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Corpsegrinder sings at BlizzCon
October 24, 2011 9:16 PM   Subscribe

BlizzCon, the monumental annual event that Blizzard Entertainment puts on every year, just wrapped up this weekend. It concluded with a massive party and concert, during which George Fisher was at one point invited on stage. Mr. Fisher is also known by his stage name "Corpsegrinder" and is the singer for heavy metal band Cannibal Corpse. In order to introduce him to the audience, this snippet of an interview with him was played (YT link). In case it's not totally clear what's getting beeped out, here's the unedited version (YT link, NSFW language).

While there has been some outcry and official response on the WoW forums, it mostly seems centered around the feelings that some Alliance players have that they're being marginalized. One Blizzard employee has offered an apology on the official forums, although it's not clear if he's apologizing to LGBTQ persons, Alliance players, or both. That apology is also followed by this post from the same employee.

Interestingly, as the Horde are in many ways the "outcasts" of the game world, it has a strong pull for LGBT players and the game's largest LGBTQ guild - The Spreading Taint on the Proudmoore server - is a Horde guild.

To provide context for people that may not be familiar:
Blizzard entertainment produces three of the most successful game series ever made: WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. This post mostly concerns the World of Warcraft, an MMO set in the WarCraft universe. Players can be members of one of two factions in the game, the Alliance or the Horde. The Alliance is comprised of a core of traditionally "good" fantasy races (humans, elves, dwarves, etc.) while the Horde has the traditionally "bad" races (orcs, trolls, goblins, etc.)
posted by kavasa (61 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I've never played World of Warcraft but I have read Reamde so I was entertained by this.
posted by delmoi at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2011


If any Corpsegrinder hate shows up here, I will police it. He is the vocalist in one of my favorite bands, and he has personally taught me dozens of ways to kill people in increasing specific and macabre fashion. I am not afraid to use them.

And his neck is not a surprise if you have seen what he does on stage. Best headbanger and scream in all of death metal.

I don't know fuck all about Warcraft, but I felt compelled to post because the word 'Corpsegrinder' showed up on the blue. Sorry.
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mr. Grinder's comments won't promote the typical views of heavy metal/videogame fans at all.
posted by docgonzo at 9:30 PM on October 24, 2011


Could you explain a little bit more about what was so surprising about this? So far it seems like "heavy metal dude trash talks fellow gamers, uses homophobic language to do so" which seems kind of...par for the course, really. Not even because he's metal, just because it's typical gamer trash talk. Unless there's something I'm missing.
posted by Diablevert at 9:37 PM on October 24, 2011


Diablevert, Blizzard makes billions of dollars annually. Literally billions. They are a big deal.

BlizzCon is the show that Blizzard puts on every year for a variety of reasons. Tickets to it are expensive, and it is by all accounts a fun experience, although I've never been. So the issue is that they made the deliberate decision to not only put this guy on stage but also play an interview of him where he says some really shitty stuff. Because they thought it was cool/funny/whatever.

Imagine a Target (or whatever) corporate event where they had a concert and did the same thing - Target logos everywhere, a well-known metalhead from staff bringing the guy on stage, playing the interview about how doesn't shop at faggot walmart, whatever.

Analogies are obviously touch, but for me at least, what sucks is that it's basically Blizzard officially saying "we thought this was HILARIOUS".
posted by kavasa at 9:45 PM on October 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


bringing the guy on stage, playing the interview about how doesn't shop at faggot walmart, whatever.

What did they expect? Cannibal Corpse is a death metal band, and one that doesn't shy away from controversy.

I've done a couple of google searches, and there are some that didn't like the interview and some just don't think Cannibal Corpse is appropriate.

And does the Blizzcon concert have the same minimum age requirement as the main Blizzcon event? (5+ years old). If so, I would understand why some people wouldn't like that Blizzard got Cannibal Corpse.

Also, how much sense does it make that 5 year olds can attend a convention for a game company that makes games primarily (based on ESRB ratings) for teens?
posted by FJT at 10:08 PM on October 24, 2011


I walked out of the concert at the end but not because of the interview.

