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Racism in arena names

I think there are few things more disturbing in the modern world than ill-conceived notions of racial, religious, and sexual divisions. For some reason parts of humanity continue to believe that just because one group or another looks and/or acts differently, they are bad. One of the reasons I enjoy WoW and just games in general is because it allows us to escape the problems this world gives to us, even if only for a few hours a week.

Unfortunately, some people find it necessary to bring their attitudes in game. We've covered some of this before, from border-line inappropriate arena names to sexism in WoW. However while playing an arena game recently fellow writer Amanda Dean came up against a team named "Rosa Parks Stole My Seat," and this name is possibly the most offensive one I've seen. Rosa Parks (for those of you who need a history lesson) refused to go to the back of a bus because of her skin color and continued to sit in the white only section of the bus, despite being told to do otherwise. She represented a key moment in the history of civil rights.

There are 65 arena teams with this racist name.

When Amanda ran into one of the teams she reported it via a GM ticket.

The GM escalated the ticket, which I'm sure was the right action on the part of the GM. However as is usually the case we don't, and won't, know exactly what happened to the offending team. This is due to privacy policies Blizzard has in place. What we do know however is that there are plenty of other teams out there that have this and other racist names. Furthermore, the team that Amanda reported is still listed in the armory (as of 11:30 p.m. on the evening on May 12th).

The writers had a discussion last night about this name, and it was brought up that people have these names on mainly defunct teams – which appears to be true. They have them there so they can "be cool" with their racist friends and have something that produces a lot of shock value.

People rarely see these teams in action, so the problem goes by unnoticed.

Except for the teams that are sitting at a high rating, such as the 2153 rating team from the Dethecus server. Or the team that played 344 games so far this season. It strikes me as deplorable that people would see this and turn a blind eye to it. Do we not all have a moral imperative to end racism, or any other isms, when we see them? Especially if the solution is as easy as filing a GM ticket.

Please try to do your part and keep this game free of such trash. If you see things like this, report it to the GMs.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

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