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. Ats24 says:

    Is anyone seriously getting offended by this? this is the lead singer of a group named cannibal corpse… they have wrote songs like necropedophile and ****** with a knife. what did you expect from a death metal band
    Everyone just needs to grow a backbone… this getting offended BS is really stupid. I cant even imagine how you can survive in day to day life if you get offended by a few words…

  2. Joof says:

    Holy shit. This whole comment section is awful. Both sides just yelling passed each other and belittling and dehumanizing the other side. This is just awful.

    • Joof says:

      Cyro: What? I’m not sure that applies?

      Dozer: I guess that one works though.

    • Dozer says:

      aww, crap, and now it applies to me too.

      :-(

    • Joof says:

      The alt-text clearly states there’s a once per conversation limit on it, so I think you’re in the clear.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dorchadas says:

      “Cyro: What? I’m not sure that applies?”

      One side wants to keep using words that many people find insulting, belittling, and dehumanizing.

      The other said says that’s not nice and they should probably stop. It does not want to use different words that are insulting, belittling and dehumanizing.

      You’re creating a false equivalency.

  3. pagad says:

    Well, Mr. Fisher managed to exemplify the worst, most juvenile aspects of both videogaming and metal. Stay classy, Cannibal Corpse.

    • Shooop says:

      I’d expect nothing less from that septic tank of a “band.”

      They’ve been around for over 15 years and have yet to record a half-decent death metal album.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Jubaal says:

    As many have said the infantile spoutings of the lead singer aren’t the real issue (Though I in no way condone them) it is Blizzards apparent condoning of his apparent juvenile and bigoted attitude that concerns me. As a company with such Global influence these says they should be more socially responsible.

  5. vash47 says:

    This is the worst post I’ve seen on RPS.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Jubaal says:

    @ unitled – I’m totally with you there. It is one of the reasons I love RPS so much.

    They may take our lives but they’ll never take our Waaaaaaalkeeeeeer!

  7. Hoaxfish says:

    Few things people probably already said:
    1. I don’t think they’re smart to alienate 50% of their playerbase. I didn’t realise the Alliance/Horde thing was that serious, and I certainly don’t think Blizzard should act in a way that reinforces it outside the game.
    2. Both the guy in the video-feed, and on-stage need to get a haircut. It’s not even the “okay-ish” long male hair… it’s some sort of frizzy greasy mess.
    3. A staff-member’s Heavy Metal band? Reaaally? Why not get Bruce Willis to sing as well?
    4. Ignoring the fact I don’t play WoW, or really care for Blizzard, this sort of thing is probably the most off-putting representation of “their product” I’ve seen yet. Along with the always-on DRM, and relations with Kotick.

    All in all, I honestly expect a big gaming company to be a bit more sensible than this sort of thing…

    • Ats24 says:

      The alliance and horde thing isnt serious and what fisher said ISNT MEANT to be taken SERIOUSLY.
      Secondly referring to someones apperance isnt really proving your point…
      I can’t believe that people are such pussies about something as small as this. I really expected more from RPS.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yeaaa… but they really need a haircut!

      Plus, I’m not a business whose PR relies on basically balancing “attitude” and assuming people will be offended. You don’t see teachers swearing in classrooms because “hey, I didn’t mean it, you shouldn’t be offended” etc.

    • UnravThreads says:

      R.E. Point 3: They’re not “a staff member’s band”, like it’s just something he does outside of work. They’re an “official” Blizzard band wholly comprised of Blizzard employees, and have been around since about Warcraft 3. They’ve also played Blizzcon most years. They’re not to be taken that seriously.

  8. Davie says:

    Blizzard has done a really impressive job this last year of convincing me to never give them money again. Well played, guys. Keep it classy.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Monchberter says:

    Here’s Stewart Lee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IYx4Bc6_eE

    Why is it that most of the commentators here get so riled when someone finds a word that they are using BECAUSE of its offensive origins offensive that they have to start the old ‘political correctness’ rant.

    Hate to say this, but you’re all people I would never ever want to associate myself with.

    I’ve banned people from the TF2 server I used to run for less and guess what, most people were grateful that such hateful little shits no longer were ruining their game with hate speech

    Grow up. Well done John Walker

    P.S. here’s another bit of Stewart Lee satire on the ‘just a joke’ defense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0i0RXMvzMs

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Rather than try to come up with my own words to express my thoughts, I’ll take the easy route and just say:

      ^^^^ +1 for this.

    • Gepetto says:

      Excellent links – Stewart Lee pretty much sums up the situation.

      +1

    • Wulf says:

      Remember what I said about wanting a telepathic laser to engrave wisdom into the collective mind of humanity?

      Yeah, applies to this, too.

      I completely agree with you and support you on this, too. It’s funny, I have a number of friends, some of whom are even of the straight and white sort, and I’ve never… not once… heard them use any kind of ethnic, sexist, or homophobic slur. Not once! And I speak with them regularly (over voice, too). And when it does come up, not said by them, they never find it to be ‘okay.’

