Let’s open up with the uncensored version of the rant which was shown to all the attendees and virtual ticket viewers at this year’s Blizzcon, the bile begins to spew at around one minute in:
Now some commentary from a couple of other sites:
Rules Related to “Chat” and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as “Chat.” When engaging in Chat, you may not:
(i) Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, nor may you use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the content and language restrictions listed above;
(vi) Harass, threaten, stalk, embarrass or cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to any user of the Game;
Some blue responses to complaints regarding the broadcasting of the video:
Now apparently no one at Blizzard has seen the uncensored version before, all they’ve seen is the bleeped version used at Blizzcon. To be honest I call bullshit. Can anyone seriously believe the lawyers weren’t all over that? Well, thinking further about it, I actually can because they and the PR people should have looked at it prior to the broadcast and shouted loudly “this is a disaster waiting to explode in our faces”. Given how much the mainstream media like to paint gaming companies in a bad light I’m surpised they’re not all over this (though given that it’s about some semi-celebrity using abusive, homophobic language and not cute girls wearing very little getting hit on by “nerds and geeks”, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised).
This isn’t about the inter-faction rivalry, though there is a whole other post there and how much responsibility Blizz has for behaviour outside the game (verbal attacks, physical abuse, spitting and the like). Some morons will be morons and take things far too far, always.
Whether it’s Horde / Alliance; Rangers / Celtic; England / France; Ale drinkers / Lager drinkers.
Slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, fuckwits will ever be the same.
However, large companies do have to weigh their actions because of the sheer numbers they broadcast to. With Blizzcon 2011, it has been estimated at 26,000 attendees. What we have is a company which, in it’s ToU, demands a certain level of behaviour from its customers, which is fair enough. Then it goes and smashes their own Terms to pieces and implicitly endorses the levels of mindless thuggery and abusive crap seen day in, day out in the /trade and /general in-game chat channels.
So, Blizz, that was a first class move on your part. Do you have an encore?
It does reinforce the view that you are run by sub-25 year old males who’ve not yet got a relationship with anything that doesn’t have staples and are still fapping off to images of Jaina without her clothes on. The type that have to stress how masculine they are by putting [Anal] in trade and hitting on anything which appears to have boobs in the game.
I know you’re not a stupid company, stupid companies do not keep businesses of the scale of Blizzard running successfully for so many years. However big companies can have their reputation trashed and, given the way – as I mentioned above – that the media likes to blame the evils of the world on computer games, I would have thought more business sense would have kicked in.
So… Stop hiding, stop claiming “it’s a joke”, stop telling yourselves and others “it’s not serious” and start acting like you belong in the business world and not staring at dirty mags behind the bike sheds.
Edit: Online petition