If you think Ji Firepaw didn’t need to be changed, you are the problem

This is a very angry post.  It is not a rant, because rant implies that you are angry about nothing.  I am angry about something very important.

For this history behind this take a look at the WoW Insider article.  I’m going to start assuming you’ve read it or the original complaint thread.

My own reaction
I played a panda through the section in question on the beta realms.  I’m just going to document my reaction here.  Very simply I thought: OMG what a creep, never rolling a Horde panda ever.

Now that was my reaction as a long term WoW player.   I immediately decided not to play any part of the game that would bring me into contact with Ji Firepaw.  Imagine if I was a new player? I would have stopped playing right there and then.  No, thats not an exaggeration.

Why games should not reflect real life
Back when I was at University I used to go to this club (this was while I was studying in the US and hence it was NOT a reflection on the University itself at all).  The club had what I called the ‘creepy guys’.  There was one guy who would sidle up behind women, grab them from behind, and start dancing with them.  For some reason I can never fathom, most of those women didn’t respond with an elbow to the stomach.  I sure as hell responded that way.  Despite that, he came back and tried again later!  I wasn’t targeted due to any stunning good looks – I was targeted because I was seemingly unattached.  I went to the club with friends, and not a partner.  Ji Firepaw went straight into the category with the creepy guys.

Now in real life I had two choices.  I could stop going to the club, stop having fun with friends.  It was the only club in town.  Or I could deal with the creepy guys as and when needed.  They eventually got the message.  But WoW is not real life.  I could never ‘deal with’ Ji Firepaw.  A sexist NPC is always a sexist NPC.  I can’t do the in game equivalent of chasing him off.  I am forced to be a passive recipient of his sexism if I want to play the game.

Other reasons the line needed to go
There are a dozen other reasons for this change quite aside from those I’ve already discussed:

  • That kind of comment is against Blizzard’s own Terms and Conditions.  If a player made that comment to another player and a complaint was raised, it would be dealt with as a harassment complaint.  And Ji is making this comment to EVERY SINGLE FEMALE TOON HE ENCOUNTERS.  It makes it very hard for Blizzard to police its playerbase if its doing something it tries to police in the game itself.
  • Discrimination against women is illegal in many countries.  No matter how small the chance, one lawsuit would do irreparable damage to Blizzard’s reputation and would be seized on by the kind of right wing anti-gaming facists who would ban Harry Potter and the Teletubbies.  Unfortunately, that faction is well represented in US politics (which is where it would hit Blizzard hardest).
  • The line was particularly ill thought out because it comes from a faction leader in the first few minutes of playing.  New players may well see this as part of their very first encounter with WoW.  It doesn’t really make a great impression.

What this ‘debate’ has taught me
Another argument against the change is that this is making ‘a mountain out of a mole-hill’.  However, if its so insignificant why do players feel the need to argue so strongly against the change?  The feminists who asked for the change do NOT feel its insignificant.  But the defenders will claim it is insignificant in one breath, before writing an epic about why it NEEDS to stay the same.  The only reason I can think of for this is that somehow having Blizzard’s NPCs espouse their own ideals gave them some feeling of validation.  Some game developers, instead of attempting to be inclusive, actively rejected female gamers for a very long time.  In a capitalist society you would think that attempts would have been made earlier to tap the market that female gamers represented – it wasn’t.  So gaming remained a place where sexism could thrive.  Now Blizzard has rejected sexism and that means it is rejecting these people.

Eight years ago I wrote my MA thesis about sexism and gaming.  The fact that this line even made it as far as the beta just goes to show very little has changed.  I was extremely disappointed in Blizzard when they wrote that.  They should be having a serious think about how that line was ever allowed to appear.

And the biggest reason of all why feminism is still relevant and why gaming is a battleground
Just as this ‘debate’ was calming down I read this post detailing the double standards for women who post controversial material on the internet.  And as I read it I got mad.  Because I don’t want my daughter to grow up in this world.  She is going to grow up in a time when the internet is a part of her everyday life.  Why should she have to be exposed to this kind of rubbish?