      As I’ve said before, these are the nicest damned people I’ve ever had the fortune of knowing, and very often I wish all of humanity was like that. I often worry that I’m to blame for not seeing some sort of common illness that’s causing physical brain damage that results in the sort of sociopathy, misogyny, homophobia, racism, and so on that other people use and find ‘okay.’

      I can’t help but think that there may be something behind this inability that some people have to be able to relate to someone else’s feelings, and how they can’t even recognise when they’re causing suffering at all, even to the point where they may derive pleasure from it. This is more common than not, it seems, and I wonder if there’s some kind of cause behind it.

      Or maybe I’m the broken one. But if that’s the case then I don’t want to be healthy.

      But sometimes I do wish that I could give every human a short briefing on compassion, understanding, and empathy. And why hate-speech in general is such a horrible thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jubaal says:

      Excellent Monchberter, spot on links.

      I haven’t seen any Stuart Lee in a while, cheers. Glad I’m not the only one who dislikes Top Gear.

  10. Erithtotl says:

    Come on, the worst part of this is that Blizzard has a convention, and that people attend.

    I notice the rest of Cannibal Corpse has the sense to stay away.

  11. Mihkel says:

    video games

  12. Mutak says:

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424906852

    One of the most half-assed apologies i’ve ever seen.

    Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.

    Our humblest apologies,

    Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain

    They’re not sorry about what happened – they’re sorry people can’t take a joke. They don’t disagree with the sentiments expressed – it’s ok to say those things if you’re just kidding. Homophobic slurs are funny, as is telling people to go commit suicide.

    Oh, and who’s apologizing? Not the company – the band, and not any particular person in the band – no names. No one taking any actual responsibility for it. And let’s gloss over the fact that the band is made up of high-ranking employees of Blizzard. Despite that fact, Blizzard is totally not responsible for this.

    Honestly though, that’s just the kind of crap you expect from big companies – CYA.

  13. Gassalasca says:

    I am sorry that I don’t have time right now to read all the comments, but I think this Language Log thread is very much worth linking to:

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1673

  14. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    “One other point, how is cocksucker homophobic at all? I mean most women are cocksuckers, and gay men also suck cocks. Plus it’s a wonderful and loving act. Am I missing something here?”

    Yes you are. The whole point of it as an insult is that it’s homophobic and misogynist, implying such an act is degrading. If you disagree, please explain why “pussylicker” isn’t a commonly used insult.

    Since I am not gay, it is not up to me to decide is “faggot” is no longer homophobic or an insult. I remember a recent episode where Ricky Gervais “bravely” fought the mother of a mentally disabled child for the right to use “mong”. I’m more impressed by Tim Minchin’s reaction upon hearing the word “tranny” is considered an insult. Instead of being defensive, he learned something and moved on: http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/this-is-how-you-do-it-words-privilege-and-the-stuff-you-dont-know/

    I suggest those clamouring for the fight to use homophobic words to likewise, and perhaps expand their vocabulary to other words.

    P.

    • Wulf says:

      Precisely.

      This language of ours is a conglomeration of many tongues, we have a good number of words that we can use to express dismay or anger. If you’re a decent person, you have other words to do these things which aren’t homophobic, ethnic, or sexual slurs, you don’t need to inform people as to what you think the status of their life should be.

      The thing of it is is that homophobic slurs have their origins in particularly nasty affairs, when homophobia was all the rage and quite the in thing to be. There are so many other words out there, so why pick those that are linked to some particularly nasty acts? See, to me, to continually use homophobic words is like… it’s an appreciation of the homophobia of the past, it’s like saying that you salute those people who’ve caused the likes of me no small amount of pain.

      And why would you do that? How can you not realise that? There are other words out there, other words without such horrible origins, other words which aren’t so charged. But this guy, and people like him? They’re just going to go right back to using homophobic slurs, and worse.

      I guess that’s what’s bothering me. All I hear out of this at the end of the day is: “Sure, we have no problem traumatising people who’ve had bad experiences with homophobia. We’re down with that.”

  15. D3xter says:

    So RPS = the left version of FOX News gaming press, finding offense in boobs, perceived sexism and slurs everywhere it can and trying to bring the sinister evil-doing perpetrators to the righteous justice of “MY OPINION ON EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS RIGHT!”?

  16. Metonymy says:

    I don’t want pro- or anti- gay politics in my game news.

    Please exercise a little more discretion.

    • theleif says:

      You’re being sarcastic, right?
      Right?

    • alundra says:

      Actually, I second that, I like games to be an outlet, and game news to be free from **politically correct (or incorrect) political news** is what I look forward to.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      There are about a billion sites on the web that post bland, thought-free gaming news. Please go to one of them.

