BlizzCon’s Peculiar Homophobic Moment

By John Walker on October 27th, 2011 at 1:54 pm.

Congratulating themselves on their hilarious jape.

It’s an uphill struggle to convince those outside the games industry that it is, in some ways, a mature medium for mature, thoughtful people. Clearly the most difficult element of that hill is the incredible immaturity and thoughtless nature of so much of the games industry. You need not look far in any direction to see examples of sexism (the PC has yet to be blessed with Arkham City’s delightful attitude toward female characters), misogyny, racism, and of course homophobia. Something, for reasons inexplicable, Blizzard chose to feature on the main stage of their World Of Warcraft-based celebrations at this year’s BlizzCon. Via whoever’s extraordinary decision, edited clips from a homophobic diatribe were broadcast to the crowds (albeit loosely bleeped out) which encouraged those who play Alliance characters to kill themselves. Followed by a song.

This rather misguided choice, as reported by GayGamer, was certainly less immediately offensive in the bleeped version shown at the event, but the views of the lead singer of “Cannibal Corpse” weren’t exactly hard to guess. Introduced on stage by Blizzard’s art director, Sam Didier, the singer, George Fisher, then joined Didier’s band. The unedited version of the clip played, which you can watch here (please be warned, it really is a non-stop stream of swearing and homophobic crap), shows some really grim stuff.

Which leaves the question: why?

Why show the clip? Why invite a band on stage with such an attitude? Why allow a video clip to show – even with phrases like, “Go fucking cry in a river and tell me about how you’re going to slit your wrists, you Night Elf faggot” removed – with bleeped sentences such as:

“F— the Alliance. F—ing die, you f—ing emo c———-.”

A man wishing players of the game dead. Who is then welcomed on stage to roar his song about how he likes the Horde best in the computer game he likes playing. While he wears a t-shirt of his own band.

He is correct when he describes himself as “pathetic”. But why did Blizzard think this was a good idea?

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626 Comments »

  1. StingingVelvet says:

    RPS often reads like a blog for parents in the 50′s who can’t stand this new rock and roll thing.

    • JackShandy says:

      Here it is again! This bonkers claim that saying “fag” is just this crazy edgy thing that the old folks can’t stand because they’re too square! You’re nuts! Your brain must be peppering the walls!

  2. asshibbitty says:

    Read this comments thread. This is the attitude that you’ve cultivated, where instead of shitheads getting laughed out you get sane posters arguing with them causing these horrible dry humps. A healthy community.

  3. pipman3000 says:

    blizzcon apologizes for their mistake and gives all attendees tickets to see blizzcons 2012′ newest featured band and world of warcraft fans prussian blue

    edit: apparently prussian blue is no longer around, blizzcon appologizes and hopes you enjoy their replacement band (who i heard are pretty big fans of lost vikings 2) RaHoWa

    Edit: apparently they’re not around either, blizzcon 2012 is canceled until 2013 to find a replacement for them

  4. Berzee says:

    Wait wait wait! John Walker, you forgot to append this to your article:

    “Meanwhile, the people of Burundi…”

    • pipman3000 says:

      the people of burundi are all dead. some commenter from rps decided to kill them all to show off how unpolitically correct he is

    • Dozer says:

      C’est impossible! Je suis le President du Burundi! Je est vive!

      Café?

  5. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    I appreciate RPS’ coverage of this issue.

    This was not just a man playing a game and saying hateful things. This was a man on a stage being promoted by a company saying things that offend thousands of players. But if anyone still remembers the whole gay guild fiasco in World of Warcraft, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

  6. Dys Does Dakka says:

    Blizzard: Ever at the forefront of reinforcing the stereotype of People Wot Play (PC) Games as unwashed, arse-for-mouthed manchildren who are only able to communicate in one- or two-syllable expletives.

    No, I’m not offended in the slightest; just somewhat resigned.
    I might have entertained a faint feeling of irritation at Blizzard’s opinion of my intellect and sense of what’s amusing had I been a player of this WoW thing -or that other slot-machine-disguised-as-a-game they’re hyping at the moment-, though.

  7. mcol says:

    This is PC gaming news. Right here. Yep.

    #losingthewill

    • Benga says:

      EDIT: removed double post

    • Benga says:

      may I suggest http://www.IGN.com or perhaps http://www.eurogamer.net they may be more of what you are looking for. I personally have never thought deeply about topics or had my views challenged in a constructive way while reading those sites.

    • rayne117 says:

      Oh jesus, Benga commented. Undoubtedly it’s a well thought out argument and not a link to that dummies site (Which I hear he is the top member of. You get it, he’s the top dummy!).