If you don’t think the Ji Firepaw line should have been changed, I don’t give a damn what you think.  Because you are the problem.  Because every little bit of sexist crap should be stamped out.  It doesn’t enhance the game by making it more immersive.  It only serves to validate your own vile attitudes and they is why you are defending it.  Think carefully about your daughters or your sisters.  Would you want some random stranger to say that to them? Someone who might be in a position of power over them?  Would you like guys to sleaze over them and have no recourse to defend themselves?  If you think thats fine, then you are the problem.  If you don’t then why do you think thats okay in a computer game?

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35 thoughts on “If you think Ji Firepaw didn’t need to be changed, you are the problem

  1. Ok so lets look at this.

    “That kind of comment is against Blizzard’s own Terms and Conditions. If a player made that comment to another player and a complaint was raised, it would be dealt with as a harassment complaint. And Ji is making this comment to EVERY SINGLE FEMALE TOON HE ENCOUNTERS. It makes it very hard for Blizzard to police its playerbase if its doing something it tries to police in the game itself.”

    So your telling me that i cant type /flirt

    “The line was particularly ill thought out because it comes from a faction leader in the first few minutes of playing. New players may well see this as part of their very first encounter with WoW. It doesn’t really make a great impression”
    Technically he isnt a faction leader when he compliments the female.

    “Now Blizzard has rejected sexism and that means it is rejecting these people.”

    So when are they changing that horrible armor crap they have on females. When will they change all npcs to react to you character the same regardless of what race or sex you are?

    “I would have stopped playing right there and then. No, thats not an exaggeration.”
    Did you stop playing when you went to do the Hodir’s sons dailies. Or that girl in the cave who just wants some tail in underwater world? Perhaps you might have stopped.

    ” I can’t do the in game equivalent of chasing him off.”

    So you chase every guy off that compliments that you look decent? That you are gorgeous pretty? Now do not take me wrong but do you run off people that say you have a cute child? Its a very common thing when you have a newborn that even complete strangers will go all “aww its so cute” towards your child. But do you believe they could all be child abductors just like all men that call a girl gorgeous a rapist woman hater?

      1. Wow. That kind of cutting comeback really does a great deal to further your argument and validate your fantasy that you’re applying your thesis into gender inequality. How about taking the time to defend your position and counter-argue his points like a rational person?

        It’s common, when having the first word in an argument to preemptively dismiss criticism with a statement like your ” But the defenders will claim it is insignificant in one breath, before writing an epic about why it NEEDS to stay the same”. It’s academically unsound. Please refrain from proudly waving your MA while simultaneously using pursuasive techniques akin to television evangelists.

        You may chose to respond to this in an equally lazy fashion by just telling me “I’m part of the problem”, but why is it globally acceptable in the Warcraft universe for equal or greater atrocities to occur (e.g. Genocide, Religious Fundamentalism, Corruption of Leaders, Murder, Rape [Garona Halforcen], and the already inherent sexism present in the social institutions of Azeroth [The patriline monarchy of Stormwind]) but the comparatively minor comments of a single character are deemed, by you, to be rage-inducing, subscription-cancellingly unacceptable?

        Taking Sylvanas as an example, she has performed atrocities against humans. Why do you not feel a level of disgust that this is portrayed in WoW, knowing that genocide occurs in the real world?

        Equally, if a faction leader (during some class specific flavour text) mentions the assumed alcoholism of a dwarf, or the assumed greediness of a Goblin (as the game often does in a light-hearted way) why are you not outraged by this stereotyping, knowing that it reflects racist attitudes present in the real world?

      2. I’ll explain my first response. I could write forever on this topic and the topic of sexism throughout WoW, other games and the media in general. But I’m not doing that here.

        There was nothing in the response that I hadn’t read a dozen times in the original complaint threads. If I argue that the comment was particularly problematic in its context, someone else will assume that means I’m a man hating lunatic who can’t take a compliment. If you can’t see the difference between a compliment as a part of a social relationship and sleazing on strangers when you are in a position of power (and the arguement that he isn’t the faction leader at the time is pointless because he is still in a position of power over you at that time as a respected elder within your community) then there is a problem. The fact is quite a few people followed that quest chain and had the same reaction. I gave the analogy because thats just how it felt to me – just the same. I always found that behaviour creepy at the time, and I still find it creepy now.

