Blizzard, How About Allowing “Trans*” Diablo III Clan Names

Diablo III has recently made some major updates, including closing the much-loathed auction house. Another of the new features was the addition of clans, essentially guilds for the online ARPG. Limited to 120 members, their intention was to create something smaller than the game’s “communities”, and also something private – invite only. However, for some reason the game’s filters are preventing anyone from creating a clan with variants of the word “trans” in their name.

The issue, raised by Lucian Clark on his GenderTerror blog, means that it’s currently impossible for trans* players to identify themselves as safe clans for other non-binary players. And why might this be important? Well, the results of his posting about it on the Diablo forums rather reveals the answer. Intense hostility, furious bigotry (the worst of which has been removed by mods), and some of the dumbest arguments imaginable immediately reveal quite what a threatening, pugnacious environment gaming can be for anyone who doesn’t remember to be straight, white, and cis-gendered male.

It’s also worth noting this filter bans groups named after the Transformers. Now everyone is united. (And “Transatlantic”, “Transcendental”, “Transhuman”, etc.)

Presumably Blizzard’s filter is in place to prevent abusively named clans in the first place – the block would be an attempt to stop discrimination. However, there is (and should be) a clan named Gaymers, and “gay” is acceptable in clan names. So it seems strange to not also allow “trans” through, and then moderate accordingly.

So, Blizzard, in light of the bilious hostility demonstrated by a section of Diablo players on the forums, there seems to be a fairly strong argument for an invite-only safe space for trans* players to know they won’t be receiving abuse should their vocal chords not match their chosen character name. Seems a simple fix that’s worth doing. You can add your name to the related petition.

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  1. Drake Sigar says:

    The first thing you see even before the abuse is someone trying to water down the argument. Their points never change.

    1. Can’t we all just get along? There should only be one group for everyone!
    2. I have never personally come across homophobic, racist, or transgender abuse, therefore it is not a major problem in the games industry or in the world in general.
    3. I just want to enjoy the games, why do you have to bring gender into this?

    You cannot truly believe in the ideals of gaming (race, gender, sexuality are all irrelevant, everyone is welcome) yet leave these groups to fend for themselves against the filth that permeates every aspect of gaming from the industry to the players. Simply declaring everyone is welcome does not make it so. How welcome would you feel if you had to watch what you said at all online hours? If you posted asking for the possibility of some kind of representation and are met with apathy or hostility?
  1. Gap Gen says:

    Potentially Blizzard could have a manual admin check for certain words that might be used offensively, rather than banning them outright?

    • sophof says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I can understand banning it to prevent ‘casual’ nastiness however, even though I dislike censorship in general. Managing such communities is not an easy thing, this I can clearly see from Dota 2.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Actually I think the easiest solution is to have a “report” option for players if they come across an offensive name. Part of the reason for a blanket ban I imagine is that it would be way too much work to have every name manually checked. For a game that sells millions that’s simply not feasible.

      But building in a simple report option would alert admins to the names they need to delete without having to manually check every name containing these words.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      If you try to make a character called ‘trans’ (or ‘gay’ etc.) in WoW you get a ‘mature language’ error. I suspect they’re simply using the same list for D3 despite D3 having a higher age rating.

  2. Shepardus says:

    At least it’s not as bad as one FPS I used to play (I think it was Combat Arms), which filtered out the word “kill.” In a game where killing other players is the main objective.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      So, did you liquidated them or iced them or what?

      • RedViv says:

        Now I have to imagine a context-aware swear filter that replaces blocked words and phrases.


      • Gap Gen says:

        I have heard people use kill to refer to buildings or vehicles, but more clinical terms for humans. I suppose it gets easier to do your job if you use euphemisms for stuff like that.

        • TWChristine says:

          Yea, it’s done on purpose. The point is to dehumanize the “target” with the goal that once you “neutralize” them, you won’t see it so much as killing another person, as “clearing the objective.” It makes sense considering the job you’re wanting them to do, but I think it can cause problems with re-integration into society, and is one (of several) reasons I disagree with the push for police departments to hire ex-military.

          (I’m not sure if that was a rhetorical statement and I’m pointlessly responding or if you were maybe honestly unsure.)

      • Drake Sigar says:

        They always say ‘destroy’ in the cartoons. I remember one cartoon that said kill and I was scarred for the rest of my life.

        Oh wait, no I wasn’t.

    • TonyB says:

      While silly, that’s not exactly exclusionary is it?

  3. Utnac says:

    I prefer gaming without sexuality being involved. Imagine the how it would go down if I chose a clan name that alluded to the fact I’m straight? Why should it be ANY different if you’re gay?

    • John Walker says:

      You’re failing to recognise that the default assumption for anything not otherwise marked is that it’s for straight white males. You’re also failing to recognise that your preferences aren’t really relevant to whether other people might want to create safe gaming spaces that you neither need nor want.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        While you very may well be right about the “straight” and probably even “male” for most cases, I don’t think there are many assumptions about race, and I have never experienced any gaming community that was “intended for” white gamers. Sure, there is some shocking and depressing racism in online games, but I think that most serious (that is, larger than a small group of friends) gaming communities are fairly “race-blind”, as it were.

        • Philomelle says:

          League of Legends recently added a character called Lucian. Lucian is the only black character in the game’s 120-character strong cast.

          It took multiple bans for people to realize that making racist jokes every time they see him in-game is not okay. I have actually seen someone descend into a straight-up barrage of derogatory slurs against a Lucian player, calling him “slave” all game and telling him to “go to the brush to pick some watermelons”. It was probably the grossest game I’ve ever been in.

          It may be less obvious in other games (thought I had a very eerie moment in FF13 three days ago, when I realized my Lancer is the only black character in an entire city), but Lucian being both the only black character in the game’s cast and one of the most-picked rangers due to his slew of hidden strengths really brought out how awful gaming communities can get about race.

          • The Godzilla Hunter says:

            I don’t mean gaming communities as a whole – or games themselves – which I know are filled with vile people. Rather, I mean gaming clans and such like, which, the larger, non-private ones at least, usually seem open to people of all races.

            That being said, I am working with fairly minor anecdotal data, so I could be wrong in this respect. I am merely disputing John’s assertion that being white is a default assumption for joining any gaming clan that is not specifically marked as open to all races or for specific non-white races only.

          • Koozer says:

            Apparently Tarric is black. You can’t really tell from his, you know, actual skin colour.

        • El Goose says:

          To be fair, this might be due to the fact that biological sex is generally far easier to distinguish than race through voice chat.

          • Marr says:

            Careful now. Biological sex is generally far easier to *assume* than race through voice chat, but you can’t know you’re getting it right.

          • El Goose says:

            Yeah, sorry, that’s what I was trying to convey with my comment, but I should have been more careful with my terminology.

        • Syra says:

          Actually in my experience racism is a serious issue in the gaming community and it’s not just that all of our black characters in games are caricatures – it just seems to be part of the culture now for young white males to imitate black stereotypes when gaming, picking black characters so that they can justify a never ending stream of racist slurs directed at their own character, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’m not black but I’ve seen the same treatment for other races too and I’ve felt the obvious discrimination for my race and it almost always stems from young white males, even if they are my friends.

          • Faxanadu says:

            They think it’s funny because it’s offensive. Make it a problem and you’re adding fuel into their fire. I don’t see any way anyone could change that.

          • Lamb Chop says:

            Teach them that mostly they’re just embarrassing themselves. If you’re friends, the right kind of social pressure, carefully applied, really does work. But yeah, don’t get mad at them, shame them. They might write you off, but you might also eventually get through to one of them.

          • Faxanadu says:

            Don’t think teaching them anything will work. It’s like replying to “you mad bro”? Nothing works. Any reply is a signal that you care and ergo are mad. The only thing you can do is troll them back, and that only teaches them they got owned.

            I don’t believe the issue will go away until it stops being an issue. Then it also stops being funny.

        • Tukuturi says:

          “Race blindness” is not a good thing.

      • toejam316 says:

        This whole thing is… silly. I’m just gonna go ahead and try and explain why I think it’s silly.

        There’s no need for introducing this kind of stuff into the game. Would there be an uproar if there was an exclusionary hetero clan? Quite probably. Is that a problem? Not so much. BUT should it be allowed? Is it relevant at all to the context of the game? Not really. The clan system’s intent is for building a group to play with. You can certainly have a group dedicated to your preferred 1,2-dichlorocyclohexane, be it Cis or Trans. But you don’t need a title saying TRANS ONLY CIS SCUM GO AWAY.

        There’s no need for exclusion. And besides the point, you’re making a target for the group who targets and torments those groups by isolating them. The fact that this is news worthy is ridiculous. The relevance is marginal at best. Video games ban words all the time because of risk of offence or conflict. The only time I see things like Trans or Cis brought up outside of organic chemistry, it leads to conflict, because it’s not something at the forefront of the public consciousness, and it doesn’t need to be. Present yourself as you are, be as you are, but try not to form cliques around it. The isolation these kind of groups cause is more harmful than good.

        Join the public and if you really need a “safe space” (IN A VIDEO GAME WHERE IT HAS NO RELEVANCE, because really, who’s actually GOING TO ASK YOU THAT KINDA STUFF in Diablo, like goddamn aren’t we supposed to be clicking on things?), then odds are you’re already involved in a community providing that. Why not use the acronym for the community as the clan title? God forbid a clan has to be called F2M TS Only Clan instead of Female To Male Transsexuals Only Clan.

        I guess what I’m saying is, you guys need to get a sense of perspective. This is about as news worthy as any other generic word filter. Which isn’t.

        Rock Paper Shotgun has really started heading down a path that disappoints me, you know. I used to read Kotaku because it was okay. Then it became click-bait, so I unsubscribed. Then Gawker went overboard with the social issues stuff. Destructoid just stopped resonating with me, so I moved on from them. Rock Paper Shotgun delivered news on PC games, which is what I wanted. Now it delivers news on video games and social justice-y stuff (what’s the correct term I’m fishing for?) – it’s an expansion in scope that really would or could have benefited from a division or separation. You guys have the right to blog about what you want, being the writers and all, but it would be nice if there was some way for things that aren’t “HEY, VIDEO GAME X HAS NEW TRAILER, I PLAYED IT, AND IT’S UPDATED BECAUSE WE ANNOUNCED FIREHAT 2″ and more “HEY, STUFF HAPPENED THAT UPSET SOME PEOPLE AND I GUESS THERE WAS A VIDEO GAME INVOLVED”.

        I really don’t know where I’m going with this anymore, but I think that somewhere someone might be able to glean something out of this, even if it’s just indignity that I, a white male, would dare comment anything other than support for separatism from the majority because of things of little/no relevance to the subject matter in question.

        Edit: I guess as a side edit, too, I see a lot less of the conflict and outrage at this sort of stuff, because being in New Zealand, no one really cares. We have/had(?) trans-sexuals in parliament, and it’s a fair bit more common place due to things like the Fa’fafine, and so on. No one really cares, as long as you’re not whipping out your bits and saying LOOK THEY’RE DIFFERENT ISN’T THAT GREAT SHOULDN’T YOU SUPPORT ME IN THIS?

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Do you rage this hard against Roleplaying clans too? Because they exclude you if you don’t want to roleplay.