  8. merc-ai says:

    Just when I thought that Blizzard’s decision-making could not fall any lower, here comes this.
    It appears to me that lately Samwise Didier and his colleagues are working hard to undo all the respect Blizzard gained over years.

  9. golden_worm says:

    I think its true that no one has a right to not be offended, after all causing offence is a powerful tool for expressing the depth of our emotions before we resort to violence. Banning “offending people” would be detrimental to freedom of expression and tempting for those who would enforce their own version of morality on others.

    However calling people over sensitive because you don’t see taking offence as justified or deliberately provoked is just another example of the same thing. I think those people who do get up tight because they feel misrepresented, offended if you will, and because they don’t consider their own actions unacceptable they are anxious that they will also be judged unfairly. Defensively calling the offended “sensitive” is a rejection of any responsibility for your actions and reactions to peoples genuine emotional responses. It is pure lack of empathy.

    Language is complicated though. The subjective offence of any word is highly dependent on context, vocabulary, tone, audience etc. Most of the power to offend is actually in the taboo nature of the word itself, not its literal meaning. The best way to reduce the taboo is to use the word more and expose it to more varied and ambiguous interpretations, but this will cause more offence. The power to use the taboo is tempting as a method to shock and cause controversy; useful at an otherwise bland conference or to enhance an image of nonconformity in an ageing rock musician. Are they wrong? Well it kind of worked, didn’t it, but that doesn’t make it all ok.

  10. Berzee says:

    Pestilent as this video probably would be if I listened to it (I think it would disappoint me on many levels…as someone who dislikes swearing as who also dislikes people who let their dislike of homosexuality turn into dislike for the people who practice it…hating a behavior is never an excuse to fail in loving a person…though loving a person may in some cases require hating some of their behaviors)…

    anyhow, as much as a song about killin’ yourselves and whatall seems “ugh” to me, I do think there can be some room for acknowledging that songs are not always 100% sincere or even 1% sincere.

    My reason for thinking this is based entirely on the fact that I have never ingesting the smallest morsel of alcohol and never intend to (except for once when someone gave me tiramisu without telling me what was in it, but that’s alright). And yet I listen to country music every day and sing along with great gusto to many songs about how Drinking Beer is like the Greatest Thing Ever. Why do I do that? I have no idea. But if someone called me soberphobic, I might raise at least two eyebrows in honest skepticism (having some first-hand knowledge of my own habits and beliefs).

    Curious thing, that…why do we sing things we don’t believe? Or is it only me?

  11. henben says:

    Directed at the sensitive kid at school, “go fucking cry in a river and tell me about how you’re going to slit your wrists, you faggot” is hate speech. It’s not nice to use the word faggot as a slur, whether you’re impuning their sexuality (as if being gay is somehow wrong) or their ability to live up to some notion of manliness.

    But “go fucking cry in a river and tell me about how you’re going to slit your wrists, you *Night Elf* faggot” is impuning the sexuality/manliness of an imaginary fictional culture. It’s trash-talking within the context of the game world.

    There’s a huge difference between using an epithet out of hate, and using it in playful trash-talking. You don’t need to be the kind of idiot who complains about “political correctness” and “cultural marxism” to draw that distinction.

    Now, was it wise for Blizzard to broadcast this? I’m sure there are plenty of emo faggots who play Night Elves in the game and get enough of that kind of abuse in real life, and don’t welcome its intrusion into the con. So maybe not.

    • Chris D says:

      But, as you say, it’s implying homosexuality is wrong and that people who fail to live up to a standard of manliness are inferior. Even if you don’t intend to hurt the target it’s still doing AoE damage.

    • Apples says:

      The thing is, if they had instead said “slit your wrists, you Night Elf nigger” (because you see, they’re dark-skinned!), nobody would be defending it. That is still trash-talking within the context of the game world, but it’s culturally unacceptable, for good reason. Why would you try and defend the use of the word “faggot”, then? How is it different?

      I don’t think using the words makes you automatically racist or homophobic, but it certainly makes you look stupid, offensive, and willing to exclude non-straight members of your fanbase if you’re doing it to a huge audience, or if you have intentionally hired someone else to do it to a huge audience to promote your product!

    • Benga says:

      what Apples said +1

  12. Cinnamon says:

    It appears that Cannibal Corpse are a pretty shitty band. Quite bad.

    • Nemrod says:

      You may like better Cannabis Corpse, first album sounds like Cannibal Corpse.. but without being overdone shit. And second album is just plain great!

    • Kaira- says:

      You take that back. The first three albums are damned great death metal classics.

    • Shooop says:

      That’s one of the biggest understatements I’ve seen this year.