It's because whoever did the levels at the soundcheck needed to be fucking shot.

You ever heard a PA clip like a motherfucker because it's being driven too hard? Welcome to the Blizzcon concert. The loudness bordered on fucking negligence. When the lead singer of whatever the fuck Elite Tauren Dickwads call themselves these days let out an ear curdling scream and my fucking ears hurt halfway back in the hall that was the end of it. I get it. You're fucking metal and you're loud and you're not going to take shit from anyone but you sounded like fucking shit even for a metal band.

I heard Foo Fighters had their guy do a proper soundcheck and it didn't sound too much like shit but I had already left at that point. That's a night I'll never get back and some more tinnitus I'll never get rid of.

That concert absolutely fucking infuriated me. It was a terrible end to an otherwise terrific weekend.
posted by Talez at 10:10 PM on October 24, 2011


So the issue is that they made the deliberate decision to not only put this guy on stage but also play an interview of him where he says some really shitty stuff. Because they thought it was cool/funny/whatever.
Well, they bleeped out all the 'shitty' stuff.
well-known metalhead from staff bringing the guy on stage, playing the interview about how doesn't shop at faggot walmart, whatever.
Well... It probably doesn't help that this mental image actually caused me to laugh out loud.
posted by delmoi at 10:14 PM on October 24, 2011


Also, Starcraft players calling each other 'faggot' all the time is going to be a real problem for Blizzard, MLG, etc, before too long. Tournaments are getting too big, and they're attracting too many sponsors.
posted by empath at 10:23 PM on October 24, 2011


Wow, that is inappropriate. I can't believe he would compare a whole class of people to the Alliance like that.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 10:39 PM on October 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


I was a member of Taint for several years before I stopped playing. Dozens and dozens of times the guild made known to Blizzard when they did some fucked up, homophobic shit. And generally, Bliz listened. When I reported especially egregious homophobia/sexism/racism/etc to the mods they responded and handled the issue professionally. But to showcase what is the absolute worst of the game like this? Fuck you, Blizz.

And you know what. That is just the tip of the iceberg with these people. A substantially larger middle finger is needed for making the next expansion pack after an old April Fools joke.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:47 PM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"What did they expect? Cannibal Corpse is a death metal band, and one that doesn't shy away from controversy."

This attitude is interesting to me. Would this guy get the same "but it's death metal" pass if he described at length how he didn't play horde because it's full of niggers and kikes?

That said, I don't really think the singer is the interesting part here. Shitty people do and say shitty things. The two things that are interesting, to me, are:
1) Their decision to put the guy on stage
2) The reaction being largely about Alliance players feeling bad, rather than this being a really shitty thing to do to their queer customers/employees

I can almost guarantee there were queer people in that crowd. Must've felt pretty awesome.

"Well, they bleeped out all the 'shitty' stuff."

I'll re-state my hypothetical a little bit: do you think this would be sufficient protection if the beeped out stuff had been racist?
posted by kavasa at 10:50 PM on October 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm queer. Don't play WoW because I'm pretty sure I'm one of the people who would have it devour their life whole. But I was a hell of a lot more interested in the fact that a grown-up metalhead like this is talking this enthusiastically about video games.

(Also, munchingzombie, all my friends who play WoW are going "squee" and making plans to play pandaren. But then again most of my friends are furries; ymmv.)
posted by egypturnash at 11:38 PM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rolled a starter edition account after taking a break from the game for most of this year. It was all going great until people started talking in General Chat. I quickly remembered why I quit.

I love what Blizzard are doing with the game though. I don't care if people whine about Kung Fu Pandas and Pokemon. Sounds great. They've even got me annoyingly considering one of their yearly passes, if only I can stomach the vocal minority of the playerbase again.

Acting like that video is something to be proud of is ridiculous. Happy the guy makes music people enjoy. Never heard it so I don't want to pass judgment either way. But worst aspect of the playerbase, indeed.
posted by dumbland at 11:44 PM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Never heard of Corpsegrinder before. What a brat.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:46 PM on October 24, 2011


Would this guy get the same "but it's death metal" pass if he described at length how he didn't play horde because it's full of niggers and kikes?

