Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rated R, or "How Blizzard Can't Control Everything"

Offensive content in Warcraft goes back to money.
  1. Plenty of guys like to play a game with a sexy succubus, low-cut clothes on women, and other somewhat-offensive things, so Blizzard isn't going to take them out because they mean cash.
  2. Blizzard isn't willing (able?) to spend enough cash to properly monitor things like guild names, character names, or player chat, especially when technical issues take priority.
I'm usually much more concerned about the content of other people rather than game content. The game itself is rated T (for teen!) for a reason, but players, through general chat, whispering, and even personalized emotes, can bump that up to Mature.

For people like me, cursing and vulgarity are just facts of gameplay that I have to put up with. For the other side, it's sensitive prudes that like to click on the red question mark and write up reports. (You can never make everyone happy. Blizzard is doing it's best, but in the end, it's still a company. Money will come first.)

I've only reported two things so far in the game. Both have been people joking about rape in public. See, I can deal with some sketchy language and sexual humor. I'm a Christian and kind of sensitive, but I know that it's inevitable and I just try to ignore it. Some of the tamer stuff can even make me chuckle, like the popular guild "Two Dollar Horde" that was forced to change its name recently.

But there are some things you just don't joke about. You don't joke about the dead, you don't joke about cancer patients, and you DON'T joke about rape. I don't think those guys realized how disturbing a concept rape is for women. It is ugly, it is cruel, and it is degrading. And you do not -- YOU DO NOT! -- joke about it. Ever.

I mean, I don't expect everyone to be squeaky-clean (or even competent -- see other venting posts), but I at least expect a little humanity.


  1. I usually have a fairly lengthy Ignore list. The official "policy" for dealing with inappropriate language (vulgarity or topic) is.

    1) Ask the person to stop.
    2) Ignore them (right click their name in the chat window and select "IGNORE").
    3) Report all hate speech and extreme obscenity to a Game Master (using the little red ? ). They ask you to do this, because they want to keep the game safe for children (and because such speech violates their Terms of Agreement). To go on your premise that it's all about the $$, they LOSE money if parents pull their children from the game because of someone else's stupidity.

    So it basically comes down to this: you don't report a person for saying a curse word. But you would report a person for persisting to curse in a general/trade/defense chat after you've asked them to stop. You SHOULD report instances of hate speech (such as obviously racist comments or things that degrading to women - like talking about rape). I've reported 3 people and in every instance it had to do with something obscenely sexual (either in language or action).

  2. I have one particular character that I played while eating chocolate and suffering extreme PMS. I think I ignored half of Stormwind that evening. ^_^* Ahem... anyway, I USUALLY pretty much handle things the same as you, I've never had to report anyone (though Thesden did once on my behalf when a gnome was sexually harassing both of us ^_^*).


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