      They’ve been around for over 15 years and haven’t made a half-decent album once. The only reason for their popularity are angsty teenagers who think a song like “I Cum Blood” makes them “edgy.”

      At least Suffocation and Bolt Thrower are still around.

    • Dozer says:

      Are they the band who once released a song with the lyric “Rape the limbless cadaver”? I remember The Chaser’s War On Everything doing a brilliant parody of that song by singing the lyrics to a cheerful tune accompanied by acoustic guitar.

      Supporters of music like this remind me of the toddler who’s going up to people saying “Poo! Poo!” because it’s the naughtiest word he knows and he’s desperate to get some kind of reaction.

    • chackosan says:

      I’ll back up that Bolt Thrower recco. Don’t listen to too much death metal, but those guys get me in a good mood. Don’t really care much for CC, but I thought Alex Webster was great on the Blotted Science album.

  13. yeastcapp says:

    For a long time I found it abhorrent that someone one would try to control my language. I had a british comedy “suck it up, it’s just words” attitude and i didn’t understand people getting offended. Then I realised that the white, straight middle class male is very difficult to offend because culture is already built around them. We have the privilege, it’s out language and we’re used to setting the agenda.

    This comment thread proves there’s still a long way to go in gaming subcultures. You can’t just “fuck offensive” – offensive is an emotional pain that can affect the entire way you see yourself. With enough time people begin seeing themselves as deficient and get stuck in that worldview. I still stay offensive things by mistake. I’m trying to be more humble, flexible and willing to question the language I use. Every time you see something like this in the game industry’s mainstream it all takes a big step backward. When I see a gaming news site call it out, it takes a small step forward again.

    • Apples says:

      You Are A Good Person.

    • JFS says:

      Plus, he’s pretty right.

    • yeastcapp says:

      Thanks champ

    • demonarm says:

      Thank you for one of the few sane comments on this article, and thanks for RPS for continuing to champion these topics.

    • Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

      Can I come hide in this comment too? Most of the rest of the comments annoy the hell out my privileged white male mind.

      Ugh, I think I’m more offended by the comments here than the actual fool from that, and this I’ve thought for ages, terrible, terrible band.

    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      +1

    • theleif says:

      this message is endorsed by The Leif.

    • Benga says:

      this +1

    • gr0undzer0 says:

      I don’t think its any easier / harder to make fun of any group as thats only a construct in you head. When you make fun of someone it doesn’t even have to be true its just the presentation of the joke that makes a difference. If it hits you hard you truley need to step back and take a look at why its making you upset, weither its important, and if you feel bad about it maybe you can do something about it. If you don’t feel bad about who you are.. if you don’t have a reason to be ashamed then me making fun of you isn’t going to do shit. I’m fat I get made fun of… i should loose weight if I think its a problem… since i don’t i just say fuck it.

    • rayne117 says:

      I dunno, saying white people haven’t had strife is actually attacking an entire group of…

  14. radioactivez0r says:

    I think you are coming at this from a very different perspective than someone who knows Cannibal Corpse, and by extension a vocalist who identifies himself as Corpsegrinder. They have made a 20 year career out of being as offensive as possible, in the most ridiculous over the top nonsensical way. I just think you are giving the guy way too much credit.

    • JFS says:

      I’m still wondering why he’s all out talking about fucking, while I have the strong suspicion this guy hasn’t got the faintest idea what fucking really is. Well. Maybe I’m just throwing around metal fan stereotypes. Maybe I’m not even better than those guys. I think I should go cry in a fucking river.

    • Premium User Badge oceanclub says:

      “They have made a 20 year career out of being as offensive as possible, in the most ridiculous over the top nonsensical way.”

      Area Man Who Makes Career Out Of Being a Bigot Surprised People Find Him Bigoted.

      P.

  15. UnravThreads says:

    I brought this up in the RPS Steam chat this morning, oddly. Weird. Anyway, props to John for calling Blizz up on it, because I think it needs to be addressed.

    Regardless of how some of the RPS commenters feel, this is a serious thing. By playing that clip, by inviting him/paying him to come to Blizzcon, Blizzard are arguably endorsing him and his views. Nice going there, Blizz.You have a lot of players of various genders, sexualities and lifestyle choices, and this is not how you show support.

    EA and many other companies, game-related or not, have made an effort in the past year or two to make “It Gets Better” videos which are powerful and beautifully done, and they’re all done in response to things like LGBT-related suicides. Blizzard brings on a homophobic twat with verbal diarrhoea and plays a video telling the “Alliance faggots” to go kill themselves at one of the biggest and most talked about gaming events, especially in PC Gaming, of each year.

