Gay rights in Warcraft
Funny, they don't look gay
Gay rights win in Warcraft world
By Mark Ward
Technology correspondent, BBC News website
The maker of the hugely popular online game, World of Warcraft, has changed its policy on gay teams following an outcry from many players.
Blizzard was accused of being heavy-handed by threatening to expel a player for advertising a gay-friendly team or guild.
Blizzard has officially apologised to the guild recruiter, saying the warning should never have been issued.
More than five million people regularly play World of Warcraft worldwide.
In late January, Sara Andrews used these channels to say that the guild she helps run, called Oz, was set up to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender "friendly".
But an in-game admininstrator issued a warning saying that such talk was a breach of Warcraft's terms of service.
She was threatened with being banned from the game if she continued to advertise the Oz guild using such language.
Ms Andrews challenged the warning and the claim that it broke the terms of service. She said many players used homophobic language in the game that went unchallenged.
To publicise her plight, Ms Andrews visited many discussion sites and forums where Warcraft players gather. The debate that followed largely criticised Blizzard for its heavy-handed treatment.
Many pointed out that Warcraft has a thriving community of gay players, or gaymers, and that it made no sense to censor talk about players' sexuality outside Azeroth.
Gay pride marches are known to have taken place in Warcraft and there are many other guilds in the game that are known to be friendly toward the gay community.
Two such guilds, Stonewall Champions and The Spreading Taint wrote an open letter to Blizzard criticising its policy.
The uproar has prompted Blizzard to officially apologise to Ms Andrews. It said that her comments should not have produced a warning.
Given the sexist and homophobic nature of the industry, this is progress. People can form any guilds they want, gay, fundie, whatever. The money is all the same.
posted by Steve @ 8:43:00 AM