          • AngelTear says:

            I agree with you, but please try to be less aggressive and confrontational. That attitude and that choice of words is not going to help anyone, it’s just going to make everyone more bitter and angry.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You’re correct. I’ll sort that out now

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Snipped (as I got the wrong end of the stick :) )

        • AngelTear says:

          1) You’ve obviously never been discriminated or feared to be attacked for who you are.
          2) Especially in MMOs, people who spend a lot of time in clans put themselves as people in the game, so their personalities enter the game as people get to know each other, despite that not being part of the core experience of game itself. Having to lie, hide or avoid certain themes about yourself, especially in a clan you may spend a lot of time in, and may otherwise enjoy being in, isn’t right, and it also can be very stressful. Not to mention when your voice doesn’t match the pronoun you ask others to use for you. (I still never use voice chat in games, because my voice isn’t ready and I don’t want to explain, so I’d rather pass as a woman who doesn’t have a mic rather than an MTF)
          Cf: the comment by fabLUous below.
          3) If you don’t like this kind of news you can skip them, just like I skipped the piece concerning BF4. They only constitute about 1% of the overall posts, and the title usually gives them away. Many of us like it here, and like this kind of news.

          There would be a lot more to say about your post but I’m tired.

        • VileJester says:

          Thank you, that’s pretty much exactly the comment I wanted to write, except I don’t quite have the english skills to do it properly.
          Please RPS, don’t try to “politicize” your otherwise great gaming articles, this is the kind of things that really upsets readers and make them go away.
          If you decide that the fight for your political views/opinions is more important than video games stuff, then fine, but just don’t let it show through on RPS, use your blogs for this instead.

          • AngelTear says:

            I’m sorry it upsets you. I know, this kind of news are a big shock to us all. The general public should be protected from such filth. Here, have a cookie, warm tea and a blanket, hope you feel better.
            More laughter and entertainment will be provided free, so that you don’t have to think about this anymore. In fact, you won’t have to think at all!

            In other news, it turns out that many readers do like and agree with their editorial policy and “politicization” of news, as you call it.

        • DrLeoWollman says:

          As I fellow New Zealander, I’d like to apologise on behalf my country for this commenter.

        • Hebrind says:

          The thing is, Toejam316, sites like Kotaku, Gawker et al, they started reporting on and handling social issues because they’re bloody important. They’re spreading the word about making this hobby of ours, a better, safer, more tolerant and accepting place.

          We don’t all come from the same background. Personally I’m a straight, white British male and so I’ve got it relatively easy compared to many out there in the world, especially now I’m (allegedly) an adult. However when I was younger I was bullied terribly, at school and in my spare time among my peers. I know what it’s like to be singled out, maybe not to the same extent as a gay person, or a black person, or any other social or ethnic minority, and I can unequivocally say that it’s something that needs to stop, right now, and everyone needs to play their part in making it stop.

          Let’s be honest, those of us who went to school and who were maybe the nerdy kid who liked Star Trek and videogames amongst a peer group who primarily liked fighting, football and underage drinking may understand why these things need to be said, why these issues need to be tackled, why these fights need to be fought and why these views of narrow-minded, seemingly unfeeling people need to be educated. It’s been a similar (albeit much, much smaller) fight for nerds and geeks too. Nerdiness is now considered cool and accepted, from what I can tell.

          Is it too much to ask that sexual preference, and the freedom to choose to whom you show love and affection also be so freely accepted?

        • Marr says:

          I believe this has some relevance here:

          It was the gelling of the [Fanfic] hatedom which caused me to finally realize that I was blind, possibly I-don’t-have-that-sense blind, to the ordinary status-regulation emotions that, yes, in retrospect, many other people have, and that evolutionary psychology would logically lead us to expect exists.

          Status is a tremendously valuable and scarce ancestral resource, and one which exists in the mind and in behavior patterns. We would expect people to have emotions where, if X assigns status S to Y, and X thinks that Y is trying for status S+2 or that Y wants S+2 or worst of all Y is behaving as if S+2, X tries to slap Y down for it. S+2 doesn’t have to be higher than X’s own status, it just has to be higher than the S that X has already mentally assigned to Y as deserved or held.

          – Eliezer Yudkowsy

        • toxic avenger says:

          White male feels discriminated against, throws multi-paragraph hissy fit why his feelings should supersede others.

          Poor, poor white guy. Has to be subjected to fairness and equality. I cry a thousand tears for you, white guy.

      • houldendub says:

        “You’re failing to recognise that the default assumption for anything not otherwise marked is that it’s for straight white males.”

        What the hell? No it isn’t. Where on earth did you pull that assumption from, because it’s far too big to come out of your ass. When sexuality isn’t mentioned, guess what I and most likely a staggeringly large proportion of people don’t think about; sexuality.

        And why do you tell someone that other people don’t care about their preferences, in the comments section of an article saying that a group’s preferences should be adhered to?

        Not to mention the fact that if someone a group of people don’t mark their clan as “trans…” or something along those lines, then it doesn’t open up the avenue for fuckwits to abuse them. Yes, I totally agree in that it’s completely fucking stupid and medieval for anyone to be mocking/abusing anyone that classifies themselves as LGBT, but surely in the act of trying to create a “safe zone” for themselves in these “trans…” groups, they’re simply making themselves a target, no? By labeling them like such and thus not creating the intended safe zone, what reason is there to label it as “trans…”? The fact that these groups are invite only only adds to this argument; you can’t let fuckwits in if you don’t accept them in, plain and simple.

        Things change slowly or explosively (look at the state of Britain for example, things are slowly getting better, it’s not happening explosively but it’s definitely happening). This whole movement of trying to get more acceptance is not working explosively, something has to happen in the streets for that to happen (and let’s be honest here you’re not going to get 100,000 people outside ActiBlizaard’s headquarters), you have to be patient and realise things take time to happen, you can’t expect a whole generation’s worth of youths (and in too many cases adults) to change their minds and prejudices with a few articles on a niche gaming site, that’s just completely unrealistic. Stop treating it like a war and you won’t lose.

        • Syphus says:

          You’re serious? You really can’t see that the majority of games are made for a theoretical gamer who is a straight white male, 20s-30s.

          Anyway, the whole thing is simple, this hurts no one by putting it in there.

      • prian says:

        My default assumption about talking to someone online is that it is an entity online.

        I don’t assume gender, race, creed, religious views, or sexuality to the name I am interacting with. At no time do I wonder, “hmm, is this person blue?” or “does this person belong to the Star Religion?”

        The only time such thoughts occur is when the individual self-labels in some manner and then it’s just to recognize that they are self-identifying with whatever it is they want to be associated with.

        At the end of the day, gender, creed, religion, sexuality, and race do not matter online. Words are what matter. Judgements are made based on what people write not who they are.

        That being written, I have no issues with people wanting to self-identify. That’s their choice. All the power to them. Conversely, if you self identify with whatever then you should expect a reaction to whatever it is your are claiming as your affiliation. For example, if someone broadcasts that they are a gun toting RAA member then, chances are, they’ll take flak from people who “hate gun owners.” The same thing will happen to people who publicly identify as white, gay, straight, male, female, etc etc.

        Unfortunately, humans like to hate what they don’t know. Further, anonymity provides a false security blanket from which one can express hate with a false feeling of impunity. What’s sad is a lot of people who spout hateful comments don’t even believe in what they are writing. Many are doing it for the “laughs.”

        To self proclaim something in an environment and then complain about the reactions of others towards that proclamation is… silly in my mind. I can understand wanting to take pride in who one is but to bring it up and then expect no reaction to the broadcasting of it is being a little too innocent.

        Haters are going to hate. That doesn’t make it okay or alright but there are people who will hate on anything they see. They think it is “funny” even though it isn’t. That hate should not be tolerated.

        I don’t understand why “trans” was a filtered word for clan names. I find that odd so good on Blizzard for removing that name restriction. As to the transgender community – if you want to self identify and tell everyone that you meet as the very first thing that you are transgender then all the power to you.

        • Premium User Badge

          DrollRemark says:

          I find that odd so good on Blizzard for removing that name restriction.

          They haven’t removed it.

        • toxic avenger says:

          So, what you’re saying is, is its the person’s fault for being harassed online if they mention they are black, or trans, or love guns? (As if being a member of the NRA is akin to having gender dysphoria?) So a person mentioning they are black and being met with a hailstorm of “NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER” comments, the person who is wrong is the first person, who mentioned he is black?

          No one should be harassed. Period. Except if they’re bronies. (that was a joke) Note, harassment is different than good natured jokes or friendly ribbing. Also note, that one person’s good natured ribbing or jokes can be another person’s harassment, and in those situations the person who’s offended or made to feel like they aren’t welcome in a gaming community’s opinion matters more than the person who simply just doesn’t get to make a joke. I know I must be blowing your tits off from here to Kalamazoo, but this is called human decency. I’m sorry you may not like it, but in order to participate in a world filled with other people, you must follow the aforementioned rules. Nobody is making you change your opinions. Hell, you can be a Nazi as long as you don’t express those feelings to other people or incite violence and hatred with said ideals.

          If you can’t follow those rules, sad to say, you are not fit to live in civilized society. It’s 2014, not 1952. Get with the program.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        I’m not opposed to people having clans/groups relating to their gender or sexuality, but as an observation, I’m not quite sure why it’s relevant. Probably mostly so they can play with like minded players without having to worry about people hurling insults. But if you’re playing any sort of competitive game with ladder play, you’re not going to be able to just game exclusively with and against friends, so you’d be subject to these insults either way. It entirely depends on how the games online structure works.

        I would also imagine using names like these would increase the odds exponentially that you’d receive insults towards your orientation. But nobody should feel bullied into not using a name out of fear of being made fun of. That would be similar to saying “well you shouldn’t have come out of the closet if you didn’t want to be made fun of”. It’s not right.

        I guess not being part of a discriminated group myself I don’t see the importance of identifying myself in any sort of aspect of my personal life with gaming (not even really talking about orientation, but anything in general). But if these people want to identify themselves that way they have a right to do so (or should).

        • pepperfez says:

          I guess not being part of a discriminated group myself I don’t see the importance of identifying myself in any sort of aspect of my personal life with gaming

          This, minus your self-awareness, is really the root of all the arguments around gender/representation/diversity in gaming. I don’t, on a deep-down emotional level, get identity-based gaming groups because I don’t have to. Just accepting that a lot of other people need them, and that it’s not a slight against me, makes things a lot clearer.

    • RedViv says:

      Because you can’t have a Blue Shells For People In 1st Place club either.

      • Tom OBedlam says:

        This is easily the best articulation of the argument I’ve ever heard :)

      • Ansob says:

        This simile is still awesome, but you probably need to post the full thing for people to get the reference.

        • LionsPhil says:

          If it’s the Mario Kart reference I think it is, it doesn’t make much sense, because it’s comparing a majority to a minority. You can totally have a club for those in minority power to try to cement their privileged position, and it’s your stereotypical “Gentleman’s Club”.

          What you can’t really have is a club for “normal” people, because “a club for (roughly) everybody” doesn’t really function as a concept. To be of use to anyone, clubs have to pool together subsets of people with some commonality.

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            RaveTurned says:

            Straight white cis able male is a dominant cultural assumption, not a majority. Fewer people fit into the straight white cis able male category than people who do not meet one or more of those criteria.

      • El Goose says:

        But the blue shell exclusively targets the player in first place, thus firing it while in first place would be a rather suicidal move. The metaphor would be better if the item gained in first place were, say, three red shells (which can be fired backwards), or maybe the Bullet Bill from Mario Kart DS.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I assumed the logic is that they are not happy with first place alone, but also want a means to retake first place should they fall into second: i.e. your usual body-in-power-solidifying-its-rule deal.

        • The Random One says:

          If you fire a blue shell when you’re in first place it’ll target the second place (at least that’s how it was in MK64, which is the last game in the series I played extensively). But sometimes the blue shell can go after you after taking the second place, and sometimes it knocks you out just as you fire.

    • ThePresent says:

      Then don’t ask to get invited to a trans clan? Why do other people have to be forbidden to do something just because you don’t care for it? It doesn’t impact you in any way when they have a club.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It is mildy bothersome in a self-inflicted segregation-y way, when the end game for getting over the fact that some people want to do different things with their genitals/gender identity/whatever is to stop making them that set of weirdos over there in their little weirdo clique.