    You know what? Fuck Blizzard, fuck them and their over-priced games. I’m not supporting a company who pulls such bullshit, and I would urge anyone else who cares about the LGBT community or even just a sense of morality to do the same.

    Again, well done John. Have a cold one on me.

  16. Groove says:

    I….don’t get it.

    Yeah, the singer of cannibal corpse is a tit, but what they broadcast was so heavily bleeped it came across as illegible comedy. I mean, I watched the actual Blizzcon video, and it didn’t feature anything offensive. The ORIGINAL rant does, and maybe we shouldn’t be giving this guy a platform because of his views, but I think this is blown out of proportion.

  17. Azradesh says:

    John, being offended is never the right reaction, ever, to anything. Something that may cause offence is either intended as such or it isn’t.

    If offence is intended then by being offended you are providing the reaction that that person wanted. I’m sure you don’t want to react in a way that pleases what ever twat is trying to be offended.

    If offence is not intended then it is equally foolish to get offended. That person may not speak like you, they may have had a different upbringing or walk in different social circles. That person is ignorant of the fact that what they said may have caused offence, so why make a big deal of it.

    So yes, gay people should not get offended and nor should anyone else by anything. Offence help no one and only hinders yourself.

    • yeastcapp says:

      Okay here’s how you are going about this wrong. The first is the sentence “should not get offended” – you do not choose whether or not you are offended by something. It’s an immediate, emotional response – like a sting. It is more pain and runs deeper than a punch in the arm. It’s like following a guy around saying “remember when your mum died? haha!”. The person hearing that has a right to be offended. This is just a less individually targeted form of that abuse.

      Second is this: intention is not the same as effect. The language and attitudes we carry around with us maybe wrong-headed without us realising as such. This is because we are not omniscient and do not have an immediate connection to the emotional worlds of others. If the effect of an action hurts someone it doesn’t much matter what the intention was, especially if you refuse to change your conduct even after you know its negative effect. Think pragmatically about it.

    • Apples says:

      You should probably write this down somewhere and call it “Azradesh’s Wager”…

      In addition to what yeastcapp said, simply “not being offended” and “not making a big deal” is letting the person get away with it. Anyone who is deliberately causing offence is a massive asshole and deserves to be called out on it so that it is made clear that their behaviour is not acceptable. That is the complete opposite of what Blizzard is doign by releasing the footage. Anyone who is being offensive out of ignorance is unaware of what they’re doing, and, again, needs to be informed that their behaviour is not acceptable. By that logic, ignoring what has occurred and deciding not to be offended (and what a ludicrous thought that is, that you could just DECIDE about your feelings) is the worst thing to do.

    • Groove says:

      You’re wrong here.

      The crucial point is that being offended by something isn’t the first or final step of the process. In this case people are offended because the offensive language will hurt people. Being offended is part of the solution to this, as it leads to change, trying to have people not say offensive things.

    • Salt says:

      I think I’ve read “offence” too many times, and now it’s lost all meaning to me.

      But I don’t think the problem is really that someone might hear that stupid man’s rant and feel emotionally hurt by it. Instead it’s that Blizzard have seemingly used a major gaming event to broadcast homophobic insults to its customers. As has been well explored in other comments, using the word as an insult can only work if you also hold that someone being homosexual or effeminate (e.g. a faggot) is a bad thing. So by broadcasting such insults, Blizzard are apparently supporting the view that homosexuals are bad people. And then the crowd cheered.

      For what it’s worth I didn’t feel offended by the event, but I am glad I’m no longer giving that company any of money.

    • Azradesh says:

      Ok, maybe it should be, “Should try not to be offended.” My point that it helps no one, least of all yourself, still stands. As does the point about reacting in an offended manner towards the person that intends offence. That person is likely an asshole and will enjoy seeing you act that way.

      It’d be fine to inform that person that offends out of ignorance that they are likely to cause offence by saying what they said and why. But the first type of person is best ignored.

    • Azradesh says:

      @Salt

      Oh there’s no doubt this was very silly of Blizzard.

    • JackShandy says:

      I disagree. Standing up and saying “This isn’t right” is a hard thing to do, and it’s almost always worth it.

  18. Azradesh says:

    Delete this.

    • Mephisto says:

      The f*****g internet f*****g ate it. F*****g internet, it’s a &^%£&^$.

  19. yeastcapp says:

    Required reading for people who don’t like this article http://nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf

    • Sirbolt says:

      Yup, there you go white people, your opinions matter less than everyone elses because you have never been discriminated. Unless you’re gay, or short, or tall, or fat, or thin, or…

    • Lakshmi says:

      Try reading it before getting in a huff. That’s not what it says at all.