    • Benga says:

      There is no part of our society that is completely separated from the rest – its all one. Learn to deal with it.

    • Metonymy says:

      Benga

      My statement applies to all viewers.

      Your statement applies to some viewers.

      The subject matter is respect towards readers. Placing continuously debated politics and religion into a gaming forum is disrespectful. If you disagree on something as clear as this, then how can you ask someone to respect your other, less obvious preferences?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Claiming that topics which could be considered political debate has no place in game discussion is disrespectful. It’s essentially asking other people who know that it does have a place to shut up.

    • Hanban says:

      @Metonymy

      This has, however, been standard practice for as long as I have read RPS. These types of posts appear every now and then. They have always featured articles about gaming relating to racism, homophobia and misogyny and ultimately RPS choose their own content. They have no obligation to respect your wishes about the content they put out. Their integrity and taste decides that.

      If you don’t like it, you can either skip posts relating to these topics, or find some other site that caters more to your taste.

      RPS doesn’t just discuss game releases, DRM, or Fred Wester, the blog discusses a wide variety of issues regarding games. That is why I choose to come to RPS as opposed to the other gaming news websites.

    • MSJ says:

      And it is ultimately my decision to block you, Metonymy. Like I am doing after this reply.

  17. colinmarc says:

    Yeah, definitely inappropriate for Blizzcon or any large audience. Misguided is right. That said, lets just move on, shall we? It’s not clear that the guys are actually homophobic, at least. Maybe just crude.

    I am dissapoint, Blizzard.

  18. Bensam123 says:

    Yeah, context was completely removed. That’s the way most people in the WoW culture are and it’s completely acceptable. If you’re being technical you could even through racism in there as he is raging on specific races of alliance… It wasn’t intended to be used as “I really think all homosexual people should really die”, rather how you normally talk about other people in game. The guy is laughing and smiling when talking about it too, it’s easy to see it isn’t unbridled hatred.

    If you think that’s bad, you should play MW online on the Xbox sometime… the hatred that flows through there doesn’t have such nice overtones.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Alternatively, you could go fuck yourself.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Some wow players are frequently coarse.

      Most wow players are not.

      Some wow players may accept this flavor of obscenity.

      Most do not.

      In a generalized audience, it is not at all acceptable.

      In context as a cannibal corpse fan, you might read it as shock value for the sake of amusement at its fatuousness. That is not the context into which it was delivered.

      To simplify: That kind of talk, even censored out, in the actual game would be sufficient to action an account if reported. How then does it become acceptable to broadcast the talk at their event?

  19. owenj says:

    I’m fairly positive that everyone defending Blizzard, the singer and “Free Speech wtf can’t take a joke?” are most likely:

    Somewhat privileged (monetarily)
    Heterosexual
    White

    If not, I apologize for making such a generalization, but if you are; this could be perhaps why you are so naive in regards to the effect words such as this can have.

    And while yes, you might have a right of free speech and to use whatever offensive language you want, it also means you’re an asshole.

    • Wulf says:

      Can we use some sort of telepathic laser to engrave this into the collective mind of humanity?

  20. Shooop says:

    I am so very, very glad I have never taken much interest in this game. Obviously Blizzard is trying to reach the CoD Xbox player crowd to whom death threats are their way of telling you “Damn, nice shot.”

    • Wulf says:

      I’m not sure whether my feelings of gratification, vindication, or schadenfreude apply the most, here.

    • Shooop says:

      Smug superiority complex jokes aside now.

      Who thought this was a good idea? Who the living hell did they run this by and got the reply, “Yeah that’s great! A shitty death metal band that only appeals to really sexually frustrated teenagers and a stereotypical talking lump-of-fat player throwing sexually-themed insults at other people? Do it!”

      What kind of response were they hoping for? Who’s their audience? This is worse than Dr. Pepper’s ad telling roughly half the population they shouldn’t drink their new product simply because they’re female. It’s nothing but gibberish and insults. Who watches this and thinks, “Damn, I want to play this game now!” instead of how they should avoid it like a stranger on the subway with open sores?

      You’re good at explaining things Wulf. Help me out here.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Who thought this was a good idea?

      Well, look around at many of the comments here – they are real people, unfortunately. It’s not a small minority, and it’s probably not too far off from a representative sample. It only takes the one person to think “this is edgy!!!” and a few more to be indifferent.

      Behold, the power of willful ignorance.

    • Cryo says:

      Well, look around at many of the comments here – they are real people.

      Nope.

  21. Ultra Superior says:

    He’s gonna sing a song of the past
    How he plays the shitty WOW that sucks ass

    I’d rather have a buffallo
    Take a diarrhea dump in my ear
    I’d rather eat the rotten asshole
    Of a road killed skunk and down it with beer

    He’s the dumbest gamer you’ve ever heard, he’s the angry cannibal corpse nerd.