        But then again a) that’s not the case now and b) there are clans around all kinds of weirdnesses, so, enh.

        • toxic avenger says:

          That’s literally sophomoric, as in, when I was a sophomore in college and exposed to certain ideologies and philosophies, I thought that way. But then, after realizing I was an ignorant little shit that lived in the real world, and more so, what that real world portends, I realized that life was both more complicated, and paradoxically, more simple than that.

    • Nevard says:

      Transness isn’t a sexuality

  4. Jockie says:

    Reminds me of something I saw over the weekend:

    Riot Games released a video showcasing an ex-pro LoL player who decided to work with a Gaymer organisation to create viewing parties where gay people could meet up in a bar and watch LoL.

    The Youtube comments start with some saying it’s ‘unfair’ to use ‘Gay’ branding as it excludes straight people. The majority of the other 500 comments were vile homophobia showcasing exactly why a group of Gay Gamers might want to do so. Online gaming communities are the worst.

  5. tyrinus says:

    Just as I posted on the Blizzard Forums,

    To everyone opposing, the real question is: Why do you care that they care?

    Why do you care that someone is trying to create a clan of people of their Gender/Sexuality/Age/Diet/Foot Size/Height/Color of eyes?

    What negative is there to you on a game level that someone else is “advertising” said thing?

    What positive is there to you in preventing said “advertisement”?

    • Sacarathe says:

      I’d make a blue eyes only clan… But heavens above if I was accused of being aryan – though I would use disability as a defence to such an accusation.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    That’s almost as stupid as RPS’ comment system automatically deleting any post containing the title of the game in question.

    • RedViv says:

      What, I can type Daiablo perfectly well!

      Really, what is up with that filter? Seems rather nonsensical. I mean, it would serve far better to block “I can’t believe it either, Stan, but my mother earned 4.8 billion dollars through Google online” and such.

      • John Walker says:

        I’ve removed it from the blocked list. Sorry about that.

        • LionsPhil says:


          Better make good use of this newfound power: Diablo III is a game.

          • Gap Gen says:

            If you like clicking, you will like Diablo III.

          • frightlever says:

            My Diablo 3 sessions are more akin to meditation than gaming.

          • RedViv says:

            I never thought I’d say this, but Diablo III has become the greatest fun I’ve had with a game in quite a while!

          • Syra says:

            I too enjoy Diablo 3! Oh it feels weirdly good to be able to say that after all this time.

          • Horg says:

            Sorry John, it will always be Deeahbleaux to me.

          • pepperfez says:

            I never thought I’d say this on RPS, but, “Diablo.”

          • The Random One says:

            No sé que diablo pensastes para no permitir que esta palabra sea escrita.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Please can you remove “p00p” from the filter too? Its a lovely word.

          Unless someone has a phobia or spontaneous retching reaction to it, in which case cool.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Quite fitting, considering the post.

  7. vanarbulax says:

    Whelp, there goes my plans for a league of fearsome stereochemistry enthusiasts.

    • vanarbulax says:

      Seriously though, what a ridiculous filter sadly put in place because of the sort of ridiculous ignorance evidenced by that thread.

  8. Chairs says:

    Can someone please explain this to me?

    My gender and sexual identity have nothing to do with how I play my barbarian in a game or how I interact with the communities I’m associated with. It’s a part of who I am, but ultimately it’s nobody’s business but my own. Are these safe place clans to stop people from being around kids that go ‘LOL OMG I PWNED THAT FGT’ when killing Act bosses?

    • RedViv says:

      That, and you don’t feel awkward whenever you have to explain absence or whatever or just plain want to chat with guild mates. It can be very, very, very limiting and anxiety-inducing.
      That first time I ever mentioned, after having spoken of being female, that I would go see some film or other with my girlfriend? That and the aftermath will stick in my head forever.

    • fabLUous says:

      You don’t have to censor yourself when you talk among your clan. You don’t have to watch your words and accidentally out yourself. You don’t have to worry about invasive questions, poorly worded ‘compliments’, and the constant education. You can just….talk, about everything. No worries, no filter, no care. You can just exist without having to explain your very existence.

      • LionsPhil says:

        This is well-stated, given clans tend to also be social constructs that exist outside of the immediate game mechanics.

      • stoopiduk says:

        Have you ever joined one of the RPS clans in a game? I might have struck it lucky with the PS2 outfit, but I’ve had a very positive experience in the group. Admittedly, I’m a straight white 20-something cis male.

        It was refreshing to hear warnings dished out for negative use of words like gay, fag etc. use of rape to discuss a military victory and the like. I was quite surprised, especially in an FPS. I found it interesting how some of those that were warned grew to enforce the rules (“be excellent to each other”) themselves. Challenging the “it’s ok to say shitty things here, it’s an FPS game” assumption seems to work.

        I don’t profess to know what makes a comfortable environment for every person, but Rock Planet Shotgun (The RPS PS2 outfit) is at least a good start, and I’ve only ever played with good people in any clan/outfit/guild with an [RPS] tag.

        • qutayba7 says:

          Yeah, there are lots of tolerant guilds and groups out there that do a good job of keeping nastiness out of their chat, but as some other posts are pointing out, it’s not just about avoiding bigots or casual users of “gay” as a negative word. There can also be “tolerance fatigue,” you can get tired of being told how wonderful it is to belong to a great, big, tolerant, diverse family. Even good politics sometimes still feels like politics, so sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere where you don’t have to be the poster child for the group’s inclusiveness and just have what makes you different in most circumstances vanish into true irrelevance.

  9. Jade Raven says:

    I am very interested in knowing if/how this is applied in other languages.

    Also in Starcraft 2 the chat filter blocked the words “black” and “white”, although other colours I tested were ok. Thankfully this strange “feature” could be disabled.

    • Rizlar says:

      It is sort of entertaining to watch Blizzard bending over backwards to sustain the idea that ‘we’re not sending a message’, while preventing the ugly little fuckups of the internet from running rampant in their games.

      At some point, surely, they must realise that these increasingly wierd attempts to paint over the issues are not enough, and we will see them actually fostering a spirit of equality in their games. Well, I hope.

      See also: link to

      • pepperfez says:

        “We’re not sending a message” is the absolute worst. Yes you are, Blizzard. Quit trying to bullshit us.

  10. xfstef says:

    No offence, but I believe that the majority of the Diablo III player base are a bunch of college meat heads who find it very entertaining to just mindlessly do the same lame mission over and over again until they finally get this one item that makes their build 0.00001% better.
    With that in mind, I can’t really say that this “outrage” from the community when it comes to “trans” and most sexually related subjects is a surprise for me.
    College meat heads gonna’ start flaming in 3…2…1…

    • drinniol says:

      No offence, but I believe the majority of posters with the name xfstef are a bunch of college meat heads who find it very entertaining to just mindlessly make generic statements reinforcing stereotypes with no evidence whatsoever. :P

      • xfstef says:

        No offence, but on if you go on Twitch and look at the most successful streamers, I would say that 80% of them are guys in their early 20’s who are currently going to college. Also one of the most successful Twitch Diablo III streamer is an ex club bouncer.
        No offence …

        • Sleeping_Wolf says:

          No offence, but I believe meat collages of heads streamed on twitch may be preferable to mindless generic statements…

        • nrvsNRG says:

          No offence, but I cant tell if they are college students or meatheads.

        • derbefrier says:

          no offense, but placing the phrase “no offense” before you start offending people is not a free pass to be a douche.

  11. drinniol says:

    I just created a clan NonCis Friendly Club. Problem solved.

    I’ve disbanded it so ya’ll can use the name.

    • The Random One says:

      Becoming trans does not automagically grant you of a knowledge of terms relating to sexuality.

      Plus, this doesn’t solve my issue of creating a clan for fans of Transport Tycoon.

  12. frightlever says:

    This is so dumb it’s difficult to believe it’s deliberate, Has there been an official statement from Blizzard?

    • The Random One says:

      Someone suggested below that ‘trans’ is banned because it’s part of the game code. Doesn’t excuse what Blizzard have done, but this did seem to me that Blizzard wandered into this unaware rather than simply went for the most limp-fisted way to hinder trans* folk. I wonder why they didn’t announce this if it’s true, though – maybe they’re using such poor code to store clans name than naming your clan TROLOLOL’); DROP TABLE Clan_names; — would break everything?

  13. fabLUous says:

    I just want to say thank you for the support, the kind words, and so on. It’s a nice breath of fresh air from…everything else. My poor smoke filled lungs (kids, don’t smoke. It’s bad), need it for sure, haha.

  14. baltasaronmeth says:

    I can’t think of many other things, that break immersion and roleplay more, than the current public urge to slap something social on everything. I don’t wanna know what’s going on between the legs of another player and I don’t want to think about conceptual monstrosities of the real world. Didn’t we start going on line, because the real world was something, that gave us a need for distraction?

    • Simes says:

      Then EVERY OTHER CLAN EVER is probably the one for you.

      • baltasaronmeth says:

        Or more specific: Every other game, where people refrain from behaving like that in their usernames and public chats. I have not had one good RP moment in Diablo 3, thanks to this mentality, that lets people act like every game is facebook with a minigame attached.

  15. Drake Sigar says:

    The first thing you see even before the abuse is someone trying to water down the argument. Their points never change.

    1. Can’t we all just get along? There should only be one group for everyone!
    2. I have never personally come across homophobic, racist, or transgender abuse, therefore it is not a major problem in the games industry or in the world in general.
    3. I just want to enjoy the games, why do you have to bring gender into this?

    You cannot truly believe in the ideals of gaming (race, gender, sexuality are all irrelevant, everyone is welcome) yet leave these groups to fend for themselves against the filth that permeates every aspect of gaming from the industry to the players. Simply declaring everyone is welcome does not make it so. How welcome would you feel if you had to watch what you said at all online hours? If you posted asking for the possibility of some kind of representation and are met with apathy or hostility?

    • Philomelle says:

      You forget:

      4. Why do you act so offended by my attempts to trivialize your discomfort? Being angry and upset only makes your side look bad!

  16. Drake Sigar says:

    Asking to be equal doesn’t promote intolerance, it just brings to the surface that which was already there.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Wanting to have their own special club is the opposite of wanting to be treated equally.

      • pepperfez says:

        No, because the whole point of clans is having your own special club. That’s just part of the game, and only “trans”-containing clans are forbidden.

        • Premium User Badge

          lasikbear says:

          But I’m not trans and how dare you have a club that isn’t specifically targeted towards my interests!

      • L3TUC3 says:


        They can still have their club, they just can’t use a particular label to avoid headaches like we’re having in the comment section. Saves Blizzard the moderation troubles, leaves the transy people relatively unremarkable, doesn’t feed the trolls (at least for a bit) and keeps the community at large from being easily incensed. Just call yourself the sexually unambiguous armored vestment entente (SUAVE) or something.

        This seems more about marketing or making easy headlines for something. Like a gender discrimination blog or something. Oh wait.

  17. Premium User Badge

    DrollRemark says:

    I don’t even play Diablo III, but I had to sign this. Ridiculous filtering.

    It doesn’t matter to me whether or not trans* people want to be in a clan that visibly identifies them as such, the whole point is that they’re able to do so. If people really do believe that their online gaming experiences are asexual, then they should be mature enough to see past a simple clan name.

    • Rizlar says:

      Woops, mis-reply

      • Philomelle says:

        If you think their “not sending a message” reaction to criticism of their designs was bad, you haven’t seen their totally heeheelarious April’s Fool about how women who aren’t conventionally attractive are totally hysterical and deserve to be joked about.

        • Rizlar says:

          Thanks for shattering any optimism I had for Blizzard’s future. What a bunch of [expletive deleted for comments filter].