    • rayne117 says:

      How about I write a paper about Gay Privilege? Every section will be about how we have to walk on huge eggshells to make them equal to us non-gays.

      “6. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.”

      So… white people basically made the current society?

      If an alien overlord came in and helped us primitive cave monkeys to build a society, I’m sure most would agree that those aliens would then be better than us, the humans.

      Now if you want to say white people made society, then you must say we are your alien overlords.

    • Uthred says:

      Honest question here, am I supposed to feel “white guilt” even though I come from a country which never had any hand in slavery and the population of which was predominantly white and as such people were discriminated against mainly on religious grounds?

    • Dozer says:

      Rayne I’m pretty sure you’ve completely misunderstood that part of the article. What was said was this: as a white person, when someone says “This is how our civilisation was made,” you’ll be shown that white people were involved in making it. If you’re not white, you don’t get that guarantee.

      Not that I understand that particular point. The amount of melanin in Isembard Kingdom Brunel’s skin and the impact he had on British history are (unrelated) historical facts, unalterable. But I don’t particularly understand why I should find Brunel any more of an inspiring figure than my non-white British friends. Perhaps that particular bit is more relevant to American readers in ways I don’t have the cultural education to grasp.

    • Cryo says:

      @Uthred: “White guilt” is a term invented by racists who can not comprehend motives of people who are against racism even if they are personally not affected or benefit from it. So the answer to your question is “no”, but not for the reason you give.

  20. Branthog says:

    You know what’s really not doing the perception of the medium any favors? The fact that you can’t get into a game on a console (and sometimes a PC) where half the players aren’t hurling the N-word and homophobic slurs non-stop from gamer tags like “420KushDawgSmokeJew”.

    As for this particular example? Yeah, it was in very poor taste. So was that stupid “Fight Against Grenade Spam” thing BFBC2 did.

    As for the word “cocksucker”….? I would guarantee that almost nobody who ever says that ties it together with the concept of a homosexual and doesn’t equate it even remotely to calling someone a f*. And as for f*? I’m pretty sure that’s offensive, even if southpark says it shouldn’t be. As I recall, it’s not just “dude, a faggot is just a cigerette or a bunch of kindling for a fire!”, but as I understand, is reference to burning gay people at a fire. Maybe I’m entirely wrong here, but I saw a breakdown of the origin of the word and its use as a slur that stated this and it sort of turned my mind from “it’s an unpleasant and insulting word” to “holy shit, that is almost hauntingly awful”.

    On the other hand, I’m reminded of the word “retarded”. All of a sudden, you’re the worst person in the world if you use that word. Interesting, because people that used to be clinically labeled as “retarded” are no longer labeled “retarded”. they are “mentally challenged” or “intellectually disabled”. So, if retarded is no longer applied to that group of people then when you use that word, it shouldn’t be offensive, anymore. (And frankly, it never should have been since it simply means “slow”).

    And before you say “you’re just being pedantic and looking for an excuse to use the word ‘retard’”, let’s consider for a moment some *other* words we use a lot. Words like stupid, idiot, moron, and imbecile. These are words we use regularly today. In fact, we use them as somewhat less insulting ways to refer to people than “asshole” and “fuckface” and “dumbass”. These words are what we used to call the people we used to call retarded. They were used, medically, to refer to mentally slow people. They were discarded for “retarded”, which was preferred as more polite and considerate. And now “retarded” is offensive, so we have changed to yet another words… except it’s still okay to say “imbecile, stupid, moron, idiot” and not “retarded”. Go figure.

    Slightly related, it’s a change I’ve seen occur with “post traumatic stress disorder”. We used to say that people coming home from the war had shell-shock. Now we say they have “post traumatic stress disorder”. As if making the descriptive word or phrase a little less nail-on-the-head and a lot more dainty, it would reduce the impact of being shell-shocked.

    Anyway, things don’t always have to be so politically correct and nerf-safe – but for fuck’s sake, it would be fantastic if there was a lot less racism and homophobia in my daily gaming experience. I never hear this shit in real life. The only time I hear these racial slurs (n* this and jew that and fag this and homo that) is when I’m gaming. And usually on a console, but not always. Having companies sort of contribute to that atmosphere in some way or another does us no favors.

    PS: Can people stop misusing the word “Misogyny”? It means the hatred or dislike of women. A lack of respect or a lack of tact toward women is not misogyny. Joking about women, referring to them as chicks, having a game full of T&A, and everything else is no more “misogyny” than telling jokes about dumb husbands and complaining about men is man-hating.

    • Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

      Fight against grenade spam was also an Actiblizzion thing. No need to lay that at DICEs door.