  22. fenriz says:

    I don’t get it, is George Fishing(tipsy, and joking and friendly easy chattering) alone going to pay for years of internet mostly “harmless and infantile” pseudo homophobia?

    He’s not serious about those slurs, he’s not even remotely thinking about real homosexual persons, whom im sure he totally respects. I think he has benign amused eyes, i know many metallers, they’re the most goodhearted people at heart.

    C’mon, Mr. Walker.

    • Wulf says:

      You’re a [race] person, I just called you a filthy and unfortunate [racial slur].

      I am, of course, Not Serious™, because that makes everything okay.

      How the hell does your mind work?

  23. Ultra Superior says:

    If you’re about to jump on a bandwagon – make sure the band isn’t cannibal corpse.

  24. Snargelfargen says:

    @Cryo

    Always make a point of engaging with the worst comments, because anything that makes them think about their viewpoint is a good thing. Shutting somebody out just perpetuates the problem. And yeah, nobody ever admits they are wrong on the internet. But some of those proud people do go to bed and wake up the next day with a changed opinion.
    I am often guilty of this.

    • Cryo says:

      Things like this one don’t “think”. They just mechanically react to stimuli. There’s no self-awareness there. You are talking into the void.

  25. Bostec says:

    I have no opinion either way. I’m just posting in the most commented thread on RPS. I was there maaaaaaaannn (womaaaaaaannnn)

  26. DaFishes says:

    Wow. It’s like Privilege Denying Dude threw up all over the comments section of this post.

    • Wulf says:

      That… that really sums it up, doesn’t it? And somehow knowing that that sums it up so well makes me feel better.

  27. WhatKateDoes says:

    Pinch of salt I think, but to be honest he’s just a bit embarassing. All that “hard” man attitude for a game that will soon have cuddly kung-fu pandas.

    Also.. a video that I recommend for anyone wanting a laugh at this kind of archaic attitude:

    • theleif says:

      +1
      Also a good example of right context. And brilliant humour, of course.

  28. yourgrandma says:

    sooo… where is the controversy? I don’t get it….

    • bpatrol says:

      Then maybe you should take steps as to understanding why people would be offended? Ignorance should never be an excuse.

  29. WaveMotion says:

    Good work RPS, as usual. You’re pissing off all the right people in my book. Keep up the good work. You are one of only two websites that I have adblock disabled for.

    To all the ‘context’, ‘get over it’, ‘ I’ll say what I like’, ‘it doesn’t mean the same anymore’ etc etc people;

    At best you are enabling bigots. Seriously, you think there aren’t any bigots any more? I must have imagined the ones that have attacked me then. I’ve been kicked, punched, spat at and called every name you can think of for being gay. And I pass for straight pretty easily (not that I should have to). I dread to think what life would have been like if I couldn’t hide it (and lots can’t). This in one of the most ‘progressive’ cities in the world. London. Wow human kind really has a long way to go.

    So thanks for making my life hell when I was a teenager. Yes, you who think you can say faggot and it has no effect. You are just creating a culture in which it’s ok to use that word. Your meaning is irrelevant because everyone (yes, everyone) knows why that word is used as an insult. What do you think it’s like to be 11 and realise you are gay only to be surrounded by people who use words like faggot on a daily basis? Yeah, what a great way to grow up.

    • Syra says:

      faggot or esp (US) fagot1 (ˈfæɡət)
      —n
      1. a bundle of sticks or twigs, esp when bound together and used as fuel
      2. a bundle of iron bars, esp a box formed by four pieces of wrought iron and filled with scrap to be forged into wrought iron
      3. a ball of chopped meat, usually pork liver, bound with herbs and bread and eaten fried
      4. a bundle of anything

    • kaiserbob says:

      Let me give you some perspective. As someone who grew up and still lives in Texas I have never once heard someone called a ‘faggot’ in a homophobic manner. That doesn’t mean it never happens but I have only ever heard it used as generic insult similar ‘bitch’, ‘cunt’, or ‘dick’. So for me and most of my friends in their 20′s there are no homophobic ‘Let’s go beat up all the faggots’ connotations to it. I am not going to stop using it based upon your experience growing up in London, I’m sorry.

      Words only have the power you assign to them.

    • Unaco says:

      @Kaiserbob,

      You may have not been using it in a homophobic manner. But you used it as an insult… that’s the problem. Why use a term for a homosexual male as an insult? Why is being gay seen as a negative thing? Why is labelling someone as gay, however erroneously, used as an insult? By using it insultingly, you’re saying that being gay is something to disdain, that you view it negatively.

      I’m not saying you yourself ARE homophobic, or do view Homosexuals negatively. But, when you use that word, even just an insult, not directed at an actual gay man, you are applying or voicing some negative connotations of homosexuals. You’re saying “This is a negative thing. You are this negative thing”.