          (also sorry, moved the comment you were replying to further up)

        • pepperfez says:

          I didn’t get the joke because the new design still looked ridiculously sexed-up. Fuckin’ videogames, man.

          • Philomelle says:

            It’s funny because she has body hair and a baggy goat-like chin. Because uneven face features and body hair make women hilarious and comical. Get it now?

          • pepperfez says:

            Yeah, I get it, and the punchline is, “Fuckin’ videogames, man.”

        • Thankmar says:

          This was some troubling experience for me. I do not like the oversexualization of everything and games in particular. Then I read about this, not knowing it being an Aprils Fool joke, and I believed that “being closer to the Broken Ones” part. And I thought, “whoa, thats not pretty” and feeled ashamed of that thought at the same time. When I then read about it being an AFJ, I even felt more guilty. Blizzard is undermining my still high regard for their games more and more.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Or maybe it was making fun of exactly that attitude.

          I guess when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  18. stoopiduk says:

    I created a Rock, Paper, Shotgun guild a while back, there are a good number of players on there now and we’re open to new members. Mostly I think we’re crossovers from the PS2 outfit, but either way we’re there and reasonably active.

    This doesn’t address the filtering problem the article is highlighting, but I thought it worth spreading word that a small community does exist that isn’t full of bad people.

    I’m the guild leader, and not particularly up-to-scratch on gender issues. That said, any behaviour that I, or one of the officers, deems to be bigotry, offensive or against the friendly environment we all want to play in will first result in a warning and explanation, second offense is a perma ban.

    • Rizlar says:

      Don’t be put off by his name! He’s totally excellent. Anyone looking for a truly accepting guild would do well to give the RPS one a go.

  19. Premium User Badge

    melnificent says:

    Being a visible *non hetro/white/male* online is a recipe for abuse, death threats and more. Look at what happens to devs that change games.

    But those of us that stand up for who we are deflect the criticism from those less able to cope. It’s why we want a known safe space for those that are targeted by the majority of the internet for no reason. We need a tiny corner to be able to talk without abuse being hurled at us every other sentence in chat.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Heaven forbid you want to be yourself without risking abuse. It’s oppressing me don’t you know, and oppressing my freedom of speech, a human god given right and my right to have the ability to abuse you.

  20. Premium User Badge

    melnificent says:

    Here’s a random series of messages I got in my facebook inbox last week. No connection with anyone I know, just someone attacking because they can…

    Troll: Are you like… A tranny or something, because there is no way that you’re a woman.
    Me: Wow, you’re a friendly person aren’t you
    Troll: Yeah But in all seriousness, you are, aren’t you?

    I’d never spoken to them before, never played a game online with them in. They just decided that they wanted to attack me that day.

    • Rizlar says:

      Sad to hear. Even more sad that this sort of thing is not at all uncommon. Hope this article and the comments here prove that there are a lot of great people out there as well as all the utter arseholes.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Facebook has settings to hide yourself from anybody you’re not facebook friends with! They’ve helpfully put a few of the settings right there on the top bar, but there’s a few still hidden away. If you go into settings, and then privacy, you’ll a small selection of options from making yourself invisible to people who aren’t looking you up with your URL or email addres. You can even make it so that you won’t show up in google results!

      • Premium User Badge

        melnificent says:

        Thanks for that, and it’s something I’ll look into. However, I tend to be open about who I am whether online or in real life. I don’t understand why I should hide.

        The NHS receptionist was the worst private message I ever received. It led to her suspension so did have a positive spin to it in the end.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      That’s rude and ignorant, but not an ‘attack’.

  21. commentingaccount says:

    I guess I’m lucky in that I’ve only been called tranny a few times…

  22. edwardoka says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  23. PopeRatzo says:


    I love RPS.

  24. AbigailBuccaneer says:

    Straight white cis men on the internet, being told they’re not allowed to use slurs to refer to trans people: “You’re taking away my free speech!”

    Straight white cis men on the internet, being told that trans people aren’t allowed to use words to describe themselves on the internet: “Why does it matter? Can’t we all just get along?”

    • derbefrier says:

      I didn’t know what “cis” meant when i read this and apparently it considered a slur. While I agree with the spirit of the article and think Blizz should comply just remember you don’t fight bigotry with more bigotry,

      • Nevard says:

        Cis isn’t a slur, it’s a scientific term.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Well, it’s a Latin prefix…

        • derbefrier says:

          link to

          specific quote from article

          Prominent gay activist John Aravosis considers the term “a slur against non-trans people.”[3]

          I mean it doesn’t offend me but a lot words that don’t bother me tend to bother other people so if an Alleged Gay activist says its offensive it must be true. I don’t know whos in charge of deciding whats offensive though.

          • Nevard says:

            He’s wrong, cis is literally just the opposite word to trans, there is nothing deeper to it than that.

            We obviously need a word for that otherwise people start up bullshit like calling cis people “normal people”

          • pepperfez says:

            Aravosis has…some issues with trans* people. In general, he sees them as dead weight preventing legal protections for gay people (like him!) from being passed because they’re just too icky to be sympathetic. I’d be reluctant to take anything he says on trans* issues too seriously.

      • TheMightyEthan says:

        Cis is only considered a slur by over-reactionary individuals who get angry at anything that threatens their status as the default. I say this as a straight, white, cis male.

        • elmo.dudd says:

          Wow, this comment… I don’t even know how to respond. Are you a villain from Bioshock perhaps?

          • TheMightyEthan says:

            So I know I’m like a week late and you’ll probably never see this but yeah, that came out WAY more black and white than it should have, and I honestly can’t remember what I was thinking when I wrote it.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      “Straight white cis men” are not the problem. It’s bigotry. As a “straight white cis man” I do not appreciate being carelessly lumped in with bigots.

      • Premium User Badge

        JamesTheNumberless says:

        Cisgendered, white, male, landyfanciers are not the problem, per se, but enough of the problem does belong to them. I’m 3.5 of those things and generally live and work around people who are all 4, who are not bigots. But the problem is that a minority of people who are bigoted, seem to be being allowed to get away with it far too often, by the majority who should be able to hold them to account but too often remain silent because, so long as they’re not part of the problem, they don’t see a reason why they should be part of the solution.

        In the school playground of life everybody who isn’t directly involved in bullying – those in power and those not – would rather just pretend that it doesn’t really happen, or that it’s harmless friction. Whenever it escalates to the point where the consequences force people to take notice, the expression of shock and surprise is depressingly predictable.

        • TheMightyEthan says:

          Extremely tangential, but your mention of ladyfanciers has reminded me of something I’ve thought about before: rather than saying people are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, I feel like the terms should be androsexual and gynosexual (and then you can still use the other terms like bisexual, pansexual, etc in addition). Hetero- and homosexual work fine if you assume binary genders, but once you don’t things get confusing, because your sexual orientation is partially determined by your own gender in addition to the gender of those you’re attracted to. Like is a trans male who is attracted to women straight or gay, or something else? Androsexual/gynosexual avoids that problem, since the word for your sexual orientation is determined only by the gender of those to whom you’re attracted.

          • pepperfez says:

            That might make sense in the abstract, but in reality “gynosexual” men are interested in “androsexual” women and so on, mutatis mutandis. An androsexual bar would contain gay men and very frustrated straight women.

          • Premium User Badge

            JamesTheNumberless says:

            interesting stuff, I really just wanted to avoid too much repetition – straight is kind of a boring word with too many meanings anyway. I almost feel it’s slightly pejorative… Oh, you’re “straight”, how disappointing.

        • Tasloi says:

          “Cisgendered, white, male, landyfanciers are not the problem, per se, but enough of the problem does belong to them…”

          I replaced cisgendered white male with muslim and thought I was reading a >insert local far-right party< leaflet.

          • pepperfez says:

            Indeed, because that would be utter rubbish in the current context. Whereas cis-people are typically the ones spewing hate at transpeople, so they have a legitimate concern there.

          • Premium User Badge

            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Well, if there was a big problem on your street, in your house, at the company you work for, or with your family – would you accept no responsibility for helping sort it out? If a religious extremist does something terrible in the name of their religion, should followers of that religion just turn a blind eye and pretend there’s nothing they can do about it because they’re not extremists?

        • Premium User Badge

          DrollRemark says:

          I think that’s where a lot of people appear from when you get all the “Geez this isn’t such a big deal, stop painting a target on your back, we should all ignore differences!” posts. Some of them probably aren’t particularly discriminatory, but they just don’t realise that being truly accepting is actually about allowing people to live differently, not pretending we’re all the same.

      • Premium User Badge

        lasikbear says:

        You are the real victim here.

      • Psychopomp says:

        Then start vocally fighting against them, instead of acting like you a straight, cis, white male are somehow being discriminated against and telling people who aren’t a heteronormative white male to “stop being mean” to the people who hate them, abuse them, and in many cases murder them.

  25. vivlo says:

    it was a nice day beginning, until i clicked the link to Blizzard forum.
    Apparently, Blizzard are really EXPRESSELY OUTSIDE of any social fighting. I knew they were not what they used to be in relation to gaming, now i know they never intended to use their public position to send nice messages. Other big high tech companies do that at least (think Google especially), now Blizzard appears to me as a bunch of rednecks.

    • Keshik says:

      Surprised clans in D3 would mandate voice chat like WoW ones – game doesn’t really a great deal of co-ordination. Ah well, squeaky wheel will get the grease here.

  26. Pangalaktichki says:

    Curse you Blizzard! Now my “Trans-dimensional Transformers buddies of Transcendence” clan will never be :(

  27. Chicago Ted says:

    even trans people shouldn’t have to play diablo III

  28. Deano2099 says:

    The filter is silly but…

    I am somewhat struggling to see the issue here. Based on a few assumptions, which I admit are not from a particularly informed position, and am happy to be corrected.

    Trans people don’t generally identify their gender as trans right? They’re either male or female, whichever one they feel more comfortable as. Diablo only uses voice chat, there’s no video or anything else, and while some voices will sound more male or female, surely a simple “I’m a woman actually, just have a deep voice” will do? The character on screen doesn’ t matter, loads of men play as female characters and vice versa, regardless of if they’re trans or not.

    I would have thought games like this were a place where trans people could just be themselves, be the gender that they are, and be accepted as such. That said gender happens to be different to the one you were biologically born as shouldn’t matter – no one can see you anyway.

    Of course, the filter is still stupid, and I can see that trans people might want to use the game to meet other people who have had similar experiences, and certainly shouldn’t be prevented from doing that. But I don’t see the ‘safe space’ argument.

    • Tukuturi says:

      Trans is often used as a community label so that people can work together for social change. Many trans people are openly trans by choice. Many trans people who would like to be “full stealth” can not afford to pass as a member of their identified gender, and are thus openly trans. Also, because trans is an inclusive label for those not conforming to gender norms, many trans people do not identify as belonging to one or the other category of the normative gender binary.

      • Tukuturi says:

        I should also say that it shows a pretty deep misunderstanding of the experience of belonging to a subordinate social group to suggest that what they really want is to be invisible.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      There is a fundamental difference between (biological) male and female voices that makes it very hard for transwomen to pass over voice comms. I won’t go into details, but it’s about resonance, not pitch.

  29. futabot says:

    I still think this is all a bizarre coincidence involving transmogrification rather than an overt attempt to subvert or protect transpeople. Inaction on the part of Blizzard might seems insensitive, but I think its shrewd.

    After seeing the threads, the community manager that proposes this change probably understands that there will be countless anti-trans guilds made the moment the filter gets fixed. While the novelty of being anti-trans will probably wear off within a week, that single week will be a shitstorm of hostility that’ll inevitably end up with Blizzard looking negligent because they absolutely knew it was coming.

    • pepperfez says:

      Can you explain the transmogrification bit? I don’t play, so I’m curious what transmogrification antics they need so desperately to control.