    • Keep says:

      “As for the word “cocksucker”….? I would guarantee that almost nobody who ever says that ties it together with the concept of a homosexual”

      Personally I think that’s the problem: it’s insidious. You don’t notice that the subtext is “sucking cocks/being homosexual is something you don’t want to be”.

      And I’d like to think that’s why disagreement is happening about this. No-one here actually, intentionally, wants to express homophobia. I’d hope.

    • Dozer says:

      It’s some sort of horrible cycle.

      1) A particular condition is discovered and a particular word is given to it as a name.
      “This person has ABC characteristic.”

      2) Wrong-headed people use that word as an insult
      “You’re like a person who has ABC! ABC is bad! Therefore you are bad and should feel bad!”

      3) The meaning of the word has changed.
      “This person has ABC characteristic, which is bad.”

      4) Well-meaning people find a new word without that connotation.
      “This person has DEF characteristic.”

      5) The original word now only has meaning as an insult, because people who aren’t set on causing offence would choose the word that doesn’t have the “…which is bad” connotation.

      6) GOTO(2);

  21. Nick says:

    Wearing your own (shitty) bands t-shirt.. major faux pas.

  22. nanowired says:

    On a side note, Alliance vs Horde mentality has no place in WoW, as despite their best efforts to ferment hate between the sides, Everyone ends up working together and being all sunshine and happiness through the same groups anyways.

  23. plugmonkey says:

    I don’t think people who say cocksucker relate it to homosexuality. They don’t even relate it to sucking cock. Like you don’t really relate ‘wanker’ to masturbation or ‘bastard’ to unmarried parentage.

    That was, in all likelihood, the least offensive incredibly offensive rant I’ve ever heard. It’s certainly the least homophobic incredibly homophobic rant I’ve heard, in that it wasn’t really at all homophobic. I would imagine they played it because, origin of some of the swearwords aside, it’s just a famous person being comically partisan about their video game. What with all the handwringing?

    Either this is true, or Mr. Wu from Deadwood is the most offensively homophobic character in film or television history. How dare a respected broadcaster such as HBO create a character with such and obvious homophobic bias! I’m appalled!

    I wonder what is happening to RPS sometimes. The high horse rarely gets to see the inside of its stable.

  24. Peterkopf says:

    Clearly calling the Alliance gay means that you want to oppress homosexuals. And telling them to die means that you want someone to exterminate them in a gaschamber. OKAY THEN, THAT’S SOUND REASONING.

  25. Peterkopf says:

    Clearly calling the Alliance gay means that you want to oppress homosexuals. And telling them to die means that you want someone to exterminate them in a gaschamber.

    …. Okay then, that’s sound reasoning.

  26. MacGuffin says:

    Um, the BlizzCon video was censored, someone found the original and was then offended by it? It’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer for crying out loud, this video doesn’t rank in the top 100 offensive things he has said. The original video was funny because it was a serious interview that suddenly became about World of Warcraft. There are more deserving targets of scorn than this.

    • Apples says:

      Missing the point. A respectable company would have thought “This guy’s an idiot, we don’t want to be associated with that.” Blizzard thought the opposite of that! They thought “This is cool, let’s show it to everyone as an example of how cool people like our games!”

  27. Ultra Superior says:

    Black metal is gay.

  28. Nakor The BlueRider says:

    As a Cannibal Corpse Fan I am surprised at such a poor performance. The band try and be a offenive as possible, with songs about murder and rape so saying ‘X is gay’ is hardly shocking. Why Blizzard hired them is main question as they knew the band is controversial.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Also the lead singer is horrendously fat. It’s the worst kind of obesity – with terrible head to ass proportion – the kind of obesity that gets him killed before 60.

      Do they sing offensive and provocative songs about fat people too?

    • warcode says:

      @Ultra Superior, I don’t think they have to. Mainstream media does a good enough job of harassing fat people as it is. Because only certain people are worthy of equality.

  29. Someblokius says:

    Disgraceful as the homophobic slurs are, and not belittling that in the slightest, the bit that shocked me the most is the whole ‘suicide is funny’ thing. I know that a certain proportion of the kids who infest the internet think it’s hilarious but for Blizzard to invite this pillock to laugh about wrist-slitting… And I don’t give a flying chuff if he’s doing it ‘ironically’. Anyone who thinks that kind of talk is healthy or pleasant is an utter shite. Ultimately I think Blizzard let themselves down here.

    Yeah, I’m complaining that John Walker didn’t get offended enough. :P

  30. godgoo says:

    Metal is so gay.

  31. rocketman71 says:

    Oh, Blizzard. I was merely disappointed in you. This brings a new low. VERY low.

    Kotick must be ecstatic.