        Now I know that there is a lot of sexism in WoW and the armor sets are a prime example of it. But the rejection wasn’t in the actual changing of the text alone. The rejection came in the fact that Blizzard is ignoring the defenses of that text. It seems to me people are far more upset by that than they are by the change itself.

        Theres a whole lot of stuff I could quit the game over, but I don’t because I enjoy gaming. Because I won’t be driven out by the concerted efforts of a small group to drive women out of something that they perceive to be their domain. And you only have to look at the persecution of the original thread poster on the WoW forums at the moment to see that in action. A group of people are spending a substantial amount of time and effort investigating her and attacking her because of one line of quest text. Which has a bitter taste to it, to me, considering some of her previous experiences on the internet. Which bring us back to the other post I linked in a nasty and depressing way.

        As for my reaction to Ji – that was my reaction. That was how I felt when I went through that part of the questing text. I didn’t unsub and never threatened to. But my reaction, and the reaction of other players was such that had this been my first encounter with WoW I might have. The same way as I come across a new blog, read a few articles and come across something similar, I will probably stop reading them. Nothing you can say will change the fact of my reaction. I understand not everyone responded the same way.

        If you feel as strongly about any of the other issues in WoW you list I suggest you do something about it. Post on the forums and complain, write a blog post, start a campaign. But the fact there are other issues (and in all honesty I don’t have the knowledge or time to pull apart the suggestions you have made properly so that I would feel I can comment properly on them – I didn’t pluck gender and gaming out of the ether – I have spent time reading around and studying this particular area) does not make sexism less important and does not mean we should all shut up and not talk about it!

    1. That is one of the more elaborate strawman arguments I’ve had the displeasure to realize was not said in jest, but actually meant to be a serious, rational argument.

      The point of why /flirt is okay and Ji starting with an evaluation on a woman’s potential quality as a mate as his first dialogue box isn’t is that with /flirt, the woman has the option to tell you that that’s not okay if she thinks it isn’t. She can also ignore you if the situation persists. The power gradient in that situation is much closer to equal. A quest giver is effectively your boss for the durration of any quest line that they give you, and in the case of Ji, he also becomes your superior in the Horde after this point.

      Ji being vaguely skeevy in this situation is sexual harassment in what is essentially a simulated workplace. This is under no circumstances okay. It implies that he sees any woman he talks to as a potential mother to his children before he actually finds out what she wants or why she’s there or if she might not be in a state of mind to accept the advances of anyone, even if they are as charming and charismatic as he’s apparently intended to be.

      I’m not saying this was intended as an act of malice on the part of Blizzard or the writer of the quest text. It’s far more likely that it was just a small foible on the part of the writer and an oversight on the part of the editor/supervisor who should have been there to approve the content before it went live.

      Regardless of the intent of the people at Blizzard responsible for Ji’s dialogue making it into the game, it should have been changed. Blizzard does not want to alienate their rather large female player population, and therefore does not want dialogue like this from their faction leaders. In short, Blizzard wanted to change it when it realized that the dialogue was a mistake.

    2. Right on. The ultimate problem here isn’t an evil intent by Blizzard. The problem is simply over-sensitive players trying too hard to be politically correct (and not biologically correct) about an insignificant statement.

  2. Sorry but the people that said it needed to be changed are the real problem.

    He said the same thing to the male and females just in a different way but commenting on their looks.

  3. Meh, not that big a deal that he was changed, but he said essentially the same thing to male and female characters. The only difference was his model. I think they should have just changed his model to a female, rather than changing his dialogue. Had he been female the dialogue wouldn’t have been derided, despite the “sexism” against male characters.

    Sadly, with the servers being down every time I try to log on I haven’t leveled my Pandaren yet. I would have liked being called gorgeous. It may have convinced me to go back Horde.

    1. No. He did not tell male characters that they were “gorgeous” upon first meeting them, he complimented their strength. That is not the same thing.

      If I had an employer tell me, upon my first meeting him, that I was gorgeous and we’d be really good friends because of that, I’d be hugely uncomfortable. Did he hire me because of how I look, or did he hire me for my skills? That doesn’t bother you — great, wonderful, but people, stop fucking trying to make the rest of us feeling bad for seeing that this IS A PROBLEM.

