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Posts with tag discrimination

Officers' Quarters: When to give up

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

If you were reading WoW Insider over the weekend, you might have noticed a couple of rather depressing posts. Adam talked about when you should make the personal decision to stop raiding. Then Jennie talked about the reasons why raiding guilds break up. I might as well continue the trend, but at least I have the excuse of a reader's e-mail. Last week I addressed the problems that small guilds will face in the coming months. This week, by request, I'm going to look at larger, hardcore guilds. And I'll also examine a nasty stereotype in the community that continues to proliferate.

I am in this guild for the past 2 years of my WOW experience. This is my first guild, and my only guild so far. The atmosphere was friendly when I first joined it to join my real life schoolmates, hoping to down boss and experience content together. But a couple of drama and event took place, and my friends all quit the game which they felt was taking too much of their time. The original management when I joined all left the game due to other real life commitments and burnouts from over-WOW-ed.

So with a twist of fate I took over the role of Guildmaster. The other veterans in the guild has other reasons that forbid them from taking the helm. And so I begun my quest to reform the dying guild in the dying server. We are a guild with predominantly Asian players, but we welcome western players too. But apparently playing in a US server meant you always have to being abused at for being Asian. Some people just cannot differentiate Chinese Farmer and general normal Asian players. And so I have been working for the past 6 months trying to recruit new blood into the guild and keeping the raiders around. We finally managed to down Rage Winterchill only in the past 2 weeks, after the top end guild in our server's endless poaching of our raiders to warm their bench . . . And a few other core raiders announcing their quitting of the game soon.

And now I feel I don't enjoy WOW the same anymore. It's no longer the same for me.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

On age discrimination

Fraid is a young player who says that people show discrimination towards teenagers in WoW. He plays maturely and responsibly, so well that most of the time other players are surprised to find out how young he is. Yet he often encounters guild requirements that say one's age must be 21 or higher to join. Is this fair?

In my own experience I've certainly met kids like Fraid who can behave just as well as (if not better than) most of the adults I've encountered in WoW. I've also met players who came across as bragging and became very difficult for me to deal with until a friend said "They're only 12," and I understood. After that, I found it much easier to tolerate the things they were saying as just part of being a teenager rather than some plot to make me feel inadequate. Another time, I went through several 2-vs-2 arena matches in which my friend was strangely quiet, and yet playing very well. Afterwards, my friend explained that it wasn't her at the keyboard, it was her 10-year old friend. This friend isn't very good at typing and talking, but he certainly knows how to play!

Kids can be fantastic players, or lousy ones, just like anyone else you might encounter -- it isn't right to judge them based on age alone. The fair way to deal with kids in WoW is to give them a chance to show their skill, and even to help them improve however you can. If they prove unreasonable, then kick them out the same way you would an unreasonable adult. For those adults who just exclude young people from their activities altogether without giving them a chance, there's no denying it is prejudice -- judging before knowing -- and it often means depriving yourself of some quality talent for your group. Of course, if your guild does some sort of ERP, or other "adult" activities, then by all means, exclude away! But in normal gaming, especially in a casual guild or a PuG, there's really no reason a kid shouldn't be allowed to join unless they've already shown themselves unable to do what's required of them. Anyone who says, "some of these people are not fun to be around, so I'll just exclude the whole lot of them," has some growing up of their own to do.

[Thanks Raegn!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Forums

Breakfast Topic: When discrimination rears its ugly head

I play a Shaman as my main, and I've said it more than once to my guild already: as much as I can, I will outright refuse to group with Paladins in the Burning Crusade. I don't care if they are on our side, if they do bring that sweet, sweet Judgement of Wisdom, and if they are really corrupting the light-- a Pally is a Pally. They're my sworn enemy, and that means they have to die (as soon as that shield fades, anyway).

And I'm not alone-- Jingle refuses Blood Elves in general on behalf of the entire Horde. And interfaction discrimination doesn't have to wait until the Burning Crusade-- Julious points out that Gnomes seem to get no respect at all, even from Alliance. Hey, I respect Gnomes plenty. I respect them at dinnertime with a fine Durotar wine, usually after they've been grilled or charbroiled.

So where do you land on all of this? Can't stand the sight of some of your supposed allies (I'll just assume you already hate the other faction), or do you think we should all just get along?

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Gnomes, Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blood Elves, Features

Breakfast Topic: No children, please!

I recently overheard someone giving advice on how to avoid guild drama: avoid teenagers. Why? Because nothing loses respect for a guild leader more than their parents kicking them off the computer in the middle of a raid.

It's an interesting point, but I've noticed this sort of age discrimination becoming more prevalent recently. People are happy to tar all WoW's younger players with the same brush -- one experience of an abusive fourteen-year-old in Barrens chat blows up into a strong dislike of all under-18s, resulting in "mature-only" guilds which only take players over 30 (for example).

My experiences, especially of the last few months, have shown me that teenage players can be as mature and responsible as anyone -- perhaps more laid-back than older players who have limited playtime thanks to jobs and other responsibilities. Have you suffered from the common stereotypes of younger players? Do you cringe whenever the words "fourteen-year-old" are used as an insult? Or are you happily entrenched in a mature-only guild without a single curfew in sight?

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

Blizzard apologises for GLBT blunder

We previously reported on Blizzard's run-in with Sara Andrews as she was recruiting for her GLBT-friendly guild; fortunately, there's a happy ending. Blizzard's decision has been reversed, and they are reviewing their policies (including their wording). Additionally, as the incident is being put down to a poorly trained GM, we'll be seeing GMs with added "sensitivity training" in future.

According to In Newsweekly, another outcome of this is that a special "guild recruitment" channel is going to come into existence soon, making it easier to advertise and find guilds.

Also, several academics have created and signed an "Open Letter to Blizzard" as a result of this issue, encouraging Blizzard to come forward and "make a public statement that the mention of homosexuality in general chat is not offensive. Beyond this, we also suggest that Blizzard investigate ways of making WoW more inclusive for GLBT guilds and players." It looks like this single GM reprimand has touched a very sensitive nerve.

Filed under: Blizzard

Discrimination and WoW

Murmurs of player discrimination have been surfacing recently; a forum thread on Tales of Warcraft has apparently grown to over 7,000 replies with many Chinese players posting that they have experienced racial discrimination from other players. This ties in with something I linked to here recently, an exploration of our attitudes to gold farming--it seems many players are assuming that broken English equals gold farmer, and shunning others totally based on this assumption. In Nick Yee's article, he points to a case where a French speaker was labelled as a Chinese farmer by an ignorant interlocutor.

As Game Tycoon points out, this isn't a new phenomenon. However, it is a worrying one, as it seems ignorance is overtaking good sense and causing problems all round. On the European servers, which are separated by language--English, French or German--many people play on the English servers without English as their first language. I frequently see adverts for Danish or Swedish guilds, and non-English chat in General, both of which are met with huge amounts of flaming from other players. However, English speakers don't shun these Europeans because they're suspected gold farmers, but because they don't obey the "rules" of the server.

Is the anonymity of virtual worlds a good thing, providing us with a mask to hide our racism and hatred behind? Or is it simply a love of the game and an adherence to rules that cause us to strike out with such a huge backlash against those who don't speak properly? Have you experienced or seen problems like this in-game?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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