    • Shooop says:

      @Syra:

      That’s actually why “faggot” is an insult when used like that on a person – it’s saying “you’re something that should be burned.”

  30. Corvus Metus says:

    On one hand, people are overrating. Was what “Corpsegrinder” said distasteful? Certainly, but mind you he fronts a band whose cover art features zombies in compromising positions and have such charming song titles like “Nercopedophile” and “Fucked With A Knife”. Cannibal Corpse have been playing the shock card for ages.

    On the other hand, do I think that there was some latent homophobia in his comments. Yes, but he’s also likely highly misogynistic. So fuck him, in general for being a shitty human being.

    • bpatrol says:

      It’s less that he said it, and more that Blizzard saw that video and thought “Yes. This is what we will show to introduce him to the stage.”

  31. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Well this thread was thoroughly depressing, and I wasn’t even one of the people who had my entire worth as a human being called into question just because of who I prefer to spend my life with.

  32. geokes says:

    Really? What a ridiculous overreaction.

  33. ballerorjustnotwhatever says:

    get ripped or die mirin’

  34. coldvvvave says:

    First world problems.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      +1

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Because reinforced homophobia has nothing to do with people getting shot in other parts of the world.

      Yeah, cheap shot, but you asked for it by being dismissive.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Not dismissive to problems that undeniably exist in all parts of the world. This thread proves the level of luxury we all live in. It’s a good thing to have this thread and this luxury.

      Now if you were really fighting for the survival of your family in a third world country, offensive words at blizzcon would be the least of your problems.

  35. Mario Pajas says:

    he he… yeah, very funny video.

  36. Giftmacher says:

    “No bad words. Bad thoughts, bad intentions.

    And words.”

  37. jhng says:

    Cannibal Corpse? How desperately passe. Weren’t they last seen in the Ace Ventura movie?

  38. Dapper Dan says:

    I hate how many people don’t know what political correctness is.
    Not calling someone a faggot isn’t political correctness. It’s common decency.

  39. johnpeat says:

    Well this thread demonstrated that the so-called ‘ great community’ here really isn’t that great.

    10 pages of childish arguments from BOTH sides – not much common sense inbetween.

    Shame…

    • Wulf says:

      It’s hard to exercise common sense in regards to a topic that one might be emotionally scarred by, due to past events, and something that they’ve needed therapy for. I’m sorry, but saying something like that and being so completely inconsiderate and dispassionate to people who might be very emotional does make you look like a jackass. To be frank.

      So I’m afraid that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And really, there’s little else more childish than calling someone out on being childish for being emotionally affected by this. Your attempts to put yourself above the rabble show your colours and nature for what they are.

      Maybe these are things you might want to consider.

  40. Anders Wrist says:

    I’m just surprised a metal band played, instead of some shitty pop band.

    Also lol @ people acting all offended by this.

    • bpatrol says:

      Are you shocked that homosexual gamers would be offended by this, or that they exist? Why is it that getting offended by this is so hilarious? Crazy queers takin shit too seriously?

  41. Lucifalle says:

    I’ve just lost all faith in the RPS community.
    I was bullied at school because of being gay. A homophobic man called me a “dyke” and then tried to drive over me with his car. I’ve had slurs shouted at me on the streets when walking hand in hand with my girlfriend. I attempted suicide when I was 15. Most of my gay friends have experienced some degree of bullying/homophobia because of their sexual orientation. This whole thing just makes me depressed.

    Homophobia is not a joke :(.

    • aerozol says:

      I feel bad for you, but know that Cannibal Corpse wasn’t trying to put you down by saying that. Their entire job is using offensive language to maximum impact, but their usual audience understands that none of it is meant seriously. You’re not their audience, so you misunderstand the nature of the act that they’re performing on stage, which is unfortunate, but definitely don’t get the impression, if it makes you feel bad, that they give a shit about your sexual orientation. They don’t.

    • Wulf says:

      “Ha ha, it was a joke.” changes nothing.

      When you use words that are emotionally charged, you have to deal with the consequences.

      The whole just kidding around angle doesn’t change the fact that the words were used. And the ‘apology’ shows that the guy doesn’t even realise what he did wrong in the first place, which has me all the more convinced that he’s a homophobic jerk.

      So no, it wouldn’t be any different than if he’d used an ethnic slur, or used feminism in a derogatory way.

      He’s just an arsehole, and like I said, very probably an extremely homophobic one. Simple as.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I lost faith in the RPS community when I signed up to the steam group and got daily messages telling me to join MP games in some FPS or other. I don’t play no online man shoot bros.

    • aerozol says:

      Wulf, he’s not saying ‘ha ha it’s a joke’, because it was never meant as the the ‘joke’ you’re taking it as. It’s language being used in a manner that has divided meaning among different groups, and in this case was used with the wrong audience.
      If everybody who uses the word ‘fag’ is a homophobe, regardless of context, you have a VERY big problem on your hands.

