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BlizzCon's Peculiar Homophobic Moment

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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John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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