Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Ixo RPs Being Black

/sigh

Oh, World of Warcraft. Why must you remind me every so often why I don't bother even trying to get my wife to play you? That, were she to log in and find trade channel flooded one day about Those Fucking Japs and Their Slanty Eyed Bitch Women, she might question what it is I find engaging about the game in the first place? Oh, honey, don't mind Moxxi, he's just a white guy, and when white people get on the internet, they use the internet cloaking field in a unique way... they become anonymous, but they insist on letting everyone know they're anonymous WHITE PEOPLE, and proceed to drag themselves back and forth in the shit trough of Trade, trying to outdo each other in complete and utter foulness. There are things I like about WoW, but a lot of the time, I'd be embarrased if anyone I knew read what I read day in and day out in Ogrimmar trade while trying to get a group together for whatever... HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A BLACK WOMAN TO TAKE A SHIT? 9 MONTHS LOLOL GET IT? You stay classy, Trade chat. Ugh.

So here's me, proving a point. Moxxi, a paladin on my server is especially... um... ignorable. I usually get him on there pretty quick, but today I was on my rogue, leveling around the mid forties. Out of nowhere, he (or apparently, someone on his account, see below) calls someone out as "being a nigger IRL", and suggests that we should lynch said person. I reply with '...' and for some reason he decides to take it into tells at that point. Just to try and illustrate a point, that not everyone on the internet is a white male, I tell him I'm black. Maybe it will give him pause.

(I've tweaked the color here a bit to help distinguish tells to and from)

As I said, I usually have this guy on ignore. So within an hour of logging on my rogue, I come across this. Lord knows how much he's doing, day in and day out while I'm on my priest or warlock or warrior, all which have him muted.

Again, I'm not trying to rescue WoW, or even say anything is going to change here, but I just don't understand

1) the NEED to be as much of an offensive asshole as possible (yes, the internet dickwad theory, blah blah, it's not new)

2) Blizzard's complete disregard in cases like this.

Just for kicks, I opened a ticket, explaining that I was black, and that I found this offensive. This is purely for the point of this article. Nothing will happen. That's the only point I'm trying to make. I don't usually report people, because I know this to be the case.

You'll notice that my only public response was '...', and that our mutual friend here immediately went into 'niggers are inferior' mode in private tells without breaking stride. Maybe he has Nigger Macros™. Blizzard won't take any action against this account, though, because that's a lost subscription. The most they'll do is put a 3 hour ban on it (probably while he sleeps), and Moxxi will be right back in Trade after a healthy, balanced breakfast, and ready to take on the Jews or the Chinese. Yes, mother Blizzard doesn't wish to lose Moxxi's 15 dollars a month, but is there just NO precedent for someone that just gets tired of their inaction and quits the game because they're sick of seeing it? How must it feel for someone that's actually black, to know they enjoy the game, but just have to ignore all the dipshits tryign to look tough for their e-thug pals (ironic that they're acting like tough ghetto youth, the same thing they're demonizing)? Maybe black people are just used to Internet Whiteboy Syndrome already?

Leave trade chat.

There's a solution, except why should we as consumers need to limit our exposure to the full game, when we aren't the ones crapping all over it? I don't enable the 'Mature Language Filter', because I don't care if someone says fuck (there, I just said it myself), but Fucking Nigger Bitch That Should Swing By The Neck is kind of another story. Plus, I'm mature. I'm an adult. I think of that toggle switch as something for your 8 year old son, but who wants their son playing this garbage?

I just had a birthday, and I've just managed to reach the far side of that oh so coveted 18-34 year old demographic. I'm old. Like dirt. I think this is one of the reasons I'm more interested in thinking of formulas or systems for MMOs. Playing them is wearing a little thin, but it's something I enjoy doing. I'm not sure how much longer I can go on 'just playing' them, though. The first M is starting to grate on me, and I'm running out of patience to just wade through the bullshit looking for a reason to enjoy my time in Azeroth. With the genre getting bigger (or having gotten this big, even if its growth is slowing), there are just too many idiots to trip over on the way to check my mail.

When does a new version of Halo come out? Isn't anyone working on that? Jeez, hurry it up already. The last version that came out left WoW a ghost town for a week or so.

That was nice. : /

44 comments:

Hatch said...

Yep. Just, yep.

Especially love the "nothing against your race, but..." part.

And the "how dare you steal our racist word!" part.

Sigh.

Blizzard, are you listening. If ANYTHING will get me to quit your game, it's this kind of shit. And do you really think Moxxi is a valuable customer?

And also: Hey Blizz, it's more profitable to force the racist douchebag to buy a new copy of the game every time you BAN HIM. And you still get the $15 too! Get on it.

Justin said...

happy belated birthday

Lantana said...

THANK YOU for this post! This is something that simply blows my mind in WoW. I honestly hadn't heard talk like that offline in... gah, I have no idea how long. Do people just want to stir things up? Are they feeling suddenly free to say things they'd get slapped for offline because they feel there are no consequences? WHY?! I ask you, WHY?!

One week in Trade there was a level 2 player, "progirlgamer" spamming, "i am looking for down to earth players that want to quest with me. yes, i am a girl but i just want to be treated equally ^_^ plz send me a pink message if you are intersted [sic]. i am new to world of warcraft but i am good at other games :)"

This, as it was designed to do, elicited a flood of nasty responses, including "helpful" advice like, "if you want to be treated equally, you don't advertise that you're a girl".

This progirlgamer was obviously someone trying to stir things up, because not only was that initial post spammed, it was spammed for days, and she never moved from level 2 (besides, how does a "new" level 2 make it to the cities to post to Trade?!).

But the vitriol.... oh my. So much hate, people. Get over it!

Vadren said...