      And the consequences that they will deal with is selling a little more of their next album, because this is what they feed off. They’ll be super gutted about those consequences, I’m sure!
      “people get upset about death metal, death metal community shocked”

    • bpatrol says:

      I’d love to know the context where using fag isn’t a homophobic remark.

    • aerozol says:

      Well, gay people use it amongst themselves all the time.
      You’re saying, they’re homophobic? Think a little deeper. Homophobic means a dislike or put-down of gays, but the word ‘fags’ doesn’t exist in a vacuum of its own, with the meaning that you prescribe it.

      fag
      1. to tire or weary by labor; exhaust

      Meanings change and language evolves. The origins of the word as a negative term may have been truly offensive, but youth around where I live don’t mean it as such, and would probably be upset if a gay person from somewhere else took it personally. Does this make them homophobic? Shit no.

    • marlin says:

      @bpatrol

      Asking for a cigarette in England.

  42. Arglebargle says:

    Assholes are the same color the world over…..

    • Dozer says:

      The fact that knowledge like this exists is why I’m glad I don’t work for the endoscopy clinic. There are some facts I’d just rather not know.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Not true.

      Let me show you my research.

  43. aerozol says:

    Read a lot of comments, and just wanted to say: Woo, Cannibal Corpse!
    It’s their job to offend people, that’s how they make their $. They’ve said much much much worse, so it’s kind of funny when RPS, who clearly has no experience or interest in their kind of music, gets up in arms about their choice of words.
    I’ve used ‘fag’ for a long time to mean ‘lame’ (and no, my gay friends aren’t offended by it, and I am self-conscious about it, and have asked them), but this is in NZ, and we have different language usages. I’m not saying that no gay people should be offended by it- it’s a word that carries weight and history. However you have to consider contextual useage, and in this case it’s just plain NOT ‘homophobic’, which denotes a certain hatred or fear of gay people, because that’s clearly not the intent or emotion behind it. Is it misplaced, and exposing certain behaviors to an audience that perhaps doesn’t want to hear it? Yes. And on a certain level it’s definitely good that there’s an outcry.
    But Cannibal Corpse makes a job of offending EVERY type of person, straight or gay, on so many levels, that when people who are clueless about them get upset about this, they’re really missing the point. You don’t take death metal lyrics seriously. Ever. The only people who do are class 10 douches, and 98% of the metal community definitely don’t. It’s a joke, an image. If you want to get upset, post some goregrind covers of girls being murdered in the most explicit ways possible, while getting raped in the worst ways possible, and write about how offensive it is. Because it is! But it’s just pointless, because few people here are the audience for those albums, and those who are the audience, understand that it’s a meaningless show, a coded visual display, that signifies various things about the music, to attract or detract certain audiences (eg most of RPS, who are meant to have ‘this’ reaction).

    In conclusion: It’s definitely not homophobic, unless you enjoy misapplying words liberally. However, bad choices were made regarding environment and audience, who could really only have this reaction.

    Also- Honestly, the night elves are seriously gay. No, really. I actually have always assumed that the ‘not mentioned’ undercurrent of all their visual styles and writings, not just in WoW related material, is that they are reeeal gay. That their males like the cock. I don’t have a problem with that at all, it’s just something I may have assumed wrong? And would it make calling them ‘fags’ more, or less offensive? Depends on the audience, eh (;

    • Eddy9000 says:

      So if I started using the word ‘nigger’ to describe something as being lame would you think it was okay, just because I wasn’t using it to directly insult a black person? Like if the dude in the video had said “those stupid nigger night elves”, can you see why that would be offensive yeah?

      Using a word commonly used to denigrate minority groups as a general insult still trades on the idea that these groups of people are undesireable. That’s why you’re using the words ‘fag’ and ‘gay’ rather than ‘yogurt’ and ‘bananna’ to describe your dislike of something. Ask yourself why the word ‘fag’ is an insult, don’t you think it might have something to do with persecutory social attitudes towards homosexuals?

      And those in the audience only find it a joke, if indeed they do, because it legitimises their own predjudices. From the sound of it if Cannibal Corpse really wanted to offend their fan base then they could just put an image of a regular gay male couple on their album cover indulging in a sensitive act of love, and write song lyrics about how great their night down a gay club was. There’s a reason they don’t try to court offence in this way.

    • aerozol says:

      Haha, to your nigger ‘argument’, absolutely.
      This is shown by a social group of black people referring to themselves as ‘niggers’ all the time. Because of their context (being black, and possibly in a rap video etc), it’s NOT offensive to their target audience (people who watch those rap videos). Context is EVERYTHING.
      If those same people used it to mean ‘lame’, it wouldn’t change that the word is offensive in certain context, to certain audiences, but not in others.