      • Nevard says:

        Transmogrification is Blizzard’s in-game system that you can use to make one piece of armour look like another and no, I have no idea how it could be connected to this either.

  30. HypercaneSanvu says:

    I was really shocked to read your description of trans people as “non-binary”. Trans women are women, and trans men are men. Could you please stop posting this sort of incendiary speech that describes them as somehow not men or women?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      There’s a school of thought that views all people as non-binary and those who believe that they are to be wrong. It’s academic wordplay and semantics and ultimately as important as whether you call DOTA games MOBAs or vice versa, i.e. not at all.

    • TheMightyEthan says:

      I agree that someone who identifies as a woman is a woman regardless of their biological sex, but not everyone identifies that completely as one or the other. Some people feel more like a man, but not completely, or more like a man sometimes and more like a woman other times. That’s what the term “non-binary” is for. Saying someone has to either be a man or a woman, one or the other, is just a slight bit less draconian than saying that whether you’re a man or a woman is determined irrevocably by whether you’re biologically male or female.

    • The Random One says:

      Methinks John was referring to trans* people, a term which includes transexuals but also a wide range of people who don’t identify as either male or female.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        It’s possible that HypercaneSanvu was just mimicking John’s offense at a possibly unintentional filtering issue. It’s also possible that he wasn’t, of course. Written language.

  31. CelticPixel says:

    We all know what complete assholes people on the internet can be and I can only imagine the bile that trans gamers must be subjected to by some of the awful, narrow-minded, bigoted people who we all know are out there. They shouldn’t be subjected to abuse when they’re relaxing and playing videogames. If that requires a minor change to D3 clan tags to allow them to identify their own communities that will be safe and welcoming in a way that the wider D3 community cannot be, then they should have that.

  32. Premium User Badge

    HothMonster says:

    Yikes those Blizzard forums are weird. “But we are straight you can’t exclude us for things! Stop oppressing the straight people!” “Why do you freaky faggots need a safe place? Nobody will be mean to you weirdos if you don’t tell them who they are, duh, just act normal.”

  33. Kid_A says:

    I’m so very glad that a cis straight white male is telling everyone how they should feel about things he will never personally experience, and how awful a bunch of people he assumes are also white cis males on the internet are. This isn’t about the supposed erasure of trans people, John. This is about people like you wanting to be seen to support trans people. There’s a big difference, like taking a picture with a black guy so you can take it out and prove you’re “a decent human being”.

    To get to the point behind this stupid, click-baiting article: having spoken to a GM for Blizzard on attempting to make a Transformers group and having the name rejected, I can inform you that the reason the terms “trans” is blocked is because they it is part of the game code. Messing around with it for the sake of applying labels to yourself in a videogame so that everyone knows something completely fucking irrelevant to the game could have potentially serious ramifications on the game’s back end. Please actually reach out to Blizzard for an official comment next time instead of spewing this hyperbolic nonsense in the hope of garnering some more ad revenue.

    Also: why the fuck do you need to tell everyone you’re trans in a game about fighting monsters for loot? In what potential scenario does that come up without you bringing it into the conversation yourself for no reason? I don’t inform everyone I face in Starcraft or Dota that I’m bisexual, because IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. And if you really believe in “the ideals of gaming”, you’d understand that being able to label yourself as a genderqueer polysexual aromantic therian while simultaneously preaching that “who you are doesn’t matter” is the most ass-backwards way of going about erasing prejudices there is.

    • Thankmar says:

      Perhaps you would like to read the signal-red comment on top of the comments section to have an idea why this subject is treated here like it is.

    • Keshik says:

      Interesting to hear that it’d conflict with the code. Hm, can they just some other label in that case ?

      • Nevard says:

        It wouldn’t, any implication that the otherwise could occur in a game as big and as locked down as diablo is complete nonsense.

    • Premium User Badge

      HothMonster says:

      I’m no expert programmer but if your clan names can potentially enact code it sounds like you need to sanitize your fields better. While it isn’t impossible I think it is more likely that they told you something so you would go away than clans names having the ability to be treated as code.

      • Keshik says:

        Well, it is when the payoff isn’t worth the effort – not only the change, but the resultant QA and affect on other things planned for release.

        Whoops, this was meant for DrollRemark below.

      • Premium User Badge

        JamesTheNumberless says:

        I *am* an expert programmer, and lololololololol was my reaction.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrollRemark says:

      Since when is “it’s in the code!” a valid excuse for not changing something? Isn’t that why patches exist?

      • 65 says:

        But “the code” is eternal and must not be interferred with by mere mortals.

    • Hebrind says:

      Just because you have a thick skin doesn’t mean you speak for everyone, mate. Sure, you might not need the help in feeling like you’re accepted among your chosen group of friends, and maybe the 12 year old who flames and calls you all kinds of names just by pure chance doesn’t affect you because you can detach yourself from it, and more power to you. That’s great!

      But what about more impressionable people? What about adolescents who are in a confusing, frustrating, potentially terrifying point in their lives that they realise that they’re maybe different to their friends? Remember what age group games like LoL, DOTA2, WoW and StarCraft appeal to.

      If someone (in this case, the internet and media) is always telling you that what you do is a really bad thing, even though it isn’t, then you might still believe it’s a really bad thing. That’s how peer pressure, bullying and self-esteem work.

      You might also want to tone down the aggression, mate. It doesn’t make for good reading at all.

    • commentingaccount says:

      All I can say as a transwoman is, I’m very, very glad that John made this post.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      “This is about people like you wanting to be seen to support trans people. ”

      Could you tell me how I can support trans people without being seen as doing so? Am I only allowed to do it in my own head? Do I automatically invalidate my support if I voice it? Please, enlighten me!

      Or is this just a sad attempt to use the old “Waaah! Waaaah! White Knight!” bullshit to derail the discussion?

      Hint: It’s the last one.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Spare a thought for little Bobby tables link to who can never use his real name online without being blacklisted.

      Although it does sound like they were just having a good laugh at the expense of your ignorance over the code thing.

  34. HugobertingtonEsq says:

    This is one of those articles where the subject is either A Very Important Situation or just a clickybat non-issue
    I’ve kinda lost which is which now

    • almostDead says:

      The profit-sharing model they use at RPS is based on article hits.

      John is mansion-based now. The rest live in cardboard boxes, except Cara has recently bought a Porsche, and Jim had to leave in a desperate attempt to do something else.

      • pepperfez says:

        It’s tragic that only John is aware of this. Those poor, exploited other writers.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Well I’d say it’s a real issue, but real issues make the best “clickbait”.

  35. Freud says:

    A non-problem. The best way to organize a transgender clan isn’t through the clan interface but from other communities they are part of, that are for transgender people.

    As far as windmills go, this is one of the sillier ones you tilted at RPS. Especially since it’s probably some default filter to start with and not some corporate decision. Like when RPS kept deleting comments with the word Diablo in it.

  36. Kurbster says:

    Have you faggots ever thought that the word is banned because more often than not, it’s used in an often demeaning manner?

    No, of course not. You want to use the trans label because you want to be a special snowflake, and you want Blizzard to use up extra resources moderating these clans for “impropper use of the word ‘trans'” just so you can continue being a special snowflake.

    Each time your little SJW buttbuddies like John Walker opens his mouth, it becomes more and more evident you want special privileges, not equality

    • ArmyMan says:

      “Each time your little SJW buttbuddies like John Walker opens his mouth, it becomes more and more evident you want special privileges, not equality”
      So True.

    • Gormongous says:

      I must have died and woken up in some hellish dimension where wanting to be able to name your clan after a central aspect of your life and identity constitutes “special privileges”. So I can name my clan after anything I want, except trans-something? That’s stupid and cowardly of Blizzard, full stop.

      Christ, man. Walker’s article even says that “gay” is allowed for clan names. Are you arguing that Blizzard isn’t wasting even more resources keeping “gay” from being misused? Or are you just salty that RPS isn’t all manly manshoot games coverage all the time?

    • Nevard says:

      How does someone start a post like this with the word “faggots” and then… bother writing anything else? Like, clearly your purpose of being obnoxious and offensive has already been served. You could have saved yourself some effort.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Yes, well done you, that is indeed the most vile comment you could have possibly posted on this thread. You have a bright future ahead of you writing dialogue for pantomime villains.

  37. Barberetti says:

    Petition signed.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Just want to say, I mentally revised my opinion on you today.
      Not that you should really care, but I did.

  38. shaydeeadi says:

    Reading these comments and seeing CIS so many times left me thinking: why the hell is everyone talking about the Confederation of Integrated States? Thinking everyone was hating on Eastern Europeans. I had to look up what that silly little acronym meant. The hell is wrong with everyone that we have to slap these stupid labels on every type of person possible, people are people for fucks sake.

    • commentingaccount says:

      Really, it’s a term rooted in chemistry and science. In addition, all it really means, when applied to humans, is “not transgender.” that’s it.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        If the Wikipedia is anything to go by its rooted in sociology, not science and chemistry.

        • AbigailBuccaneer says:

          It’s rooted in Latin – ‘trans-‘ means “on the other side”, ‘cis-‘ means “on the same side”. The prefix ‘trans-‘ features ‘in ‘Transylvania’, ‘transcend’, and many others. ‘cis-‘ is less common, and apart from featuring in ‘cisgender’, pretty much the only place it’s used these days is chemistry, where chiral molecules have cis and trans isomers.

          • pepperfez says:

            The Roman province of Gaul was divided into Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul to indicate which side of the Alps one meant.

          • Premium User Badge

            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Does this mean the correct term for someone who is half way between being cis or being trans* is actually “Swiss”?

    • Tukuturi says:

      Labels like this are useful because different people have different lived experiences, different levels of privilege, different levels of access to different social institutions. Saying that “people are people” has a tendency to homogenize human experience in a way that makes the experience of the most populous and privileged groups appear universal, which in turn obscures the experiences and silences the voices of subordinate social groups, which in turn reinforces hierarchy and reifies oppressive institutional norms.

      Labels like this are useful because they provide a symbolic structure for identity and community. For oppressed or subordinate social groups, the solidification of community allows access to a greater degree of social power and thereby a means to affect social change in their favor. This is, of course, often resisted by dominant groups, who stand to lose social power.

    • Nevard says:

      Because “cis” is a lot catchier than “not trans”

      • DatonKallandor says:

        By “catchier” you mean it’s a lot more complicated, you’ll have to explain it every time you use it and it alienates the people you’re applying it to. Alright.

        You know what a good rule of thumb is for labels? The only people allowed to call themselves things are the people that it applies to. The LGBT community can call itself whatever it wants, but it doesn’t get to call those nasty other people anything they don’t call themselves.

        • pepperfez says:

          The point is breaking down the assumption that there are trans people and then there are normal people, who don’t even need to be described because they’re just normal. Also, it’s totally consistent as a description: “trans-” and “cis-” are regularly used to describe opposite arrangements in the sciences.

          Also, quite a lot of cis people are perfectly happy to call themselves cis people. Did you know that in America, some white people refuse to identify their race as “white” and instead insist on being identified simply as “American”? Would it surprise you to hear that those people also tend to have extremely hostile attitudes toward non-white, non-Americans?

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      You say “labels,” I say “nouns.”

  39. rustybroomhandle says:

    Somehow this came to mind link to

    And Smokey & The Bandit – no idea why.

  40. Sidewinder says:

    Putting aside all the political unpleasantness- ‘invite’ is a verb. The noun you’re looking for is ‘invitation’.

    • The Random One says:

      Uh, ‘invite’ is often used to mean ‘invitation’ in gaming communities.

  41. Bull0 says:

    I’ve got a feeling it’s a hamfisted sexual language filter, rather than deliberate oppression.