People tie themselves in knots to explain away the way pretty grotesque homophobia shows up in many branches of the rap family tree, so I don't think it's a "death metal" pass. More like a large chunk of the gamer culture is a suppurating wound of homophobia and sexism.
posted by rodgerd at 12:10 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


what about all the death metal fans that find WoW offensive?
posted by bxyldy at 12:44 AM on October 25, 2011


A substantially larger middle finger is needed for making the next expansion pack after an old April Fools joke.

So basically you're admitting ignorance of Chen Stormsnout, Pandaren Brewmaster, who appeared in WC3: The Frozen Throne, as an recruitable hero character. And who showed up relatively recently to sign the note when if you bought your Pandaren Monk pet. Gotcha.
posted by mephron at 12:56 AM on October 25, 2011


Oh God, please not another MoP "debate" thread, I can't take it anymore. Look some people like the idea and some people don't. (Yes, I'm of the latter kind). The end.

On topic: Making "faggot" jokes has come out of fashion quite a while ago Blizz/Corpsgrinder. Unfortunately you're not the only one to not have gotten that memo yet.

I'll also never get this Alliance-Horde rivality thingy which makes me a bad WoW player, or so I'm told.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 1:38 AM on October 25, 2011


Earthtone Coalition 4 life! Fuck the Forces of Brightness!
posted by Justinian at 1:59 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


So basically you're admitting ignorance of Chen Stormsnout, Pandaren Brewmaster, who appeared in WC3: The Frozen Throne, as an recruitable hero character. And who showed up relatively recently to sign the note when if you bought your Pandaren Monk pet. Gotcha.

The April Fools Joke pre-dates Chen Stormstout's appearance in Frozen Throne. But yeah, Panderans have since popped up here and there. Where they first appeared is hardly a strike against them, considering every last bit of it is all made up anyway (ooh, slippery slope).

I'll also never get this Alliance-Horde rivality thingy which makes me a bad WoW player, or so I'm told.

I'm very much a PvE player. Plot-wise, fine I see why the rivalry exists. But the way a few people act about it is just bizarre, considering the completely arbitrary distinction between the two factions.
posted by dumbland at 2:03 AM on October 25, 2011


Also, Starcraft players calling each other 'faggot' all the time is going to be a real problem for Blizzard, MLG, etc, before too long. Tournaments are getting too big, and they're attracting too many sponsors.

This is why many tournaments place pretty strict limits on what players can say during in-game chat. Also, a player (Destiny) was dropped from a team pretty much precisely for this reason. He didn't want to stop using the word "fag" on his stream, and sponsors don't care for that sort of thing.
posted by atrazine at 2:28 AM on October 25, 2011


Also, how much sense does it make that 5 year olds can attend a convention for a game company that makes games primarily (based on ESRB ratings) for teens?

It makes perfect sense because parents will be escorting their children and have the right to decide what is or is not appropriate for their child. It's not like ESRB ratings are handed down on stone tablets from mountain high.
posted by mek at 2:34 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


If any Corpsegrinder hate shows up here, I will police it.

Thank heaven somebody is ready to stand up for the little guy. I mean, not gnomes. We know what they are. The metaphorical little guy.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:46 AM on October 25, 2011


Blizzard did the bare minimum - considering this greasy coward's casual homophobia worth bleeping - that I'm not outright pissed off with them. I'd have been much happier that justice had been served if the fugly anachronism were dropped from the event so as not to give his bullshit a platform, but for a nerdbro games company it's probably a step forward. Just not a particularly decisive one.
posted by emmtee at 3:24 AM on October 25, 2011


If this is spun as the precious feelings of Alliance players getting hurt, I'm lost for words. It's typical trash-talking but G. Fisher is being an asshole about it and Blizzard's decision to play this interview (instead of, say, asking him to cut out the adjectives and rerecord) is baffling for a company that has a revenue stream which depends on constant audience participation.

Then again not everyone has a Bolt Thrower for their game.