      And don’t try to pretend you know everything about the scene that CC moves within. I’m in there, and your opinions are as laughable as The Sun’s opinion on Video games. They don’t know shit about video games, and you don’t know shit about death metal, so don’t start throwing judgement.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yes, CONTEXT is very important, so you’ll agree that the CONTEXT in your example of a black person using the word nigger as a term of endearment to another black person in a video aimed at black people is a very different CONTEXT to my example of a white person using the word nigger as an insult in a conference attended by mostly white people. Now who’s example is closer to this incident of a straight person using the word faggot as an insult when addressing a conference attended mostly by straight people?

      I would agree that context is hugely important. Look at the immeadiate context here: straight man, addressing other straight men in an industry where homophobia is often commented on as being a problem. Look at the historical and cultural context, gay men have been discriminated against in the workplace and in public, by the law, and by the mental health act throughout recent history, and they have a much higher rate of suicide and physical assault due to their being labeled by words like ‘fag’ as an undesireable minority.

      So I’d say the context here is exactly what makes it so offensive.

      (And as for not knowing shit about the death metal scene, exactly how experienced are you in the gay scene? If you had more of an argument you wouldn’t resort to the insult and assumption in your last paragraph)

    • aerozol says:

      Argue with myself? How clever of you! (ahh, edited out as well. great.)

      And your inference that no gay people listen to Cannibal Corpse, or attend Blizzcon, would certainly make your point a great one, if it were at all true.
      In any case calling someone ‘homophobic’ (eg hating gays), because they used the word ‘fag’, and saying it ‘doesn’t matter if they hate gays or not, the word offends people!’, is just plain stupid. Can people see that?
      Am I saying that people can’t be offended by it? No! Of course not! But using the word doesn’t automatically make you ‘hate gays’, because of its origin!

      Edit: And I’m not saying it would be ok to call someone a ‘fag’ in the workplace, just because you don’t mean it as such. I am actually very pro political correctness. But again, it’s about where and how it’s used.

      Edit response edit: I don’t make any judgements of homosexuals, thank you very much, but accusing me of that sure weakens what I’m saying, eh?
      Edit (again!): Removed that upon actually reading my posts? Good idea.

      Edit (again again, hooh boy): A lot a lot, actually. Not sure what last paragraph you’re referring to, but sorry if I insulted anyone. And ‘having more of an argument’? What more do I need? I’m saying that saying ‘fag’ doesn’t make you homophobic regardless of if you dislike gays or not!

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I havent said that someone using the word fag makes them homophobic, im saying that the fact the word is used as an insult is indicative of homophobic attitudes in society, and perpetuates these. Im sure that the word is used by caring and thoughtful people like yourself all the time, without their realising the harmthe word and the social attitudes that allow it to exist cause to people.

      I dont think there are many gay cannibal corpse fans honestly if their lead singer uses words like fag so casually, but some people do internalise predjudice and hopelessly try to ally themselves with it by hating themselves. I see lots in my work as a clinical psychologist.

      I edited my last paragraph several times because I wanted to get my point across well, if I had seen that you had answered i would have added an edit mark. The last one is my final wording, dunno if you want to edit your post to reflect that, your choice. I do think that if you tell a gay man he has no right to an opinion about the use of the word fag by a metal singer because he doesnt listen to metal, you should be prepared to be challenged as to how much you know about being gay. Ive never seen a black metal concert but I have been beaten up whilst being called a fag so i think i can have an opinion eh?

    • aerozol says:

      No, I agree, but my dislike of this article, that you were commenting about, is that it assumes that Cannibal Corpse was making homophobic remarks, purely because of their use of the word ‘fag’.
      I also don’t think a gay man shouldn’t be insulted by this- I took pains to note this in my original post. That’s their freedom, but it doesn’t mean that every usage of the word promotes homophobia. I know you probably see the damage caused by the term, often used innocently, in people you see, so it’s not really something I want to be trying to promote or justify, for sure.
      But I think it’s unfortunate it was used in this totally inappropriate situation, truly ignorant, but people on a gaming site being up in arms over what a death metal singer says, is a real waste of breath, and time, that will only sell them more albums in the end. It’s just a comfortable little outcry, in a comfortable situation, just like tabloids getting upset about video games. It lets their readers rant and feel angry about it, although it’s saying little about the actual situation, which their readers honestly couldn’t care less about.

      I’d rather not edit my post to reflect your ‘final’ posting, as most of it is you trying to paint me in a certain (presumptuous) light which may change how my statements are read by others, which is annoying. For all you know, I’m gay, or straight, or trans, but that should have little bearing on what I’m trying to say. I like that you changed your mind about most of it, but next time edit before posting.

      I’ve been beaten by people who called me ‘fag’ too, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. And ‘black metal’ has nothing to do with this band btw.

  44. Eddy9000 says:

    Does everybody know that the word ‘faggot’ is a widely used term of abuse for homosexuals, and its use as a more general word of offence perpetuates the idea that there is something wrong with homosexuality?