    • AbigailBuccaneer says:

      Yes, but part of the problem is that mentioning trans people is seen as ‘sexual language’.

      • pepperfez says:

        It’s also just so weirdly broad. Like, “trans” is hardly exclusive to people with a gender different from their chromosomes. The idea that Blizzard would forbid a roleplaying clan led by Optimus Prime from openly identifying itself is outrageous.

      • Bull0 says:

        Obviously context is everything but context is the kind of thing global language filters aren’t sophisticated enough to interpret. I’m just saying, we should point out the error and hope they fix it, rather than go tearing our hair out and gnashing our teeth over it.

  42. Tukuturi says:

    Thank you so much for what you do, John.

  43. spiderfrog93 says:

    So I can have a clan that is for blacks/whites/males/females only and tell everyone else to piss off? Or does the suggested TransGamers clan have to let me in if I meet the requirments besides being trans? Would be awefully racist to say ‘whites only’ and stop all blacks, even though we may have same interests and be like minded on most things… I don’t know, I see it weirdly, they should be allowed to have the trans only clan, but then no one should get made for a white/black/females/males only clan

    • Tukuturi says:

      It is a tricky issue to navigate, but it may help to recognize that it is different for, say, white males. Because white males are a dominant status group in society, they have greater access to social power. Especially within gaming culture, groups are generally assumed to be white male groups. In linguistic terms, the categories of “white” and “male” are unmarked, whereas the categories of “black” or “female” are marked.

      Another way to look at it is that trans people specifically face a massive amount of discrimination in their daily lives. Openly trans people face the constant risk of physical violence. It can be very difficult for trans people to find safe spaces. If a gaming group can provide that, why shouldn’t it?

    • Stickman says:

      I’m pretty sure the idea is not to create “trans* only” clans, but rather “trans* friendly” clans. After self-identification, they can then actively enforce their trans*-friendly stance to create a safe place for trans* gamers and non-bigots who would like a gaming experience free of the morass of bigotry that permeates much of gaming.

  44. ChrisAlgoo says:

    Thanks for posting this.

  45. Shieldmaiden says:

    This is going to be a bit stream of consciousness, random thoughts on the topic post.

    I’m a transwoman. I’m a member of one trans* forum. I don’t use it for emotional support, or as a safe space or anything like that. For me, it’s a source of practical information. Where to buy clothes for tall women with broad shoulders and no waist. What make-up is good for covering that annoying beard shadow (for those of us who haven’t had any kind of hair removal.) Exactly what the fuck is the NHS playing at with regards to gender clinic referrals and funding? (Trick question, no-one seems to actually know it changes so often.) So I can actually see the appeal of a trans* clan as a special interest group more akin to a clan who all like football or motorbikes or something.

    There is an additional complication that many trans* people, especially women, face when it comes to online gaming: the increasing reliance on voice chat. In day to day life, I’m not always successful at passing as female. It’s still early days for me and I have the additional disadvantage of being freakishly tall. However, it’s usually obvious what my intention is and, for the vast majority of people, that’s enough. Generally speaking, I’m only accidentally misgendered by friends and family who have up to three decades of habit to break.

    However, when I’m on the phone, or using voice chat, I get misgendered constantly. I know transwomen who have had voice coaching, surgery on their vocal chords, the works, who you’d never have the slightest inkling were trans* in any other situation, who still get misgendered on the phone. And it sucks. Especially as the internet is the one place you can and not have your gender questioned. So I can see the appeal in joining a clan in which I can fire up Team Speak and chat away without being misgendered or having to constantly explain that I’m trans*.

    • Bull0 says:

      That’s all pretty understandable and fair enough, I think. Makes good sense. Thank you for posting that.

  46. thehollowman says:

    I’m not one who usually likes the whole SJW thing. Usually too accusatory and hamfisted for me.

    But I like this post, and the tone of it. And it makes sense. Being Transgendered is extremely rare. I think I saw one report that estimated it at about 0.4% of the population. Out of the 2.7 million who bought RoS though, that’s at least 10800 people.

    Being a tiny subset of any population is difficult. You might think that being a straight white male I couldn’t possibly know this. But I was once part of a small subsection of society that was derided by the mainstream. We were called nerds. We enjoyed playing the still nascent video games far more than smoking behind the bike shed. And it sucked a lot, people would make fun of me a lot cause I wasn’t cool. So I found like minded people, to do the stuff I liked with. We created our own safe spaces to be who we wanted to be.

    Was it the same or even as bad as being Trans*? No, of course not. It’s certainly easy to be now, but the mainstream still thinks of us as fat geeky virgins. And we all find our groups where we can avoid those kind of assumptions. Trans people just want the same in diablo 3. They don’t want to exclude people really, they just want a nice safe place where they don’t need to hide who they are, where they won’t hear any off-colour jokes about trannies in their clan chat that will make them feel less than human even if only for a second, and even if not on purpose.

    That’s not much to ask, and anyone who is against that happening, well, I just don’t know what your problem is.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      There’s no way it’s as high as 0.4%, I believe 0.03% was the estimate I read the last time I bothered to look into such matters. Of course, 0.03% of seven billion is still quite a few people.

      • Stickman says:

        The Williams Institute study in the US estimated 0.3%, but this number estimates the proportion of the population that has taken at least some steps to transition. The proportion who have trans* feelings is obviously higher, and has been estimated at somewhere between 0.5% and 2% of the US population. Estimates from the UK indicate a smaller transitioning population, somewhere around 0.1%.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          Those numbers look ludicrously inflated to me, but I won’t pretend to have studied the matter beyond a few hours interested analysis some time ago. It’s worth noting that I was referring to post-op in my earlier reply, however.

    • aerozol says:

      Great post, I’ll pretend I wrote it instead of writing something more convoluted : )

  47. Stompopolos says:

    Keep social justice out of games. Your choices have ramifications, social and otherwise. If you’re choosing to be a man or woman when you’re not there will be people who will judge you for it, you can’t change that. Turning the internet into your hugbox is not the answer.

    • Volcanu says:

      Do you know the difference between being transgendered or transexual and being a transvestite? Because the first two are certainly not ‘a choice’ and that’s pretty much an accepted fact by the medical profession.

      • Premium User Badge

        JamesTheNumberless says:

        Are trying to deny that cases of forced transvestism do happen?

        My goodness I’ve waited a long, long time for the opportunity to paraphrase that bit from Father Ted.

    • Kaeoschassis says:


    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Your choices have ramifications, social and otherwise. If you’re choosing to judge others on the basis of who they are then there will be people who will judge you for it, you can’t change that. That’s what’s happening on this page: people like you are being judged.

  48. adscott says:

    It’s just a club. A transgender club. What’s the problem?

    Like-minded individuals like to socialise with each other.

  49. Jockie says:

    If people were on the whole reasonable and accepting like you (and me) then that would be ideal, but I think the response on the official forums show that a rather large number of people aren’t.

    I’d guess that generally if LGBT people want to play games without hiding their sexuality, they have no real choice but to find something that caters to them very specifically, or be subject to abuse.

  50. John Walker says:

    Assuming you’re saying this from the perspective of someone who has never been abused for their race, gender or sexuality in a game, does it not seem reasonable to listen to the views of those who have before making these conclusions?

    While it would certainly be lovely if everyone was just lovely to each other all the time, well, they’re not.

  51. Premium User Badge

    aleander says:

    But the reason here isn’t “because cis people are dirty and smell” but “because cis people are openly aggressive against me”. You want to complain about that, complain to the cis people who think it’s a great idea to be a jerk to people other than them, not from the people who would rather hide from those other people with pitchforks and angry faces.

  52. Philomelle says:

    Seriously, though, fuck you.

    The reason why trans people are wary of hanging out with straight dudes is because, unlike what you try to say in your post, most of them aren’t even remotely open-minded or accepting. The sheer transphobic and homophobic drivel that makes up 20 pages of that forum post should clue you in to that.

    I had to bury a friend last year because Russia pushing out its anti-gay law told someone it’s okay to beat him to death with a metal pipe. And while I thankfully didn’t have to deal with it, yes, there are numerous cases of people being beaten, hospitalized and murdered just for being trans.

    Trans-people want to hide in those clans because other groups proved to be unsafe for them time and time again. Deal with it.

  53. Surlywombat says:

    There is enough casual *isms* about, that you don’t need to have announced your gender/race/sexuality to still be effected by peoples views.

    It’s not necessarily that these groups are being exclusionary (though there is certainly that possibility with some). It’s that any other group can be exclusionary without even intending to be so purely by unthinking comments.

    While in a perfect world those upset by remarks would be able to say “Please don’t make comments like that, it upsets me” in many cases this is just putting a target on your back. When in fact they just want to play the game in a comfortable, relaxed and fun environment rather than spend their time straightening out peoples views.

  54. ScubaMonster says:

    While you’re most likely going to get flamed and used rather inflammatory wording, you do have a point. If we make an effort of pointing out our differences, the more these differences will separate us, and these different groups won’t be accepted as a whole. We shouldn’t need to identify people as “gay people” or “black people” (or whatever group you want to use). They should just be people.

    I’m not an idiot and do realize we need descriptions to identify individuals, you can’t just do away with group identities. Especially if they are discriminated against. But I’m speaking from a philosophical stance regarding society in general. We’re people, don’t marginalize groups based on certain factors. We wouldn’t have minority groups if we just considered everyone to be a human being despite being different from one another.

  55. Psychopomp says:

    “Why won’t these minorities put up with the rampant racism, homophobia, and transphobia in video games? I think they’re the REAL racists.”

    Just shut up forever, please.

  56. tyrinus says:

    I ask that you live with the fact people wish to meet with like minded individuals of their preference. I ask that you recognize that said people meeting and playing are not negatively effecting you in any way whatsoever. Afterwards, you’ll see that there’s more good for allowing such a clan than bad for disallowing it.

  57. DRoseDARs says:


    Those kinds of dating websites exist, you knob.

  58. frymaster says:

    It’s nice to see people treating others the way they’d like to be treated, like giving someone with different opinions a friendly “fuck you” in the spirit of tolerance.

  59. jack4cc says:

    Yeah, instead of, well, let’s say joining a random clan and just playing the damn game they need a clan with a name that immediately makes their sexual preferences and whatnot obvious because gee the thought of plaing in a clan with *different people* makes me uneasy as well, I’d sure not join any clan but one that call itself WhiteMaleNotGayNotVeganLikesDogsHatesParrots, lest there might even be one of those woman-things in my clan! Heresy.

    Seriously, though, I’ve had gay people in my clan ten years ago and no one gave a shit because it was about playing the game and not about shoehorning sexual preferences into every damn part of your life. I wonder what changed that nowadays people introduce themselves by announcing their sexual preferences to the world instead of introducing themselves by casually mentioning their name or something like that.

  60. ArmyMan says:

    Actually though, most of the violence committed against non-straight people is domestic violence, by other non-straight people.

  61. Alzu says:

    Yeah but unless your friend was beaten to death while playing a game, RPS doesn’t care.

    People being beaten to death for being gay? That’s sad. Some girls or gay guys’ feelings may or may not be hurt in a video game? NEW ARTICLE TIME! Power up the John Walker rant machine!

    Oh what’s that? It wouldn’t make sense for a gaming site to talk about gay people being beaten to death in Russia? I agree. So what’s left? Oh let’s just talk about the tiny part of the problem that has something to do with gaming because…games! We’re kinda fighting the good fight amirite? Am i alone in thinking “why even bother” if all you’ll do is talk about problems in the world as long as they’re tied to gaming?

    My point being that if you’re gonna talk about serious issues in the world, don’t limit yourself in this stupid way to gaming. Have another site that focuses on this so you can go all the way, not just stop when gaming is no longer related to your issue.

