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Posts with tag racism

Drama Mamas: Overreacting

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We've got a twofer for you this week. Are these letter writers overreacting?
Dear Drama Mamas,

Hello! I have recently ran into a problem with my GuildMaster, who we will call C. I was questing in a zone, when one player says in General chat, "He (referring to Sha of Anger) is not up yet." My GuildMaster, who was also in the zone says, "That's what she said. ;D" Now I would have no problem with this, if our guild rules did not say specifically, "Each [GUILD NAME] is held accountable for his or her actions. Everyone is subject to a "three-strike" rule, meaning that an infraction of the above guild rules, and/or doing foolish or thoughtless things that would cause [GUILD NAME] to be seen in a poor light to the general populace of the realm will win you a warning." and one of those above rules include..."Keep chat and Ventrilo chatter PG-rated. Stay away from political, sexual and religious discussions."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Racism and setting social standards

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server.

We love updates! We've already heard back from the writer of last week's letter, Hacking a friend's account.
Hi, I recently sent in an email to the Drama Mamas; it was the "hacking a friend's account" one. Just sending this in to say thanks, he gave me a ring today, I manned up and answered it and probably wouldn't of done if not for you. We made up, both said sorry and I gave him his password back.

So all's well that ends well -- and sticking with a common theme, an end to situations that have no place in our game is what's on tap this week, too. The topic: racism and hate speech. (Before we begin: Standard warning for comments -- we'll be removing those that veer off the subject of handling racist hate speech in game, so please stay on topic and keep the language civil so we can have a productive conversation.)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Blood Sport: Should racials be removed?

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Fix You, the author's favorite Coldplay song. The best part of this performance, the "crowd run," happens 3 minutes into it. Watch it, if just for that.

Last Week: Last week, we discussed the racials of blood elves, undead, and trolls, oh my! The last two Blood Sport articles look at racial abilities from a perspective of effectiveness in the arena.

This Week: We'll be discussing racials, for the third (and last) week straight. A lot of arena players would rather play without racials entirely. On ArenaJunkies, there are lots of people who subscribe to a nerf movement every few weeks and add a little signature or avatar in to say "nerf Will of the Forsaken" or "nerf Every Man For Himself." What if racials got removed? Would WoW be better or worse because of it?

I have an opinion on it that I'm going to share with you -- hopefully you'll agree. So let's weigh some arguments for removing racials...

Cons (removing racials would be bad):

Identity

The forsaken just wouldn't be the same without those three translucent exclamation points. Before I played WoW, I saw a video of an orc using Blood Fury, and I was amazed. The animation looks so cool, and you can get it at level one! Every time I see a tauren shaman run to me, I instinctively jump behind a pillar. It'd be hard for me to get it out of my system that he can't War Stomp anymore.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: Alliance racials



Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Sting with some of my favorite folk, "The Snow, It Melts the Soonest." Although this version isn't my favorite, it's one of the only videos with decent quality I could find -- and it's by Sting, gotta love Sting.

Last Week: We talked about season eight compositions and trends, particularly in 3v3. Not much has changed since then. Check it out if you have the time, it's still very relevant.

This Week: We'll be discussing the wonderful imbalances we call "racials" for arena. The alliance have historically had worse PvP racials than their horde counterparts, but this might have changed in WotLK.

Remember back to a time when race changes didn't exist. In vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade, players had to reroll or deal with the racials that they originally chose, even if those racials got nerfed or buffed. These racials were also far more imbalanced than they are today, which added insult to injury for certain race / class combinations.

Dwarf

Stoneform
: Activate to remove poison, disease, and bleed effects; +10% Armor; Lasts 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

This racial is a shadow of what it once was. Pre-WotLK, this racial would give a 8 second immunity to poison, disease, and bleed effects. The difference is enormous -- removing a 50% healing debuff in Wound Poison for an 8 second window allowed the dwarf to receive some massive heals. The racial was also on a three minute cooldown, but most PvPers will tell you that the shortened cooldown does not make up for the 8 second immunity. Dwarf priests and hunters had a much easier time surviving against rogues in The Burning Crusade, which is probably the reason the racial was nerfed for WotLK.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

GLAAD fights homophobia in online communities like WoW

We've talked here on the site before about this issue -- the anonymity in online communities like World of Warcraft often leads to people throwing out offensive statements that they usually wouldn't in normal company. Most people shrug these off as just what happens in online games ("kids will be kids, and idiots will be idiots"), but this type of undercurrent behavior still signifies and perpetuates prejudices and hatreds that affect society at large.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has recently started up a campaign to try and stamp out hatred and homophobia in communities like World of Warcraft, and they've published an op-ed on exactly why this is such a problem and what we can do to stop it. They don't mention WoW specifically, but we're one of the biggest online communities out there, and if nothing else, here's a chance to show just how tolerant we as a community can be.