Mr. Grinder's comments won't promote the typical views of heavy metal/videogame fans at all.

I beg to disagree. Video game players are average at this point in time and the median age of a gamer hovers around the median population age for the US and the UK. But then again casual homophobia is still a societal problem. As for heavy metal fans, they run the full gamut and this casual dismissiveness seems uninformed. I haven't seen anyone giving flak to Judas Priest or Rob Halford for coming out, for instance and for every obscure proto-fascist band you can find five thoughtful ones (and ten "METAAAL ones, of course).
posted by ersatz at 3:42 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not so long ago I was in a bar and somebody put a cannibal cropse song on the jukebox. One of the regulars got so mad he threw a shot glass at the guy who put it on and got 86ed.

Been out of WoW for a while , they just send me one of those 14 day offers to come back, should I?
posted by Ad hominem at 4:48 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you need another anecdatapoint, this Alliance player cancelled his account yesterday. It's not because of the infamous Horde bias, but it is the last straw. When a team of developers make a game that divides the playerbase into two factions pitted against each other, you would expect those developers to take an unquestionable neutral stance. It's pretty clear now, however, through in-game storylines and particularly through their personal behaviors, that the game developers do favor one side over the other. Displaying that at Blizzcon's closing concert put the company's stamp of approval on it, and that cemented my decision to leave the game behind.

Meanwhile, Guildwars 2 looks very promising. No factions, no class roles. Between that game and the new Star Wars MMO, I suspect Blizzard may see their WoW subscriptions fall more than they have already this year (currently ~11m worldwide, down from ~12m last year).

Lastly, "nerdbro" is a new term for me. I shall use it with great frequency henceforth.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 5:19 AM on October 25, 2011


When a team of developers make a game that divides the playerbase into two factions pitted against each other, you would expect those developers to take an unquestionable neutral stance. It's pretty clear now, however, through in-game storylines and particularly through their personal behaviors, that the game developers do favor one side over the other. Displaying that at Blizzcon's closing concert put the company's stamp of approval on it, and that cemented my decision to leave the game behind.

Really?

I mean, really?
posted by empath at 5:25 AM on October 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yes, really.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 5:43 AM on October 25, 2011


I been reading the Guildwars 2 dev diaries or whatever they been calling them, they seem like Raph Koster kinda guys.

The stuff the beta testers have been saying about SWOR has not been encouraging though.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:28 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Blizz cared at all about who they offend, they would have done something about WoW trade chat a long, long time ago.

the infamous Horde bias

I see that argument surprisingly often, and always coming from Alliance players on WoW forums. And it kills me every time because I always played Horde on a server that was 3/4 Alliance. Trust me, that "infamous bias" isn't worth as much as you think it is.
posted by heatvision at 6:50 AM on October 25, 2011


Horde vs. Alliance is a 100% artificial sports-team rivalry that Blizzard encourages because it makes people get emotionally attached to (the part of) the game (that they play). It's just like how Pepsi and Coke aren't interested in merging: that would water down the brand identities of them both.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chris Metzen's never made his preferences a secret, to be fair.

WoW Insider had an opinion piece recently which I can't look up right now and link to about Blizzard's recent problems about writing for the Alliance -- comparing the story lines in Twilight Highlands, for example, where for the Horde players recruit the Dragonmaw once more (ugh) and wage war, and for the Alliance, players help a courtship along and plan a wedding. They also noted how Blizzard has developed the human king, Varian Wrynn, into having more sterotypically Orcish traits.

I think the storyline for the Alliance is showing signs of improvement, though, from a couple of tidbits that slipped out of the convention

(Speculation/spoilers for MoP ahead)







Rumor has it the Horde will be attacking and possibly destroying the Alliance settlement of Theramore.

Why would that a good development in the Alliance players' eyes?