  32. Zepp says:

    OMFG, this song is so gay.

  33. aircool says:

    Huh. Fat sweaty grebo’s = instant fail before they even open their mouths.

    • Uthred says:

      Its bad to discriminate against homosexuals but fat people are ok?

  34. Kandon Arc says:

    After reading this thread the thing that makes me the most upset is the lack of respect that the majority of posters have for people disagreeing with. On one side you have people invoking the ‘Political Correctness brigade’ as if the only people that could be offended by this are white knights. Then on the other side we have the ‘oh you don’t think faggot is inherently offensive? You must be a straight white male then’ as if a SWM can’t possibly think over the issue and come up with a valuable contribution or that SWM’s all think exactly alike. Sadly John seems to fall in this latter category.

    This isn’t a clear cut issue. It’s possible to argue either side convincingly and reasonably – and it’s issue that is worth discussing, so good work in bringing it up John. Let’s try and elevate this above a Kotaku level ad hominem-athon.

    • Benga says:

      Go on then, lets hear the ‘convincing and reasonable argument’ for faggot or cocksucker not being homophobic language in this context.

    • theleif says:

      I’m pretty sure John is a SWM, so i don’t really get your point.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I’d rather not get drawn in for fear of undermining my original point; but I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest that both faggot and cocksucker are no longer exclusively homophobic slurs. This man is clearly unpleasant, but his main view seems to be that Alliance players are wusses, which has been conflated with homosexuality, true, but I don’t think that’s what he driving at.

      Regardless, I was mainly referring to the argument about whether faggot could be used in a non-homophobic way, to which there have been many reasonable responses throughout the thread, rather than trying to defend this dirtbag specifically.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      @theleif

      I was referring to when someone argued that people were getting upset over nothing (granted he fell into the ‘fight Political Correctness’ crowd) and John replied:
      “I’m guessing you’re… a gay Caribbean midget, right? I’m right, right?”

      As if only a SWM would think this is a storm in a teacup.

    • Benga says:

      It used to be true, in britain at least, that if you were born out of wedlock you were a ‘bastard’ and as such you had less rights and equality than those born in wedlock. Thus an insult was born. Nowadays the term is used frequently and has lost its original meaning. On the whole being a ‘bastard’ in the proper meaning has no real detriment to any individual. Therefore the term has lost its bigoted connotations.

      To call someone a Faggot is to associate them with a group of people who STILL face inequality and oppression. This reinforces the negative view of someone from that minority in the reigning majority; which doesnt help reduce inequality,

      Therefore as someone who would like to see inequality reduced I see it as important to point out homophobia in our language when I see/hear it.

      A lot of the people defending the use of the word Faggot as an insult, are ignoring the inequalities that the word represents.

  35. JackShandy says:

    John, thanks for posting this stuff.

    Well, wait, sorry. This post isn’t a big deal. It’s “Hey, Blizzard’s marketing was misguided, this guy acted like a tool.” I wish we could all just say “Yup” and move on – just because you mention “Saying gay slurs is bad”, this whole thing spins into a 7 page argument? Why? Why is this? I am broken and tired.

    • Premium User Badge Dorchadas says:

      “Why? Why is this?”

      Some people are really offended at the idea that their reflexive homophobia is bad.

      So they defend themselves by saying other people shouldn’t get offended.

      Cue 500+ comments.

  36. elpistolero says:

    If you love and value freedom of speech – it means you must defend the right for people to say (particularly) the most vile and offensive types of speech -> However, it also means agree with the message, and you are free to heap shame on the speaker for being a f*cking infantile ignorant inbred Neanderthal embarrassment-to-humanity *sshole. ;)

  37. crizzyeyes says:

    FYI, George Fisher (aka Corpsegrinder) has been an avid World of Warcraft player for a very long time, so I imagine that he either asked Blizzard for this performance or someone in Blizzard, knowing this, asked him and he was glad to accept.
    Either way he’s just a pretty immature guy. It’s just his nature that he would think this is funny. This news article is a little silly for getting mad at him using the word “faggot” liberally.

    • Cinnamon says:

      So are you saying that the man has some sort of mental problem that gives him the intellect of a child and that it’s not politically correct to draw attention to it?

  38. LGM says:

    What on earth is Blizzard thinking having the singer of Cannibal Corpse at the ‘con? Aside from being just an awful band musically, they’re sick freaks whose lyrics read like the ranting of a PCP freak who was strapped to a chair and forced to watch horror movies for 2 days straight.

    Starcraft + Warcraft + DOTA + Diablo + Cannibal Corpse = someone at Blizzard is smoking crack?

