Blizzard Enforces Anti-Lesbian, Pro-Bigot Guild Policy

Blizzard has come down hard on a BGLT (bi-sexual, gay, lesbian and transsexual/transvestite) friendly guild. Note the word friendly as opposed to ‘exclusive’. In one bold move, Blizzard has come down hard in favor of the bigot status quo of its player base.

In Newsweekly has the detail:

Sara Andrews thought it was a big misunderstanding when she received an e-mail from a game master in Blizzard Entertainment’s popular online role playing game “World of Warcraft” citing her for “Harassment – Sexual Orientation.”

Andrews had posted that she was recruiting for a “GLBT friendly” guild in a general chat channel within the game.

Believing that her notice had been accidentally flagged, she e-mailed Blizzard to correct the problem. Blizzard, to Andrews’ surprise, upheld the decision.

Other gay guilds have been alerted and are planning to request clarification on the policy from Blizzard.

Blizzard’s policy on “Harassment – Sexual Orientation,” which is set forth in the games’ “Terms of Use” and cited in the e-mail to Andrews reads, “This category includes both clear and masked language which insultingly refers to any aspect of sexual orientation pertaining to themselves or other players.”

In protest of Blizzard’s bigot-friendly guild policy, The Consumerist has started a GBLT-friendly of our own: “And The Holograms”. Above, Amphisbaena and The Holograms poses with his alluring boyfriend, Nyarlathotep and the Holograms. Note that we are not only gay, bisexual, lesbian and transvestite friendly, but also zombie and (by association) necrophiliac friendly. Also notice that our official tabards are as gay-friendly as they get: pink with a fluorescent blue heart. Our guild, of course, is named after the hit 80′s cartoon show, Jem and the Holograms, which was truly outrageous.

Are you a lesbian friendly (and, really… who ISN’T?) Consumerist reader on Europe’s Shadow Moon server, playing as Horde? Are you a passionate opponent of make-belief elf bigotry? Why not join in protest today!

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  1. dukerayburn says:

    Up until now WoW seemed like a genuinely not fucked-up MMO. They didn’t break the game to draw in new players (Galaxies) and they haven’t offered in-game advertising (though the setting of the game limits that option) but this is just ridiculous. Halting recruitment of GLBT guilds because some 13-year-old bigot might harass the guild’s members for falling into those categories.

    Brilliant move, Blizzard. Maybe you should go after the assholes doing the bigotry and not the guilds who want nothing more to avoid it.

  2. Danilo says:

    This maneuver is detailed in a binder on some Blizzard exec’s desk labeled “Instantly Vaporize Favorable Press.”

    Next from Blizzard: World of Warcraft Puppy Kicking Expansion Pack.

  3. Oh My GOD I had forgotten about Jem! That was my favorite cartoon growing up (no joke . . . although I was almost as passionate about She-ra and He-man). I really do miss the blatant advertising in children’s television back then . . . Anyone know if Jem DVDs are available?

  4. OkiMike says:

    I’m lost. Guilds? In the game? Lesbians in the real world? What? I suppose Blizzard is a game production company, but you presume all your readers know what the hell is going on.

    Ignatio! My sword if you please!

  5. fatecreatr says:

    It’s horrible that there is even a need for a ban on GLBT guilds or even players announcing their real world preferences, but I can see why Blizzard did this. It didn’t become clear until I read that the gay rights organization Stonewall “came out” against the move. If they allow the players to have sexual orientation rights then they also have to be prepared to defend them. They can’t be expected to enter into the arena of sorting out and punishing hate crimes inside a game. Keep in mind that WoW is just a game. All games have rules, and generally speaking game rules are not needed in the case of sexual orientation. Things like this just don’t come up in Monopoly or Clue. WoW is still just a game, though with much more complex rules, and should not be used as a forum for public debate or proclamation about human sexuality. In the spirit of keeping WoW a game and keeping in mind that Blizzard needs to stay out of possibility fielding hate crime customer service calls, I think this is the only appropriate choice. It could, and likely would, all go very wrong very fast if it were allowed to progress.

  6. JNelsonW says:

    WTF? How could they even argue that she violated the TOS? It specifically bans langauge that INSULTINGLY refers to sexual orienation, not all language that just refers to it neutrally or acceptingly. By the logic, I guess they’ll also have to kick out all the Christian guilds for violating the religous harrasement clause (etc, etc). In fact, it seems more like they violated their own harrasment policy by hassling her.

    Also, your guild name is hilarious. At least something good has come of this mess.

  7. mrscolex says:

    “It specifically bans langauge that INSULTINGLY refers to sexual orienation”

    Is it hard to believe that people in the GLBT community often refer to themselves in a self-deprecating manner? Just playing devil’s advocate.

  8. JNelsonW says:

    mrscolex- that’s not hard to beleive, but if that’s their concern they should issue warnings to the people who are actually being deprecating or self-deprecating; the language at issue here was simply “GLBT Friendly”. That doesn’t violate their TOS as its written.

  9. Rick says:

    ++++++ for the Jem reference.