Because of Jaina Proudmoore. Consider her past: her brother was killed by the Old Horde. Her father never recovered from that, but Jaina believed in Thrall's New Horde and the possibilities of peace and so she countenanced her father being killed. Now, however, under Garrosh's leadership, the ideals of the New Horde are seemingly dead and the Old Horde, with its past of genocide, rape and slavery (I can't get over the red dragons) is being revered once more. With the destruction of Theramore, we possibly could get a Jaina Proudmoore that has agency and a purpose again, and that could be interesting. WoW's treatment of female characters has also been lacking, in my opinion, so I hope they let Jaina shine for a while. (Thrall's reaction will also be a necessary component of the story, particularly for Horde players who don't agree with the Horde NPC's opinion of Garrosh, to say the least(!), but I hope they don't make it all about a male character's response again.)
posted by rewil at 7:02 AM on October 25, 2011


I used to play in a death metal band and the amount of racism/sexism/homophobia I saw didn't seem a lot worse than anywhere else. This guy is being a dummy though.

Also, I quit WoW about a year ago due to some health problems (arms) and I am glad to be free of the various chat channels. I came away from that game convinced that the majority of people are idiots, or at least amazingly thoughtless and negative/unhappy. Then again I generally try to act online like I do in person (upbeat and respectful). I get uncomfortable at hockey games when people do the "other team sucks" chant, too ... so maybe it's just me.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:35 AM on October 25, 2011


Thank you, MeFi, for finally getting me off my ass to cancel my WoW account, which I just did. It's been so long since I played that I had to track down that little authenticator dongle to do it, but it was worth it. I always knew Blizzard turned a blind eye to sexism, racism and homophobia in WoW chat. I had no idea they would actively condone it at their massive corporate event. Repulsive.
posted by The Bellman at 7:38 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm getting a bit tired of expansions that appear to be largely built on one-note race jokes. The thought of an entire zone of NPCs that look like Paddington and talk like Uncle Iroh just seems like a recipe for failure. I'm similarly annoyed by trolls, dwarves, tauren, tanuka, and tuskarr, but they can be taken in small doses generally.

(Mako was awesome, voice actors imitating him as an iconic signifier of ethnicity, less so.)

Trade chat strikes me as the same two-dozen people getting into the same flamewars over and over again. But I've not had much of a problem with that sort of thing in chat. If I see it, I drop the channel or drop group.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2011


This is why many tournaments place pretty strict limits on what players can say during in-game chat. Also, a player (Destiny) was dropped from a team pretty much precisely for this reason. He didn't want to stop using the word "fag" on his stream, and sponsors don't care for that sort of thing.

That's completely made up.

Destiny was never dropped from a team, he chose to not join CoL after ROOT was bought out, because he doesn't want to censor himself on his stream.

That said, I often get into arguments in the SC2 community over casual use of "fag". The biggest hurdle I'm facing is people arguing that "fag" doesn't mean "homosexual" in the gaming community. That they're not "literally" calling homosexual people faggots.

Well holy shit, of course it doesn't literally mean that. They're using homosexuality as a generic insult to emasculate others. Probably not consciously so, which is why they don't seem to realize what they're doing, and why what they're doing is wrong.

It doesn't help that every discussion about the topic inevitable involves a gay gamer running in with "I'm gay and I don't think they're calling any gay people names!", which get upvoted/quoted a million times by lazy people who would rather rationalize their terrible vocabulary than make a modicum of effort to change it.
posted by unigolyn at 7:46 AM on October 25, 2011


I honestly don't think that calling someone you don't like a fag or whatever other homophobic slur makes you a terrible, irredeemable person. It's more low class and stupid than it is hateful, imo. The singer of the band might have tons of gay friends, you don't know. Using that video reflects far worse on blizzard than it does on the singer, imo. Because it's one thing to say some dumb shit in a casual interview, it's another thing to use that dumb shit as official corporate communication.

Reading the starcraft forums and following starcraft players, there's so much casual homophobia thrown around, but it seems to me that there are also a lot of barely-closeted pro players, too, and everyone knows it, but it doesn't seem to make them less popular, and I don't at all get the sense that people calling each other fag in game chat and on streams etc at all have a problem with gay people. Like, 'fag' to these people is just a thing you call someone that annoys you, it doesn't seem to have much to do with being gay any more.

