it means.
I can't even say from personal experience that when the word 'fag' is used as an insult that it refers to stupidity/awfulness instead of homosexuality because the two uses are so similar it's beyond my powers of deduction to know whether or not the person is really homophobic unless I know them well enough to think otherwise or I know they're gay (and not self-loathing). as a gay man I'm offended just hearing that word at all because of the primary usage, and people who use this word that way tend to harbour hostility toward gays. that's why the word is so hefty and why people use it in the first place, outside of its "old" context. they do it for the emotional punch. so excuse me if I twitched because you called your buddy a faggot when he dropped his burrito. maybe I've heard that word too many times in too many bad situations to be able to take it lightly. and when people throw that word around they don't do it lightly either, they do it so it digs in, so you get it. words get personal. gay slurs get very personal. straight people can have a hard time understanding that. Hell, if I was straight, I'd be in the same boat. I'm white and 23 and a man, I could easily go my whole life without dealing with anything that would cause me to have aversion to a word. I understand why they don't empathize; I don't understand the unwillingness to meet logic on this issue. why is everything minimizing and excusing with some people? do they just not think about it and react emotionally when these conversations rear their ugly heads? I don't know...

the reality is that it reflects poorly on you if you use gay slurs in front of strangers, so how about editing and releasing a video of someone spouting this kind of crap at the closing of BlizzCon, a popular event watched by gays at home and in attendance, and expecting nothing but laughter? pathetic. when I finished watching that I was mostly wondering if I was supposed to laugh? were gay people invited in on that joke? they sure weren't thinking about us when they put that together. that's the image they've put out and it's their own damned fault if everyone doesn't want to give them a big ol' gay-straight alliance hug since they're sorry. there are people I've known who mean it and say they don't and there are those at Blizzard who use people who most certainly do in order to make a good impression on a shitty crowd. equally crap.

I do not accept this apology. or anyone's lifeless, "I swear we're PC!" apology on this matter. they did it and they know why they did it. they hired the band for a big event, so they knew who their audience was and who the band was.
we all saw what happened with Fight Against Grenade Spam. c'mon. don't piss in my mouth and tell me it's raining.

so 'thank you' to GLAAD and 'no, thank you' to Blizzard.

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