      Lol sexism against men lol

      1. “Lol sexism against men lol”

        You really don’t care about sexism then do you? You just care about being a victim. And that’s a major problem. Don’t be mistaken…I’m far from a straight white male, but I’m smart enough to know this world doesn’t revolve around me either.

        Fight for your rights. But that’s not what you’re doing. You’re just creating problems, fanning the fuel of conflict and offer no perspective than that which suits you, and worse than that, no solution. With that type of attitude, if the world’s going to be shitty for someone, then let it be shitty for you.

      2. I’m not quite sure where you get that quote from. Its certainly not from me.

        As for the rest of your comment, I obviously disagree. I’m not going to be a victim and I don’t expect anyone else to be either. As I said, the change didn’t hurt anyone except those who feel that the presence of sexism in computer games validates their own attitudes.

  4. With all this fuss about that one line, I found myself wondering whether his -other- lines are actually okay to people.

    I mean, I understand that it’s even creepier when directed at you as a player. But what with the way he comments on Aysa Cloudsinger’s body during the following quests? To me, that was more explicit and unsettling than his plump flirting with my own character, simply because I don’t really get why a 12+ computer game should have a character who’s written to be a pervert. For the most part of classic WoW and Burning Crusade, sexuality wasn’t a thing Blizzard would include in their stories, except for maybe very few rather subtle hints. Ever since Wrath, things have gotten more explicit and the game took a turn where you could now clearly tell Blizzard had a very certain type of customer in mind when writing their stories. Sometimes it almost feels like two worlds in one; the “cover” world that is safe for 12 year olds, and underneath it the semi-hidden world from the kind of mildly pornographic fan arts that suddenly get accepted into the official gallery in masses. But I am an adult, I get all of your hints, Blizzard, and I don’t want to be reminded of these things. I want my game to be rated 12+, because that means I’m safe from a lot of nasty stuff I don’t want in there. Like panda bears evaluating the bodies of their race’s females, in order to — yes, it’s not said what’s the next step, but we all know and I for one don’t want to think about it.

    But this was a bit of a rant and a bit off topic, too. I just mean to say that everyone screaming “you are getting worked up over a single line of quest text” likely skipped reading the rest of that character’s speech (which, by the way, hasn’t been changed).

    1. I find Ji Firepaw extremely creepy overall, but at least Aysa is in a position where she can turn him down/kick his ass, whereas I — the player — am not. I haven’t finished the Panda starting zone yet because I have to share my internet with two other people, and the background download slows down my house connection for everyone else, so I have no idea if she does or not. I REALLY hope she does. :-/ I hope she punches him in the face or something.

      I do agree with you re: previous expansions. Yes, Blizzard, it’s very obvious that you’re writing with neckbeards in mind and it’s skeevy and ew, tyvm.

      1. You could choose Alliance, thereby turning down Ji Firepaw, and then, just to make sure he got the message, you could gather some of your friends, make a stop in Orgrimmar, and stab him repeatedly.

        Which I dare say is not only substantially more than Aysa’s programming allows her, but also significantly more than you could legally do to a sleezeball potential employer.

      2. @ TRM: I don’t play Alliance often enough, let alone to level cap, to make that a viable thing for me (I main Horde and plan to stay Horde, there’s no sense having my pandaren character or two be on a faction I rarely play). I will happily stand by and not defend when the Alliance attempts to raid him, however. 😛

  5. Does Firepaw ask the male players to give him a hug? That’s the first line that got to me and especially having been exposed to more than a few forms of eastern philosophy. Not one would ask me to hug them, it would not even be considered.

    Whether I’m offended or not is my decision based on how I interpret it and I completely agree with Morrighan. I’m going to be honest in saying that my opinion is not very objective but after over 6 years of abuse by male players because I’m a woman gamer I’ve had it.

    It is NOT up to males to determine my level of what’s offensive to me or not. You aren’t cavemen anymore nor are you living in the Victorian age. Males oppressing females died a long time ago and it’s not going to have a permanent respawn no matter how many attempts you make on this female boss.