I wish it would go away though, because it's fucking obnoxious to see.
posted by empath at 7:47 AM on October 25, 2011


This is why many tournaments place pretty strict limits on what players can say during in-game chat. Also, a player (Destiny) was dropped from a team pretty much precisely for this reason. He didn't want to stop using the word "fag" on his stream, and sponsors don't care for that sort of thing.

Yeah, this is not what happened. He got dumped from Root because he didn't want to practice off stream with the other guys, which was part of the commitment to the team. He needed to stream to make a living.

He just joined another even bigger team and is about to go to Korea. I wish he would get more shit from sponsors about his language, though. I think he's a good guy, but he's setting a bad example for all the players that imitate him with less intelligence than he has.

The thing is, even though he goes to the wall defending his right to say call people 'faggot', he hardly ever actually does it in his stream. I wish he's just grow up and realize that he's not fucking George Carlin or Lenny Bruce and start acting a little bit more like an adult. That shit is going to blow back on him big time eventually.
posted by empath at 7:51 AM on October 25, 2011


Rolled a starter edition account after taking a break from the game for most of this year. It was all going great until people started talking in General Chat. I quickly remembered why I quit.

If Blizz cared at all about who they offend, they would have done something about WoW trade chat a long, long time ago.


The best part about trade chat is disabling trade chat.

That said reporting abusive players works - no matter what channel it happens on; Guild chat, private chat, /join channels - if they violated the TOS, they'll go up the volcano. You can /ignore them - and the dungeon finder won't group you with them, even.

Point is, Blizzard gives you tools to deal with the morons. I'm not sure what else they could reasonably do.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:51 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure what else they could reasonably do.

They could man up and say the language is not going to be tolerated, ever, and set a strong example about it.
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on October 25, 2011


I have no problems with a race of Pandas in a game, but Pandaria? Really?

They couldn't have gone with Pandagonia? Or Pandgea?
posted by straight at 7:54 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pandamonium, obviously.
posted by empath at 7:58 AM on October 25, 2011


Blizzard isn't responsible for a generation of foolish, illiterate, racist, bait-oriented trash-talking gamers. We all are. It's not Blizzard's problem, it's our problem.
posted by felix at 8:34 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right now, someone is playing a PvP round in WoW, and winning. Their comment on the plight of the loser?

"Fag. Hahaha. j/k :)"

I guess I'm saying that inviting an overly macho singer from an overly macho band in an overly macho genre to talk to those interested in an overly macho game in an overly macho industry is merely the tip (if you will) of the phallic iceberg.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:43 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what else they could reasonably do.

There are what, maybe 100 or so US servers? It'd be pretty easy to hire a couple hundred people to do nothing but watch trade chat all day and flag egregious sexism, racism, homophobia, and the like (filters could be used to ignore obviously safe material like WTB [linked item]). Experienced community moderators would then review the flagged material and mete out appropriate consequences: warnings, suspensions, even bans. The cost would be peanuts to Blizzard.

I bet within a few months people would get the idea. I suspect, however, that Blizzard doesn't want to take an active role in moderating trade chat because it thinks that fewer people quit the game because of jerks than would quit the game if they weren't allowed to be jerks. Ultimately it's all about the bottom line.
posted by jedicus at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


an overly macho game

This is what just competely kills me about people in WoW: they act like it is, but it's not even a macho game! It's cartoonish and colourful and when it tries to be serious and manly, it comes across quite incredibly camp.

I'd love to know what WoW manly-men are seeing when they play as this and fight against this.

I bet within a few months people would get the idea. I suspect, however, that Blizzard doesn't want to take an active role in moderating trade chat because it thinks that fewer people quit the game because of jerks than would quit the game if they weren't allowed to be jerks. Ultimately it's all about the bottom line.

I'd love to see them outright troll people. Homophobic remarks in trade chat? Oops, server lost your bank contents. Racism? Enjoy raiding in your starter gear. Or your new humiliating name. Oh shit, look, you're flagged as hostile to both factions! Run, manchild, run!