    But we don’t wanna talk about that. We’re here on a gaming site. If anyone cared that much we wouldn’t be spending our time playing games. We just want a tiny bit of this social justice crap. Not too much, just a bit to read, agree with and feel like the world is a better place afterwards.

    I’m not judging anyone, i also don’t care enough about those issues to get involved in them. I just wanna read about and play games. But if it’s so important that you dedicate an article to something wrong in the world, at least make it something much more important.
    What’s that? Women in some parts of the world are forced into marriage from a young age? Meh, sucks for them. Oh, they’re forced to also play games in which they’re a man saving a woman? ARTICLE TIME…

  62. Philomelle says:

    Saying that feeling angry when someone says something extremely insensitive and tips it off with “fuck people’s attempts to bring light to their discomfort” is the oldest, most cliched method of derailing this particular argument. It also makes you look like a jackass.

  63. Simes says:

    I wonder if there’s any clue hidden in their comment that might point to why they might feel that way.

  64. Simes says:

    Seriously, though, other people have different experiences to you, and rather than joining (from their perspective) yet another random clan that’s probably full of homophobic assholes, maybe they’d rather try and do something to avoid that.

  65. Philomelle says:

    A tiny handful of your personal experiences does not constitute everyone’s personal experiences.

    What you probably never considered is that it took your gay guildmates a lot of time and trust to even consider admitting that they were gay in front of you.

  66. Sacarathe says:

    Me too, in diablo 2 there was a gay gentleman in a clan I was in, it made no difference, Instead of a clan called “we’re not bigots because we insist that only people like us are allowed in here” the clan should be “everyone welcome, abuse not tolerated”.

    Having read some of what’s in here, I don’t think I would want to be in a SOCIAL MINORITY clan.

  67. tyrinus says:

    Time and again it’s shown that people DO care that they are gay, and promptly harass them to tears. When said gamers try to distance themselves after mental stress and anxiety of repeated harassment, you come along and say that they are close-minded for trying to break away and find like minded people who understand and can relate to them? I just don’t see the logic here.

  68. frightlever says:

    I was listening to, I think the BBC science podcast, and they claimed that babies are inherently racist, in that if they’re raised in, say, a predominantly white environment they will feel uncomfortable when exposed to other races. Consequently, one aspect of maturing into a functioning human being is learning to put aside inherent bias.

  69. DrMcCoy says:

    To quote xkcd: “The important thing is that you’ve found a way to feel superior to both”.

  70. LennyLeonardo says:

    “I answered this just above. Dozens of philosophers did so too, since the 18th century.” Wow. You’re just better than everyone else aren’t you?

    I mean, all these people who want to be part of a minority guild are just plain wrong, right? Blizzard is actually right to be so prohibitive. Stop these poor deluded people from marginalizing themselves. For the greater good. Who needs free will when there’s someone like you to make the right decisions for us?

  71. TWChristine says:

    I love how you essentially say “Look, this issue is settled..I clearly did it just above, so why are you even posting this?” I don’t like to tell people their thoughts are wrong or invalid simply because I disagree with them, but this comes pretty close. What you’re saying reminds me of my family’s response to me coming out which was essentially “You need to renew your relationship with god,” because you see..they really understand how I feel and what’s best for me, so why not just listen?

    Anyway, the problem is not that people are trying to close themselves off to ONLY have anything to do with similar people (granted there are people that go that far, and I would say white supremacists are one group that fit the bill). What they are wanting is simply a group of people they can enjoy hanging out with, playing a game, and not having to worry about any name calling or abuse. I believe you were (one of several) who stated that they’ve had gay people in their guild in the past, and everyone was peachy, to which I want to say “And?” You have some anecdotal evidence and are applying it broadly to everyone. It reminds me of women who say “Girls who complain about getting abused in games need to shut up, I’VE never had any problems, and any time someone did say something, it was just joking!” Again, the answer I want to say is “And?” The fact is, there are many trans/gay or women who have suffered through incessant BS in games simply because of who they are. Just because you personally have not seen it does not invalidate the fact that it DOES happen (and I can personally attest to being treated differently once people find out I’m female), and it doesn’t invalidate someone simply wanting a place they can relax, and let their guard down while trying to have fun. It doesn’t mean they shut themselves off from the rest of society, and it goes hand in hand with every other gamer out there who wants for just a few damn hours to let go of reality, and have some fun.

  72. qutayba7 says:

    I belong to an adult guild in WoW – adult meaning no kids, you can curse up a storm and tell raunchy stories. It’s one of the reasons MMO’s are successful – you can voluntarily join with a group of like-minded individuals and let loose – drop your walls and filters and say and do things you have to avoid at work or even with your family. But as open as the guild is – there are several gay members, and there are quite a few women – as a gay player, there are still some filters I have to keep up. Someone can make a comment about Pamela Anderson’s endowments or milfs and what not, and it’s guffaw, guffaw, snicker. But I know that if I were to comment about George Clooney’s crotch or what I thought about last week’s episode of “Looking,” I would be met by awkward silence. A couple people, particularly the Pamela Anderson fans, would be thinking to themselves: “Gee, why does he always have to be in our faces about his sexuality?” More charitably, others would simply not have a relevant response because it’s not something from their own experience.

    I also belong to another explicitly LGBT-friendly guild, where you can joke about George Clooney the same way others joke about Pamela Anderson. Yeah, part of the issue is “social justice,” but at the core, it’s simply an ordinary human need. If games are designed to help you blow off steam, why insist that certain peoples’ steam be kept in slow burn all the time. Would I prefer to *only* hang out in gay-friendly guilds? Not really, because I also enjoy meeting and socializing with people with very different experiences from my own. But isn’t it nice that I can choose my social environment based on my mood?

  73. Simes says:

    I think the point is that it’s no longer necessary to hide who you are. For people who, you know, are not ashamed of who they are, but are sick to the back teeth of all the hate they’re getting for who they are.

    Do you have a foolproof way for people to tell where these thousands of decent people are? Preferably without having to meet any of the ones who aren’t?

  74. tyrinus says:

    As a Mature person, how does it affect you how these “idiots” (Your words not mine) play? Let the close-minded idiots be idiots and play together as it doesn’t negatively affect you.

  75. fabLUous says:

    Mature people who don’t care about my gender, my relationships (because I have multiple), my orientation, and so on, are actually rare to find. Even modest curiosity can be annoying at times, because its something we have to deal with all the time. The same tired questions, on repeat, like a sitcom laugh track. It gets grating. Sometimes I just want to sit down, talk among people who just understand, vent, and kill monsters. Clans are sometimes more than just about video games, but sometimes create a support structure for some people. An extra escape inside the escape.

  76. Psychopomp says:

    It’s called a “safe space.”

  77. jack4cc says:

    It was a rather lage clan, it just came up when discussing something not-so-game-related, and that’s it. And it was more than one guy. I’m beginning to suspect that the current gaming community is much more immature than it was years ago…
    But oh well, i guess it’s a bit like whole feminism thing and all those issues that surround it, which is apparently mostly a problem in certain english-speaking countries because a lot of those issues would just be plain weird in the more evolved parts of europe, and that’s probably why I don’t quite “get” the issue.

  78. DrMcCoy says:

    It’s exactly the same in Germany, and other parts of Europe too. And yes, just like feminism, but not in the way you think, jack4cc. Your not getting the issue is a result of your aparent ignorance about these topics, and unrelated to you living in Europe.

  79. RedViv says:

    jack: When it’s even still an active issue due to idiots lashing out against, oh no, having to see about treating people with respect, in the oh so highly regarded nations of Scandinavia – then no, really, no country in the world can say that it is above any need for feminism or really any of dozens of minority rights movements.

  80. SkittleDiddler says:

    “A tiny handful of your personal experiences does not constitute everyone’s personal experiences.”

    I’m not trying to belittle your own personal experiences, and I’m certainly not agreeing with jack4cc, but you may want to keep the above advice in mind when you make subjective claims like the one in your original perch post. You know, the one where you said that most straight dudes “aren’t even remotely open-minded or accepting”?

  81. frightlever says:

    Some “cis” people. Also, I’m not even sure pigeon-holing people under a banner is particularly helpful. As Pete says in “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, peoples is peoples.

  82. TechnicalBen says:

    This has to be completely untrue. I’ve seen it shown that children (and very young children) do not show any “understanding” or “observation” of “difference” in skin colour or culture or race. They just accept all people as people with additional things to learn/see/experience. None of them compare or consider any better or worse.

    “Raised in predominantly white area”. That’s not “naturally racist” by any means, that area has a very high risk of actual cultural influence. That’s like saying “were naturally racist because I was brought up in a racist family, and I’m racist, must be my genes”. :/

    What they may have seen (though I cannot prove as I would have to see the program/data/research) is that babies at a very young are have specific visual ability and memory limits. To which of cause, a perfect example is a mothers face moving out of view and they cry. They will also cry at any “change” which includes strangers and anyone who looks different (a cat will be enough to scare them :P ).

    That is not “racism” but the babies inability to actual see and recognise faces as human/people/safe as they are literally just born yesterday. Any age beyond that and they will be fine with other people, share toys etc etc.

  83. Bedeage says:

    You are a straight, white male of a comfortable background in one of the wealthiest countries in the world John – do you really think your white-knighting is going to eliminate all that privilege?

  84. Sacarathe says:

    That’s hardly a fair point to make, I have never encounter racism directed at me in a game, though I get called a fitly nigger quite regularly on battlefield and other fps games. I am white male, I always criticize people when they do this and they say something like “your response is what I was looking for nigger”, I really cant take offense to that.

    They are just, well, unpleasant people. There cannot be such a thing as racism, sexism, or any other discrimination against an individual to whom you know nothing about. It would be impossible to interview people for jobs after their disabilities are screened out for similar reasons.

    I find the use of “retard” offensive because I am autistic when someone calls me it, and I strongly react, but I am not actually offended I don’t see why it should be any different for anyone else, if someone catches your unique distinguish-ment either directly (or in passing such as a group/clan name) but the offending party does not know you, then you have no right to be offended. I react because they should know better and there may be other’s around who are offended.

    I do not personally use any discriminatory abuse when online, either randomly nor against people I know to be in a minority, its not my way. It is amazing how nasty people who think they themselves are nice can get in the face of unpunished online hatred.

    I don’t understand why a PRIVATE (that means no outside interaction) invite only group needs a name beyond “group 0007564″ and I don’t understand this need to get offended by someone using abuse against someone they know nothing about. I also do not believe everyone is reacting like me in defense of others.

    It’s not fair to suggest that someone who has not been on the receiving end of directed abuse cannot make a point, albeit an idealistic one. I agree that people shouldn’t have to hide their uniqueness, indeed my whole comment is referring to abuse against those to whom the abuser does not know. I certainly believe that identifying thine distinctions should not lead to directed abuse. Even in frustration of combat in games.

  85. AngelTear says:

    I too don’t exactly like this sort of self-segregational mindset, although I can understand it, especially if you’re scared or you’ve been harassed in the past (which I luckily haven’t been in any meaningful way). I do not think any one characteristic justifies association with other people, though. Because all men are not the same, all women are not the same, all black are not the same and all trans* are not the same (and all alcoholics, and all drug addicts, and all who have cancer or suffer from depression, just to throw in more categories that like grouping up). All it’s going to grant you is that you’re not going to get harassed for that one thing, leaving up in the air all the thousands of other things that define you.

    I guess I’d like it more if there were more “LGBT friendly” spaces, rather than “LGBT only” spaces (and the same goes for races etc) as in, a “general purpose” clan that made it a point to punish/expel all forms of discrimination, so that the space can be safe for all without being segregated.

    Like, you know, most RPS comment threads.

  86. Sheng-ji says:

    Every clan has some sort of guidelines for membership – taken to the extreme, the OP is asking for one clan with every player in it, or no clans at all.