    Crawl back to your caves boys because we have decided that we aren’t putting up with it anymore.

  6. So I don’t TL;DR all over you, I agree with your post. Aw, the poor widdle neckbeards lose one representation of themselves in a sea of them. I weep for you — except no.

    I mean, Ji Firepaw is still in the game, and he’s still a creeper toward the future Alliance panda leader, so you haven’t really lost anything (unfortunately) you guys.

  7. I’m going to start by saying that, yes, I am male, therefore most of you will automatically dismiss what I am about to say but here it is. The comment Ji made to females could have been construed as creepy. This is true. The problem is that everyone who supports the change outright refuses to consider that Blizzard just wanted the guy to come off as being a lighthearted old lecher. To be honest, in a game rife with political backstabbing, genocide, and biological warfare if you are going to grab the pitchforks and torches over one Panda man that finds the women of his race attractive…well..I just think that’s absurd. And before you go on with the GENDER INEQUALITY sillyness, consider some of the times that male characters are addressed differently than females. The most obvious example is the goblin girl that directs the zepplin to Grom’gol. She all but takes her clothes off for males, while to females she says something about you get to have a vacation on the beach. The lesson here is it’s a game and it should have interesting characters. The rewrite of Ji’s dialogue is a loss for everyone. Now instead of a lighthearted jovial Panda leader, we have a droll and boring bit of text that makes him seem like a robot instead.

    1. “The problem is that everyone who supports the change outright refuses to consider that Blizzard just wanted the guy to come off as being a lighthearted old lecher.”

      The problem is that everyone who doesn’t even see the importance of this change outright refuses to consider that in eastern philosophy a comment such as that would never have been made. It would be considered highly offensive and disrespectful. So that takes that “GENDER INEQUALITY sillyness” out of the equation.

      You are absurd to compare sexless issues such as “political backstabbing, genocide, and biological warfare” to sexually objectifying commentary, especially when said commentary is coming from a male in a leadership position deep into eastern philosophy.

      You feel justified to think for me by stating,

      “The rewrite of Ji’s dialogue is a loss for everyone.”

      No, it is not a loss for everyone and I don’t appreciate your flexing your male superiority on me by alluding that I should just suck it up because your “interesting characters” and your opinion are more important than being philosophically accurate and fair.

      Male or female I didn’t dismiss your opinion until your “GENDER INEQUALITY sillyness” statement. That you consider this issue silliness tells me that you are ignorant and rely on male superiority over intelligence. Isn’t it convenient that you are not on the receiving end? This is why more and more women are standing up for ourselves and we no longer accept archaic, superior opinions from men such as you. Thankfully most men are wising up and no longer treat us as property with no capacity for rational thought. It would benefit you to do the same so you can stop perpetuating that IGNORANCE silliness.

      1. It’s a game. That’s all there is to it. I completely believe that women should be treated with respect. I have been in a relationship with one and only one woman for 8 years. I have never had another nor do I desire one and I treat her with the utmost respect. However, even she thinks that people are taking this one line out of context. And why does everyone continuously spout about how “this would never happen in eastern society?” Is it not Japan that is well known to have an egregrious amount of men who have rape fantasies? I may have come off as crass with my comment about gender inequality being sillyness and for that I apologize. I only meant that I think this particular crusade is silly and that everyone, man or woman, who is accusing Blizzard of gender inequality is nothing more than an alarmist.

  8. Also, I feel it neccessary to point out that you failed to say anything about my comment of the goblin zepplin master. She makes an overtly sexual comment to male characters and not to females. Should I grab my sword and battle standard and ride off on my own crusade? “That’s sexual harrassment from a stranger in the public transportation industry! Blizzard needs to change that!” See how ludicrous that sounds?

    1. I’ve not experienced what happens with the goblin zeppelin master as I play all female characters. I did not “fail” to do anything by not commenting about something I have not experienced myself. Do you enjoy thinking for other people or do you rely more on being judgmental when trying to get your point across?

