Grim Issues. No Jest.

by on July 2, 2010


Very sharp, is that ‘mental Shaman. I’ve just read her ponderings on the new races’ emotes which were let loose on the world this week and my general thought process was roughly: oooh deary me.

I’m not the type to wave the comic-sans’d politically correct placard, but Mental Shaman’s right: some of the current emotes for the new races are a bit dodgy.

It looks like Blizzard have put themselves in a tricksy situation. A lot of players are looking forward to jumping in to a goblin’s steel-capped boots or a Worgen’s claws (well, maybe not the claws per se). Enough players are going to goblin-ise or worgen-ise themselves that we’ll be unable to shuffle between new zones’ equivalents of unsuspecting grazing chunks of boar meat for falling over other little green and/or furry men.

So it seems obvious to me that getting the identity of these races right – and at least vaguely inoffensive – is job number 1.

Mental Shaman’s open in discussing which emotes work for her and why. She’s a jot over-sensitive on a couple of them. I mean, I personally don’t relish the use of the word “bitch” and don’t use it in reference to myself. So I’m not likely to relate with a worgen female through that emote. But I reckon that women “out there” do use that word in reference to themselves, and not in a derogatory way. More as a way to harness it. In this way, they feel they control or at least neutralise the word so that it *doesn ‘t* have the derogatory effect if someone tries to apply it to them.

But Mental Shaman does make good points and I share some of her wibbles. There’s a line, and [pullquote]occa­sion­ally little things like this pull me out of the game. Instead of fun, I feel dis­ap­point­ment.[/pullquote]Blizzard have crossed, graffiti’ed and widdled on it with the male goblin /silly: “He told me to tie her up, and do whatever I wanted to her. So I took her stereo.”

Mental Shaman’s backed down on this as folks say the line begins “she” not “you”. However, I say that line starts “he”. I’ve listened to it several times – find it here at WoW.com.

That makes this a joke about rape. Erm, what?

It’s Cataclysm beta-time and all is… not well – arghthud, goes Blizzard.

Jokes that are in any way, shape or nebulous form rape jokes, are not acceptable in a game of WoW’s nature. Whether it does or doesn’t say “he”, “you” or any incriminatory personage, the line needs to sound distinguishably innocent. Particularly since Blizzard already looped enough rope to hang themselves by including a quest in Wrath which gives the player no choice but to torture a helpless prisoner – something a fair number of people including me were very upset about.

I reckon Blizzard need to take a long look at what they’re betraying by indifferently trifling with [pullquote]I can see this is how the jokes will end up being ‘read’ by a lot of the player base[/pullquote]these issues, and they need to do it soon before the noose tightens enough to make their eyes pop.

What thinks you? These topics are so solemn that everyone’s bound to have a strong opinion on them – or are they?

Quotes direct from ‘mental Shaman’s post.

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