The good news is that as the practice of online gaming grows, both players and policymakers are becoming more and more aware of the problem -- Microsoft met earlier this year with representatives from GLAAD to determine how better to combat offensive statements on Xbox Live, and the organization held a panel recently to discuss exactly this issue.

Thanks, Joshua!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, News items

[1.Local]: The week from a reader's point of view

[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The excitement of the all the new Wrath of the Lich King buzz this week must have gone to some readers' heads, making them testier than usual. This week saw several squabbles in post comments, from mild differences of opinion to outright controversial debate. News about the shape of raid instances to come brought out plenty of opinions both for and against the new raid sizes. Should Arthas be 10-mannable? With even well known raiding guilds such as Death and Taxes burning out and moving on, are raiding applications still necessary in this day and age?

The comments got hot and heavy in a post that sparked plenty of discussion about racism in Arena team names. Readers also seemed of two minds at the efforts of top-tanked 5v5 Arena team M L H, who've turned out to be prolific points-sellers. But commenters pulled together in a post advising one reader whose system seems to have slowed to a crawl. And reader Kershner wrapped it all up on a chilled note for the weekend with a great macro to help us kick back and enjoy some fishing.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one, silly!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

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Filed under: Fishing, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Features, Raiding, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, [1.Local]

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.

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

You don't have to tolerate racism in WoW

As with any grouping of people online, some WoW players can perfectly sociable and respectful of others, and some can be nasty, offensive and even bigoted. As the player Adaan wrote on the European WoW forums, he had the displeasure of encountering some players who use a certain racially offensive word, and it made him feel very angry.

It turns out that if you encounter such language in WoW, you can report other players for racism. Vaneras stepped in to confirm that Blizzard does not tolerate racist language, and such comments will get those players banned. Although I have not encountered racist language in WoW myself, I heartily encourage anyone who does to report that player. Dealing with racism in real life can often lead to awkward confrontations with people who refuse to admit what they were saying was wrong in any way, but in WoW, Blizzard is all set to do that for you, while at the same time helping to make sure there are negative consequences on racist behavior.

Although Vaneras doesn't mention it in his post, it is my understanding that the same also follows for other forms of discriminatory language, such as sexism. While of course there can be a lot of annoying grey area in such issues, another reason to such offenses in WoW is that Blizzard may actually have proof of what the other person said stored in their systems, and a genuine problem is more likely to receive a real consequence than might otherwise be the case.

Filed under: Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Forums

Fun with the Armory: Everyone's a little bit racist

Mallory has an issue with one of the ranked arena teams, Kool Kids Klub. Because the initials of the guild are spelled KKK, she believes the guild is openly racist. Which really only works if you assume that so is Krusty the Klown. I can't exactly picture real-life KKK members sitting down to form an organized racist arena team in WOW. Plus, as several people pointed out, arguing about racism in an arena where you kill characters because they're of a different race is weird.

But the interesting thing in the thread isn't about the Kool Kids Klub. Rather, it's how many really ridiculous character, guild and arena team names fall below the radar. Particularly bad are arena teams, which don't seem to have the same filter as character and guild names. Examples given in the thread include:

  • Nucken Figgers
  • Jew N Da Oven
  • Maybe Hitler Was Right
  • Muslimkilla
  • Jesus Had A Soulstone
  • I Survived Virginia Tech

Eh ... while I don't condone racism, most of these names are clearly done for shock value. And if they're actually racist, then that would just help anger their opponents. I know I'd fight harder against Maybe Hitler Was Right. If we have to ban something, can we ban the horribly overused guild/arena team names? I'd be happy if I'd never have to face another STDs are BOP, Naga Stole My Bike or Ihavecandy Getinthevan member ever.

What do you think about the naming policies of WOW? Do you think their should be stricter enforcement of naming rules, or should Blizzard let it be?

Filed under: Virtual selves

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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