  39. Unaco says:

    I think everyone here is missing the Elephant in the room, so to speak…

    … the one with greasy hair and the ‘Cannibal Corpse’ T-Shirt.

  40. zergrush says:

    Blah, nothing worthy of note or that hasn’t been said before.

  41. automata says:

    Why are so many people saying “don’t be offended they’re just words” getting all, dare I say it, offended over this article?

    They’re just words.

    • Maldomel says:

      Because there are lots of people using homophobic words on a daily basis and not seeing w<hat's wrong with doing that.
      Then they read an intelligent stuff about how it's a douche attitude and they deny reality (them being douches, at least on that particular point).
      So they get offended because it is harder to accept your wrongs than to see them, throw them away and get better.

      Basically, it's that.

  42. Maldomel says:

    I know online it is pretty popular to call people “fags” or use many other homophobic terms for the sole purpose of being cool and shouting louder than the next guy, but to use it like that is just pathetic, whether there’s a meaning related to homophobia or not.

    Blizzard (and any studio) should avoid encouraging and going with that kind of flow as much as possible.

  43. Eddy9000 says:

    I think every argument around this issue must have been made in the 300 odd posts that I can’t be arsed to read, so I’d just like to thank RPS for bringing issues of predjudice to light in their articles, and treating computer games as a serious media rather than “just games”.

    This is the kind of article that continually brings me back to this site, please keep up the good work.

    • Premium User Badge Jubaal says:

      Aye Eddy, I agree. I always find it refreshing that RPS covers areas of gaming other sites tend to shy away from.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      although Jubal, I’ve just had a shuftie at destructiods reporting of it, and their comments section is actually more mature and anti-predjudice than the RPS comments! Sad times, I think the haters on this thread need to accept that this is the stance taken on RPS, and if they don’t like it they can read something else and stop cluttering up mature debate with hateful ignorant crap.

  44. Sagan says:

    I’m kinda appalled by the RPS comment thread. I thought people here were smarter than this.

    Well thanks for posting this John. And I suggest that you keep posting about things like this in the hope that every time some people in the comments are convinced by the more reasonable people.

  45. hoobajoo says:

    Why the hell is everyone upset about in this article? Not Corpsegrinder’s amazingly bigoted rant, or Blizzard’s tacit endorsement of it, that is obviously upsetting. I mean John’s article: this is ROCK PAPER SHOTGUN, proud bastion of subjective opinion and personal bias. It has always been like this, and it is the reason I come to this site over others.

    Calling Corpsegrinder out for wearing his own band’s shirt is the real story here. That is Metal Faux-Pas No. 1.

  46. Sardaukar says:

    I can’t say that I care much for the article so much as this fiery comments section. This has been a very illuminating read, on both sides of the argument. It’s going to take weeks to digest all of this before I can discuss the issue confidently again.

  47. MythArcana says:

    These guys had the chance to display a bit of class, but instead chose to give metal and PC gaming a bad name in one shot. This must have been Kotlick’s suggestion at one of the 137 ActiGizzard corporate parties they throw every year.

  48. codename_bloodfist says:

    Lesson learned: read the article first, then watch the video. Would have saved me from listening to that musical masterpiece.

    • Dozer says:

      There’s a way to stop Flash from automatically loading, which I followed and then forgot what it is. If I want to watch a video I need to click on the Flash frame to load the YouTube frame, then again to get YouTube (or whatever streaming video site) to start playing the video.

      That extra click is enough to reduce the amount of my life spent watching embedded videos. I think it makes it harder for websites to give my PC bad things too, which is probably why I did it in the first place.

  49. TsunamiWombat says:

    I’m torn. obviously people are upset, they have a right to be upset. I’m watching both the edited and unedited versions though and none of the really offensive stuff made it into the edited version Blizzard showed.

    Also it’s worth noting this mans diatribe, the unedited one…is pretty tame compared to the homophobic racist slurs you’ll get in online chat in most any multiplayer game.

    • Dozer says:

      But it’s depressing that Blizzard would represent themselves with someone who’s even mildly like that aspect of the MMO community. It implies that Blizzard aren’t opposed to the homophobic behaviour of MMO players. It’s not that Blizzard are responsible for the attitudes of their players – they’re not the nanny state. Just sad that they’d align themselves with someone whose comments would reinforce that behaviour.

      I’m apparently too tired to write an analogy that doesn’t break Godwin’s Law, so I won’t.

  50. porps says:

    black metal artist voices “extreme” views and swears a bit. what a shocker!
    (btw, that isnt some kind of slur against robots of colour who enjoy painting…. seems i should make that clear since people round here have suddenly become hypersensitive and got all wrapped up in the whole political correctness rubbish)