    Anyway, look here, I enjoy roleplaying – I would join a roleplaying guild, preferably a super hardcore one where OOC stuff is basically frowned upon, even in private. That’s just how I roll. There are plenty of RP clans that cater to many different styles and depth of RP from light casual basically no RP to heavy and deep where you’re expected to write an essay on your character in character before even being allowed to join. You’re not moaning about segregation with RP clans, so really you are being quite discriminatory by singling out trans clans in the way you are. (@ Meneldil)

  87. AngelTear says:

    I assume you think John’s arguments are invalid until he divests himself of his clothes, moves to a third world country, changes skin color like Michael Jackson and gets SRS?

    He’s white, male and straight, he didn’t exactly choose it and he certainly isn’t abusing his position, rather he’s using his visibility to give voice to issues that he may well selfishly decide to not care about. If that’s what you call white-knighting, I fail to see what’s wrong with it.

  88. Philomelle says:

    It’s not unusual for privileged people to feel uncomfortable and attempt to change things once they realize that they are more privileged than others not because they earned it, but because they were born under specific circumstances. I believe the correct descriptor for that is empathy.

  89. John Walker says:

    I think you tried for an insult, but I don’t quite get it. I’m aware of my privilege, yes. I’m also aware that it behoves me therefore to listen to others.

    It strikes me as very odd that suggesting people attempt to empathise with others is in some way and act of unacknowledged guilt on my part. It’s more about not being a massive arsehole.

  90. kalirion says:

    So I assume what you’re doing now is Black Knighting? Do I have the terminology down?

  91. SkittleDiddler says:

    Yeah, the BBC claim is bunk. I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point in time that — after proper research has stressed it repeatedly and strenuously for decades now — racism is a learned behavior.

  92. joa says:

    It’s called white-knighting because it sometimes comes off as “look at me, I’m a man and I’m so enlightened and sensitive caring about these issues”

  93. AngelTear says:

    I know why it’s called white-knighting. That was a conscious rhetorical subversion of the meaning of the word.

    I’d be happy to hear the appropriate method for white male cis people to speak against discrimination without someone accusing them of white-knighting, though. Please enlighten us all.

  94. joa says:

    I don’t claim to know the answer, I’m just talking about how it’s perceived. It’s always going to seem somewhat ironic when men champion feminism, since feminism has a very unfavourable view of men. It comes across like “I’m not like those other bad men, look at me ladies! *preens*”

  95. AngelTear says:

    I feel like I’ve said this a hundred times already: that’s not what feminism is.

  96. Sheng-ji says:

    You could say it a million more times but we live in a world where a well qualified scientist can look at an ice core sample and deny the world is warming.

  97. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    It’s called ad homonym because it doesn’t matter if he’s a white knight or black devil, it’s the issue that’s important.

  98. EveryoneIsWrong says:

    I find that anyone that has ever use the term “white knighting” never seems to have ANY idea what they are talking about. If I understand the core concept… the idea is that if you are acting like a decent person.. you must have ulterior motives.

    It is similar to calling people out who do volunteer work as being selfish because they enjoy helping other people which means volunteer work is something they do only to make themselves feel good.

  99. AngelTear says:

    It’s probably called ad hominem =P

  100. Rizlar says:

    Also this sort of hostile response to any white, straight man raising these issues seems to underline all the other abuse!

  101. joa says:

    I didn’t mean that in a “feminists are crazy man haters” sort of way. I meant that a lot of feminists seem to take a kind of guilt-by-association approach to males. What some males do reflects on every male and on maleness in general. So when straight white males talk about these issues they come across like they are trying to prove themselves different, like “look at me, look how special I am!”

  102. Sheng-ji says:

    Actually in this country and most civilised countries – abusing people because of their gender, sexuality, race, age and the like is a crime and you would be rightfully arrested and prosecuted for it if there was evidence against you. You have no right to freely abuse people, you have no “freedom of speech”. Sorry.

    Think I’m wrong? Get your soapbox out, stand in your country’s capital’s central square and start preaching the virtues of bombing your country’s parliament, and you will be sleeping in a jail cell tonight. You have no freedom of speech. That’s a good thing.

  103. joa says:

    There’s speech and there’s incititing people to violence. I would be able to stand and speak against laws I don’t like. And I think people should have the right to freely abuse others (but obviously, not that they should actually do so).

    I don’t think you get anywhere by legislating more progressive values – it just stirs up resentment. Look at the amount of sexism and racism in the gaming community. Do you think all those people go about throwing around that sort of abuse in their daily lives? I doubt it. I think it’s more of a reaction to being told how to think – to being forced to adopt a set of social views instead of being able to make up their own mind.

  104. Sheng-ji says:

    Apparently people do go around throwing out abuse when the law doesn’t criminalise them for doing it. Just look at our history and our present at what people do and say where the law doesn’t prevent them from abusing people. Lets examine the history of how black people are treated in the USA, gay people in Russia, aborigine people in Australia, Pakistani people in England, Romani people anywhere in Europe.

    Tell me, how would hate crime law stir up resentment if people weren’t actually restricted from doing anything that they want to do.

    Technically it’s illegal for you to walk around with your scrotum sack hanging out. That law doesn’t stir up resentment because no-one has the desire to walk around with their scrotum sack hanging out. We do have the ability to abuse people but if you don’t want to, why would the law cause you resentment?

  105. joa says:

    It’s better to change hearts and minds than to force people to do what you want through legislation. Nobody has a strong attachment to the right to walk around with their bollocks out (except naturists maybe, but they have their naturist beaches etc). People do on the other hand have a strong attachment to their freedom of speech – EVEN if they never intended to say the kind of thing you’re proposing to make illegal. It’s the principle of free speech that counts.

    Look at the surge in recognition for gay rights. Do you think that’s come about because of censorship of homophobic speech? Last I’ve seen people are still free to go on about how they find gay people disgusting and so on, and yet there is massive support for gay rights. What does that tell you?

  106. Sheng-ji says:

    Sorry, is there massive support for gay rights in countries which don’t recognise hate crime against gay people – or is that support more common in countries with hate crime laws protecting them?

  107. joa says:

    Do you honestly think it’s because of hate crime laws that there is massive support for gay people, and not that the hate crime laws are a byproduct of there being massive support for gay people? Also do you not believe that freedom of speech is an important principle — even when it comes to speech you disagree with? If not I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  108. ScubaMonster says:

    *whoosh* He fully knows that, he’s saying that those sites don’t need to exist either.

  109. pepperfez says:

    But the idea of a dating site for “left winged people” just keeps cracking me up. Like Meneldil is literally a cranky goose who just can’t understand why people are grouping themselves based on which feathered appendage they write with.

  110. ArmyMan says:

    If certain men weren’t so obsessed about forcing others to accept their love of massive arseholes in the first place, none of this would ever be a problem.

  111. elmo.dudd says:

    Your “privilege” doesn’t behoove you to listen to others, basic decency does. Don’t wrap this up in where you were born, how you were born, or who you were born to. You couldn’t control these factors, and they aren’t a factor in your decision to listen or not listen. That is your decision.

  112. The Random One says:

    Yes, but for a cis white straight male in an English-speaking, developed country, the only way they can understand prejudice is by talking to someone who has suffered it, because it rarely to never happens to them specifically. A black trans gay Vietnamese woman should also have to hear to others’ complaints, but she would have personal knowledge of many of these prejudices even if she didn’t listen.

    Also, it’s not John who’s bringing it up; it’s the people who are complaining and saying he shouldn’t complain because it doesn’t affect him personally.

  113. Bedeage says:

    Not being a massive arsehole is pretty easy – “don’t discriminate” covers that pretty neatly. You, John, and others of the white+straight+male persuasion, go a long way beyond that. It’s all very well campaigning for what you believe in, but RPS under your guidance has started to look like a political science undergrad magazine which also covers games. I’d much rather see RPS weighing in on the debates that actually matter, rather than the storm in a teacup that is LGBT activism. One man’s view, I know. I’d be interested to see the results of a straw poll though..

  114. pepperfez says:

    Don’t mock him just because his belligerence got all his limbs cut off. That could have happened to anyone!

  115. AngelTear says:

    “It’s just a flesh wound!”

    I thank you for alluding to that wonderful sketch.

  116. elmo.dudd says:

    And other people have different experiences to you, some of which may result in them not always high fiveing you for every aspect of your being. That doesn’t make them any form of phobic, nor does it justify your assumptions of what assumptions they will make of you.

  117. The Random One says:

    A curious stand you’re taking, since your comments lead me to think you’re pretty angry we’re not high-fiving you for the aspect of your being that says trans people shouldn’t be allowed to form their own clans.

    E: Also, if it’s not too weird to think that there should be a Doctor Who clan for people who want to be high-fived for the “liking Doctor Who” aspect of their personality, why shouldn’t there be a clan for a far more important aspect of their personality?

  118. The Random One says:

    It’s easy to say “abuse not tolerated”; it’s harder to enforce that when you live in a world where a significant people think that if a man tries to have sex with a woman and finds out she has a penis, he has the right to assault or kill her.

    Furthermore, an “abuse not tolerated” tag doesn’t prevent abuse any more than a “no smoking” sign makes you physically unable to light a cigarrette. Why should one be forced to maybe endure abuse, and then hope that the mods who are supposed to not tolerate that abuse are sympathetic to them, when they can just create a clan where they can be sure everyone is predisposed to understand their situation?

  119. Stellar Duck says:

    Random One, I completely agree that noone should suffer abuse and that anyone should be able to make a community that they feel safe in! It’s so simple.

    I’ll say though, that a “no abuse” rule is really easy to enfore.

    I used to be part of a rather large gaming community where that was the core tenet. It was very easy. If anyone swore on the server they’d get a warning. If they didn’t heed the warning they’d be banned.

    If anyone was racist, sexist or whatever else bully thing people can come up with they’d get a perma ban faster than than you’d believe. That included user names like HitlerWasRight and whatever else shit I’ve seen. It resulted in a community and a set of servers where everyone could play in a nice atmosphere. It does take active admins though.

    As a bonus it lead to some nice threads on the forums from all the idiots who were crying that they had done nothing and then shown the chat logs of them abusing someone.

    Edit: that’s not to say that anyone shouldn’t create a clan just for themselves if that’s how they feel more comfortable. There are a lot of terrible people. And currently I’m updating my block list.

  120. pepperfez says:

    That’s hardly a fair point to make, I have never encounter racism directed at me in a game, though I get called a fitly nigger quite regularly on battlefield and other fps games.
    You in fact have encountered racism directed at you, it just didn’t stick because you’re white.

  121. pepperfez says:

    But wouldn’t it be nice if cis* players could explicitly identify themselves as not hostile to trans* people? Because I, for one, don’t want to have anything to do with bigots in my games, even if their bigotry isn’t aimed at me.

  122. pepperfez says:

    Most of the violence committed against everyone is committed by people close to them. That’s neither here nor there with respect to transpeople’s experiences of harassment and abuse.

  123. pepperfez says:

    You’re being extremely silly. This is a gaming website, these are gaming issues. It affects all gamers when women and sexual minorities are made unwelcome in online games at least as much as when the quantity of graphics in the annual manshoot is too small, so a gaming website should address it. The fact that not all of them do should be a mark of shame.

  124. Kaeoschassis says:

    Any issue related to gaming is, well, fair game when your website is dedicated to articles on, y’know, games. Any issue. People already complain emphatically when RPS bring up issues on equality and fairness in games, how do you think people would react if they started bringing up issues that had nothing to do with games whatsoever?
    Game site, game issues, seems fine to me.


  125. pepperfez says:

    But people are different, and have different life experiences and needs. Sometimes you want to be in a place where you can talk about your experiences without having to explain or justify them, and that’s perfectly normal and not a threat to non-discriminatory society.