      I take back the comment I posted earlier about dismissing your opinion after reading your “GENDER INEQUALITY sillyness”. I should have stated that your argument lost all credibility when I realized you had to use tools such as making other people’s minds up for them and being critical of what other people have experienced in order to prove to everyone that the only opinion that matters is your own.

      Just because you have been with one women for an extended period of time doesn’t mean that only her opinion matters. I was offended and you justify your thinking that I am wrong by your relationship? I find it interesting that on one hand you state women should be treated with respect and on the other it’s becoming clear that the only respect we should be treated with should be defined by you.

      Interesting you throw in Japanese rape fantasies in a weak attempt to bolster your argument. When Masters and Sifus start teaching this as part of the philosophy you may have a point but they don’t. Instead you grab straws out of the air on a topic you appear to know little about and further prove what I stated regarding you perpetuating ignorance.

      Oh wait, it’s a game and that’s all there is to it correct? If so why are you still
      trying to justify your opinion that women should be on board with you because your opinion and not our experiences are the only thing that matters?

      The only thing ludicrous going on here(besides your ridiculous posturing) is your ongoing attempt to prove you respect women by stating one thing then easily proving the opposite.

      1. This will be my final say on the matter merely because I have no desire to continue having my words dismissed and outright twisted. I am not attempting to justify my opinion, nor do I think that every woman should agree with it. I am merely stating what I believe and you are being hypocritical by telling me my opinion is worthless. I do not think that my girlfriend is the only woman who has an opinion that matters. All I’m doing is stating that I think to be offended by a passing comment in a game is a little extreme.

        Gender equality is a worthy goal, but it is also inherently flawed. Human beings as a species are driven by our baser instincts. Namely food, safety, and the desire to produce offspring. If one day all the women in the world decided that men weren’t men and weren’t suitable mates unless they all dressed like and acted like women, nearly every man in the world would do so. By the same token, if every man decided that women should be body builders, nearly every woman would do so. It’s in our DNA to cater to what our potential mates want in order to attract them.

        Women are the opposite of men. Two opposing things can never be entirely equal. Women are better at some things than men and men are better at some things than women. Are there different circumstances? Of course! Could a woman come along who was stronger than most men? Sure! But could a man come along who acted more feminine than a woman? Yes! I’m not saying that there aren’t people who judge others differently because of their gender, but I certainly don’t. I have more female friends than male in truth and I’ve never said that my female friends were flawed because they are women.

        I would think that you were wrong if someone paid you a compliment and you reacted by calling them creepy or sexist no matter what gender you were. I’ve had plenty of strange girls, including one of my bosses in the past, say they thought that I am handsome and I didn’t think they were creepy because that’s not the proper reaction. If someone compliments you it should bolster your confidence, not send you into a tyrade about how they must be objectifying you.

      2. Actually, I should reword that first sentence, I am justifying my opinion, but my opinion is not what you say it is.

  9. Being creeped out IS the proper response when someone compliments you in a creepy way. When a guy you don’t know, who’s old enough to be your dad, walks up to you and says you look like you’d be good in the sack, they’re not just being nice or trying to boost your confidence. I don’t play WoW much anymore, but the Ji Firepaw line sounded creepy to me. People sign up for the game understanding that it will feature a lot of violence, that it has main storylines involving genocide, torture, kidnapping, zombies, human mutations, etc. The Ji Firepaw thing sounds like it’s unexpected and unpleasant. When female players are speaking up in droves saying that Ji Firepaw sounds like the boss that made them so uncomfortable that they quit for a lesser-paying job, or that professor that encouraged them to come see him anytime for some “extra credit,” then Blizzard was right to acknowlege there was a problem and fix it. It’s an easy thing they can do to satisfy a lot of paying customers.


  10. Why is this such a big deal… to everybody, BOTH sides, it’s a word of line from a video game character. It isn’t a huge problem, he isn’t saying “hey wanna sleep with me *wink wink*” and it’s not that important if it’s removed. If you can’t handle that what on earth are you doing on the internet. And I’m a woman. If that matters.

  11. Have it changed if you want. Just don’t ask me to care. Because I don’t.

    All I care about is sticking my Horde panda’s knife in your back while you’re questing, but something tells me you play on a PVE server with the rest of sensitive Nelf wussies. If there’s something about the game you don’t like, don’t play it. Nobody will fault you, whatever your reasons. You see, that’s called being an active consumer, instead of a reactive crybaby. It’s not your game, after all. You just play it.