They'd never do it, but it'd be fascinating how the resulting internet hilarity (especially if they gave GMs relatively free reign to come up with new and crueller punishments for YouTube's edification) and satisfaction on behalf of the more rational players would affect their subscriber numbers. Maybe not as badly as they think.
posted by emmtee at 10:33 AM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


So basically you're admitting ignorance of Chen Stormsnout...

Hardly. I am well aware of their history in the game. And while a little Panda flavor here and there isn't offensive an entire expansion pack built around them is, in my opinion. An expansion pack is usually cause for me to open my account again but reading the post on the possible new content was underwhelming. Nothing looks exciting or fun or new.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2011


I honestly don't think that calling someone you don't like a fag or whatever other homophobic slur makes you a terrible, irredeemable person. It's more low class and stupid than it is hateful, imo. The singer of the band might have tons of gay friends, you don't know. Using that video reflects far worse on blizzard than it does on the singer, imo. Because it's one thing to say some dumb shit in a casual interview, it's another thing to use that dumb shit as official corporate communication.

I honestly don't think that calling someone you don't like a nigger or whatever other homophobic slur makes you a terrible, irredeemable person. It's more low class and stupid than it is hateful, imo. The singer of the band might have tons of black friends, you don't know. Using that video reflects far worse on blizzard than it does on the singer, imo. Because it's one thing to say some dumb shit in a casual interview, it's another thing to use that dumb shit as official corporate communication.

Still sound tasty?
posted by rodgerd at 11:41 AM on October 25, 2011


They'd never do it, but it'd be fascinating how the resulting internet hilarity (especially if they gave GMs relatively free reign to come up with new and crueller punishments for YouTube's edification) and satisfaction on behalf of the more rational players would affect their subscriber numbers.

Waaaaaay back before any expansions came out, I was hanging in Ironforge at the auction house (only one at the time), and one of the first gold spammers I'd ever seen was spewing in yell and trade.

And suddenly ONYXIA spawned in Ironforge. (For the non-players, Onyxia is a dragon, and one of the big bosses of the original game, one of the first big raid bosses, which at that time meant you'd need to get about 25 people together to have a chance to kill her.)

Onyxia blasts the gold-spammer, howls, and disappears.

THAT'S the kind of thing they need to have happen again.
posted by mephron at 11:42 AM on October 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


THAT'S the kind of thing they need to have happen again.

This is the reason why the very oldest of MMORPGs were so incredible compared to the current crop. The incredibly smaller player base and vastly higher GM to player ratio combined with the fact that all players were in the same world (no multiple servers with different players) meant that there was constant GM-player interaction. They would roleplay storylines, set up merchants with unique items, spawn monster invasions of normally safe areas, and so on. People with shitty names were forced to change them. People yelling out-of-character crap were teleported into jail cells and told to shape up. And so on. It was magical and, unfortunately, will never be replicated again.

On the other hand the bills often ran into the hundreds of dollars per month given you were paying by the hour.
posted by Justinian at 11:53 AM on October 25, 2011


Hey mephron, if you're talking pre-BC, it would've been 40 people, right?

/end nitpick
posted by MsVader at 1:57 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was at BlizzCon. I suffered through the Level 70 80 85 90 Elite Tauren Chieftan performance because I am a huge Foo fan. I say suffered because the sound was painful through my earplugs. L90ETC is a band composed of Blizzard employees Michael Morhaime (bass, president/cofounder), Samwise Didier (singer, art director), Dave Berggren (guitar, sr. artist), Chris Sigaty (guitar, lead.producer), Alan Dabiri (drums, sr. programmer). The band is a Horde faction band, and they have in-game characters for each member, and the songs are all pro-horde ”propaganda”, more or less.


I think it's important to know that context as a setup for what went on (in my eyes) which is that people in the band know GF, and thought that was both an entertaining and representative clip of how Hordies feel, from the mouth of a fellow death metal artist. And what I saw was another rabid Hordie being all 'Fuck the Alliance,.fuck them up their stupid asses!' Except all the swears were bleeped, and I assumed what was bleeped was swears. And didn't give him or his performance another thought other than 'owowowstopplayingplease'. Here's why:

For the record, I am a WoW player and queer; I play both factions (art imitating life!) and only PvE, largely rolling my eyes at the more political aspects of the game. But hey, I play my way and they play their way. I stay out of the global chat channel because people are stupid and I don't pay my monthly fee to listen to people troll eachother and throw words like 'fag' around. On the rare occasion that I do go pvp or elsewhere and encounter that kind of racist/homophobic/bigoted bullshit, I report it. A GM always responds and I feel like my concerns are being heard.