    Has everyone worked out that words that denigrate groups of people grow from, represent and perpetuate negative social attitudes, which lead to the very real persecution and suffering of these people?

    Are we all in agreement that a multinational corporation having a celebrity at their conference using the word ‘faggot’ to market their game is unnacceptable?

    It’s not fucking rocket science.

    • aerozol says:

      “Are we all in agreement that a multinational corporation having a celebrity at their conference using the word ‘faggot’ to market their game is unnacceptable?”

      Absolutely!

    • alundra says:

      - No, faggot is a word with many meanings, if words have such power over you so as to make you believe where’s something wrong with homosexuality, it’s because you believe it in the first place, others are what they are regardless of words or whatever, and don’t need reinforcement stemming from politically correct words, leave them.

      - People get bullied all the time because they didn’t stand up in the first place, if someone bullies you and you let them, you are reaping what you sow, what is it with homosexual people that they yell for equality but want to be treated different?? all kinds of people suffer from bullying, for all kinds of reason, gender, race, religion, economic and social status, whatever, what happened to standing up for what you are with dignity??

      - A multinational corporation dedicated to make games made an event to advertise their products to the freaks that buys those same products, they got on stage a low profile rock band and some drunken fat fuck that has no idea what’s he talking about, who do you think is going to care about this?? stop acting like if it was the world’s end.

    • demonarm says:

      So you’re saying it’s always the victim’s fault. At least this makes clear where you’re coming from.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I think ‘unnacceptable” is very different to “the worlds end”. And whilst the word “faggot” has several meanings I doubt very much the singer was talking about a bundle of sticks used for kindling, or a meat dish from the north of england.

      And I think asking “who’s going to care about it” at the end of a 600 comment thread is a little bit thick.

  45. dangerfroggy says:

    I can’t speak for every faggot, but in my case, the only thing that’s important is context.

    Example: What Wulf was talking about. A man passes me in a pickup truck, identifies me as a homosexual (perhaps I’m carrying a neon sign denoting my sexuality) and screams “faggot!” He’s using the word faggot the same way I use the word nazi or bigot. All of us have “triggers” that make us appraise other people based on seconds of exposure and dismiss them as worthless human beings. For the guy in the truck, me having sex with men is just as depraved as him being an ignorant asshole is to me. If I get called a faggot in this context, I’m going to feel like crap for at least an hour, but not because of the word.

    Example 2: A gay man, or a close friend, or both, calls me a faggot, cocksucker, etc. It’s not hurtful, not even a little, in fact, I usually find it hilarious. The idea that a person who knows me well has degenerated into the aforementioned man in the pickup truck is the hyperbole that every joke needs to be funny. If I call a straight friend a faggot, it’s blatant hypocrisy, to the magnitude that it cannot possibly be construed as serious, and we both laugh.

    Bottom line, the word faggot can be just as endearing as it can be vitriolic filth.

    In this case I think it is neither. I don’t feel insulted at all, but I sure as hell don’t feel welcomed by the WoW community. It’s not a rally to “kill or gays,” or some rubbish, it’s just the implication that they view homosexuality as a weakness. Which, really, is their loss, not mine.

    • MadMatty says:

      Yeah exactly, John Walker is taking this entirely out of context- calling people gay, in the US amongst friends, and even here in Europe, usually provoke nothing more than mild giggles.

  46. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    “When I was a kid I was called “Big Head” because my hair tends to grow outward instead of down”

    Please name me one country where having a big head is illegal.
    Please name me one country where children had to hide their big heads from their parents for fear of being disowned or even being killed.
    Please name me one religion which considers those with big heads evil and has advocated throwing them from high places.
    Please name me one place where people with big heads are forbidden to marry or adopt children.

    Is my point getting thru to you?

    P.

    • alundra says:

      Obviously, you’ve never been in the position of the immigrant in a foreign country, or being the “different” kid in school.

      If you did then you’ve forgotten about it, if you think that “legalities” will purchase the lgbt community the way into social acceptance, it’s time to wake up.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      “Obviously, you’ve never been in the position of the immigrant in a foreign country, or being the “different” kid in school.”

      As someone who was short, bespectacled, a “swot”, and an immigrant to Ireland with an English accent who arrived during the IRA Hunger Strikes of the early 80s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_Irish_hunger_strike), getting assaulted in the playground for being a “Brit”, you can consider that an epic fail.

      P.

  47. Dances to Podcasts says:

    All I learned from this is that Cannibal Corpse sucks. Which I sortof knew already.

  48. deadly.by.design says:

    We all know that their horrible taste in music is the real offense here.

  49. Burky says:

    Hate crime imo

  50. Maxmoaz says:

    Blizzard has recently posted an official apology from the president himself: Mike Morhaime.

    Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424798330?page=1#1

    You can thank me later, RPS! :D