    And to quote George Carlin: Nobody cares about your children. That’s why they’re *your* children. So you can care and we don’t have to bother.

    1. As a girl player, I’m not even slightly offended. The comment being made is directed at a panda humanoid. Not me. It’s between two characters of the same made up species in a made up video game world. I have more important things to worry about than comments made in game. Women’s rights are important but it’s wrong to then oppress and twist the ideas of men responding to your extremist tirade, dismissing their opinions based solely on the fact that they’re men. I say “extremist” and not “feminist” because feminists fight for equality, not superiority. Also, as a grown and educated woman as you say you are, you should be able to pick and choose which battles are worth it and which battles do nothing but diminish your credibility and work in other more important feminist causes. I’m not speaking for every woman, and I don’t want other women speaking for me. I am not offended because something a video game character says has no value to me. The game would be bland if none of the characters were different. It’s all just character dynamics that make the game interesting. Sure, if some creep said something to me in real life, it would be different, but the comment was made by a fake entity, a program. Not somebody that can see me or know who I am. He says the same thing to all other female characters so don’t take it personally. I also know that its just a game and I don’t think the intent of Blizzard was to objectify or pick on anybody. Consider the source and the intent. No malicious intent to oppress the women, no need to act like I’m being oppressed. It’s all just a game. Not real life. The world is full of evil people and evil things, pick and choose your battles so you don’t waste time and energy on the little battles that aren’t worth fighting.

  12. This reminds me of someone writing about Starcraft being sexist because of how the Zerg works. They thought it offensive that the Zerg rely on reproduction to make gynic buildings and assumed that the Zerg being evil and unknown beasts represented women.

    Summary: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=93467
    Article: http://www.vanguardparty.com/articles/starcraft.html

    Now I can see how someone could think that Ji Firepaw’s text is sexual or sexist, but I think that it was meant to be funny and add flavor to the game. It does not seem too inappropriate for a 13 year old (yes the game is rated T for teen which is 13 and up, not 12), let alone even a general audience. Teenagers even know some curse words, don’t forget, and there are some in the game (Lord Godrey of Shadowfang keep uses a harsh word to call Sylvanis a female dog, but it is still censored by the filter if a player types it!) and the word for eternal punishment isn’t even censored at all. Sexism is not the only thing (or even a thing) that you should be concerned about in this game, you know, and it’s on the game box if you really need a warning that something like this might come up, as “suggestive themes”, just like alcohol, violence, blood and gore.

    This just isn’t harassment and definitely not an offense to get you locked up or sued. You could argue that anything at all could be offensive to you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s inappropriate or even offensive to most people. If that’s the case, you really need to toughen up and deal with it, or ignore it (after all, you don’t have to take a comment like that seriously). It’s ridiculous to even talk about this when we are supposed to be a country with freedom of speech as a 1st amendment right (at least in the USA, where Blizzard, the game creator, is located). Just what would we come to if everyone overreacted to everything just because it could be seen as sexy or sexist in some odd way, and even matters outside of sexism?

    Beside’s the fact that this is just a game, it’s not real, it’s not a comment directed toward you as a person, just like all the perverted movies out there. You might want to ask yourself: Does the media reflect society, or does society reflect the media? I think it’s a little of both.

    You can’t deny an audience to be entertained just because you find it offensive. While Blizzard of course wants female gamers’ business, the game is targeted to teenage males. It is normal and acceptable for men to make comments that aren’t too crude. Who’s really the victim here if men have to suppress their instinct completely, and never reproduce, or even exist because they are seen as too evil or potentially evil? That would easily count as sexism against men (yes it actually exists!) and a whole lot more. Just like in real life how you can move away from someone, you don’t have to play the game. Blizzard just changed it because companies are paranoid about safety because of alarmists like you. I find it hard to believe that they could get sued for this.

  13. he says basically the same thing to two characters. the words that arent different (but not really) are “strong look” and “gorgeous” … maybe sexism is a problem in wow but that was a really bad example

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