We had a very interesting conversation last night on Twitter with a person who clearly thought we were not only “ignorant” but “narrow minded” about this very subject as they obviously didn’t agree with our opinion. We aren’t asking you to agree, but we do hope you will understand and not name call in your response.
Let me enlighten you.
We both have an extreme non-tolerance policy for any names we may stumble across in game that we think are offensive, abusive or derogatory. This is for a number of reasons:
- To protect the community. There are members of our community who are vulnerable and underage. These people need to be protected – as far as we are able – against bad language, bad attitude and bad behaviour by other players. This is why Blizzard have a censoring system in place, report features and T&Cs. This is why the community is asked to be vigilant against offensive names as they are unable to police it completely themselves. It is a community issue.
- To make our experience better. We don’t want to see foul language and foul names in game. Simples.
- To fight against racism, sexism and abuse. If we are not being proactive, we are not being good citizens. These issues are current and ripe in our community and they shouldn’t be. If we don’t actively fight against it, there is something seriously wrong with us.
- This is a game, not the playground. We, as adults, should not be using names like “shitdipper” or “rétard” (etc etc). WE ARE NOT 12 YEARS OLD and we should be creative enough to come up with a name that’s acceptable and follows the naming guidelines. Seriously.
A common poster in schools. Its meaning is simple and effective, yet as adults, we often forget it.
The name Mr B reported yesterday was “Blackpuff”.
The word “puff” in the Midlands (UK) is hugely offensive, used by kids in the playground as a derogatory term for a gay person. Other areas have variations like “poof” and “puffter” both of which, in our opinion, are as vile. Obviously, to put the word ‘black’ in front of it insinuates offensive racial issues. Not good.
Regardless of whether it was meant offensively, or whether someone else does not find it offensive, the fact that a whole area of the UK uses the word as a homophobic insult is enough to justify its removal. Imagine if a young, easily influenced, person logs on to WoW for the first time and sees that type of name in LFR, what kind of example is that of the company and the community?
We aren’t robots, there are some extremely funny names out there. We also realise that some people may report things a bit pedantically, but when it crosses into racism, sexism or bad language we WILL report it. We have heard the argument that we are naive and “Welcome to the Internet” many times, but you can argue with us, or call us as many names as you like, it will not change our opinion on this subject.
The more stringent the community is on these types of issues, the better experience we will have. Team effort, people.