Should I be able to participate in all aspects of the game without having do put up with that? Sure.
Could Blizz be more pro-active as suggested upthread? Absolutely.

That said, the band had to know what was under the bleeps, and I think it's inappropriate and inexcusable for people that high up in a company to condone that kind of behavior, which in effect is what happened when they played it. I was about to renew my wow account for a year until this story broke. Now I'm just really sad.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:18 PM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Still sound tasty?

Having been called 'nigger' about 1000 times on xbox, yeah, i still think that. It's just some dumb shit that kids say to each other in most cases. People get mad in games and they lash out.

I think microsoft should do more about it in XBOX live and I think blizzard should police it more in game chat.
posted by empath at 3:27 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm an ex-WoW player, and I'm probably not going back, but I'm rather pleased by what I've heard about the new expansion. Every previous expansion was basically "TRAUMATIC EVENT! BIG BAD THREATENS WORLD!" and it seems like MoP is going in a different direction, with a new continent and new race and class but no clearly defined supervillain, cackling and fingering his moustache as he plots to destroy all of Azeroth.

As for Corpsegrinder - given that Blizzard had Ozzie Osbourne playing at the climax of last year's Blizzcon, loud and obnoxious* heavy metal personalities seem to be their chosen way of wrapping things up. Still, that video was a seriously idiotic choice. There are plenty of other pop culture personalities that Blizzard could call upon to make videos like that.

I'm amused at the notion that Alliance players are offended by this. Alliance players, in my experience, love to be offended by Blizzard's real and purported pro-Horde prejudices almost as much as Horde players enjoy grousing about having to wade through wave after wave of spastic twelve-year-old Alliance players in-game. If it hadn't been for the homophobia, I'd write this off as a clever Blizzard ploy to stoke emotion to energize their (slightly) flagging customer base.

*I'm not a heavy metal fan, so they're all loud and obnoxious to me, but folk like Corpsegrinder and Osbourne seem to go above and beyond the normal call of duty in that respect.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:13 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


The incredibly smaller player base and vastly higher GM to player ratio combined with the fact that all players were in the same world (no multiple servers with different players) meant that there was constant GM-player interaction.

This is true, but even WoW used to have fairly well-defined and self-policing server communities, in the majority of servers which were not max population (a couple exceptions were PvP-oriented servers which served as douche magnets). Everyone knew everyone, and if you burned your bridges you could effectively ruin your own ability to play the (end)game.

For me, cross-realm Dungeon Finder was the beginning of the end of the game as a real MMO (which I define as requiring a persistent world where actions have consequences, take it or leave it), as servers became less and less important, foundational, or community-driven in any real sense. Given that it's possible to play through all of WoW's content with anonymous people you never have to get to know, it's now much more like a regular online multiplayer experience than MMORPGs of old.
posted by mek at 6:21 PM on October 25, 2011


Update: Blizzard Entertainment president Michael Morhaime apologizes.
I think this is an appropriate and sincere statement, one that, for me, addresses my feelings about the situation.

Below, in entirety:
Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year's BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I'd like to respond to some of your feedback here.

As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We're proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.

- Mike Morhaime President, Blizzard Entertainment

posted by ApathyGirl at 9:02 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Woops, that link is borked. My bad!
It should be this link to www.gaygamer.net
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:30 PM on October 27, 2011


God damn it, ApathyGirl. Are you trying to get me to play again?
posted by munchingzombie at 12:09 AM on October 28, 2011


I don't know..... mmmmmmmaybe?
What server are you on?

I keed, I keed.
/Not really.


But I sure feel a lot better about giving them my money after reading that.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Diablo III to play.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:50 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


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