You're likely wrong about Blizzard doing nothing over your report. The person you reported probably got a three hour ban. Blizzard just doesn't send off a follow up "hey we'd like you to know we totally canned the douche bag who was being politically incorrect." Despite how satisfying it would be to know someone got what they deserved. Repeat offenses are also supposed to result in a perma ban.

It's actually quite easy to get temp banned for language. I've known many many people who have received temp bans for saying 'wtf' or other acronyms that include fuck. 'fthepolice' is another example. You just won't find many people who bother to report these things. And usually when they do it's used as a way to grief the other due to a totally separate incident.

Ixobelle said...

yeah, i mentioned the three hour ban thing, but it seems like less than a slap on the wrist. Maybe more along the lines of a 'disapproving eyeroll'.

I can imagine in any (serious) business establishment, were I to shout about niggers and lynching, not only would I be shown the door, I would be told not to come back, like ever.

In WoW, you're put in the corner for 5 minutes, then allowed back out to do it again.

Darraxus said...

It really surprises me how much of this that goes on. The most recent trend I have noticed is people talking about god and religion blah blah. And then the anti religious who talk shit back. Its annoying.

Tragedyx said...

Don't know if you remember "Belure". He was a rogue, and he whined alot. Anyways, he and Fifty didn't get along well. One day he flipped out and called Fifty a spick during a raid. Fifty opened a ticket and told a GM. Nothing happened. So he opened another ticket and talked to another GM. Again, nothing. He then opened tickets pretty much every few hours for a couple days demanding action be taken. Blizzard banned Belure's account. Completely banned, not 3 hour.

I report people I don't like for swearing, I report all farmers and bots, etc. But unless you REALLY drive the point home they usually won't do anything.

I grew up as part of the only white family within 3 blocks. I learned to fight fairly quickly growing up and learned that white people aren't the only racists. I also managed to overcome a prejudice, despite getting jumped while walking home from school and just trying to live normally. But it takes intelligence to realize that skin color doesn't mean shit and people are a product of their environment and society. That, coupled with the fact that the most vocal people in WoW generally lack common sense, rationality, and embrace their ignorance as though it's some religion they need to echo, we're left with all the chat channels filled with babble and idiocy.

Not everyone in WoW is a racist, ignorant, cousin fucking moron - but, just like real life, those same people always have to be vocal and grab attention in whatever way they can.

(BTW, I know over the years i've said some incredibly racist, misogynist, and just very bad terrible things, but I also haven't meant a word of it considering I now live in a mixed race family and we generally just bash each other for fun.)

Krunchy said...

I remember Belure. Now that I think about it, I seem to remember that a lot of people Fifty didn't like ended up either banned or gkicked. Anyway, I find from experience that a lot of people don't really care about the random Teurette's-like racist wailings of random people. Even when people said some cold shit to me (Cuban descent: all sorts of fun rafting in the Gulf and Communist jokes) since it really didn't have genuine maliciousness behind it I didn't really care.

As far as Blizz, I think they know this and will be more than willing to hand out suspensions. Now, if someone takes it too far and really starts being hateful in chat logs (or if someone harasses the shit out of GMs) then you might see a permaban for internet racism.

I dunno, I just never saw the point of getting worked up over internet racism when people don't get worked up about it in real life a lot of the time anyway.

Arkenor said...

Ugh.

There is so much foulness in MMO global chats, and I think to an extent it gives us a window into how far society still has to go, or at least the portion of society that plays MMOs.

MMO companies do not do nearly enough to stop it. Of course, if the CS you get though to shares similar views on race, he's unlikely to be very helpful. I'd probably be willing to pay a premium for a server where conduct rules were ruthlessly enforced, seeing as money seems to be their prime motivator.

Hirvox said...

One of the funny things about EvE is that antisocial behavior in-character is completely allowed, but out-of-character douchebaggery is met with a swift ban. As a result, pirates, scammers and notorious PvPers are some of the most well-spoken people out there.

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

Part of the issue here is that there will always be racist people. Online, it's easier to say stupid racist (or other bigoted) stuff and not worry too much about it.

I got a rude awakening about this when I was playing text MUDs. I decided to roll a female character for an alt. I wanted to try out the Rogue class, and the leader of the profession came by personally to help me. He lead me through different areas to get me gear, then in the middle of nowhere started emoting kisses, etc. Very awkward, and it was the last time I really played the character. I knew the guy on my main character, so it was extra creepy. I never told him it was me, though.

For what it's worth, I've punished quite a few people from Meridian 59 who said stuff that was nowhere near as offensive as that screencap was. One time I teleported a character out into the middle of a group of people after he told a pedophilia-related joke on general chat so that he could be killed. For a while, he had a page online complaining about what I did; so, there was a page out there with my pseudonym and "pedophilia" on it. Yeah....

Now all the commenters on here can share that fun! :)

Stabs said...

There is a certain amount of peer pressure. A guy like this would be gkicked by many guilds or ignore listed by other players.

To some extent these people presumably thrive on that kind of rejection and feel encouraged by it. The more extreme they behave the more outrage and attention they provoke.

Game mechanics have a lot to do with the behaviour too. In WoW making enemies doesn't really hurt you. In Darkfall if you act like this you better have at least 50 like-minded friends to back you up.

In other news today's Word Verification is botorks. How apt!

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I'd say Blizzard *completely* ignores issues like this. I reported a character on Aerie Peak named Jigaboo and he got "disappeared" and I got a nice apology note via in-game mail from Blizzard.

Granted it was probably a form letter, and imho they should be actively filtering for words like that, but I can't say I was ignored.

Ho Ho said...

"The most recent trend I have noticed is people talking about god and religion blah blah. And then the anti religious who talk shit back. Its annoying."

Perhaps they talk back because religious talk to them feels offensive? E.g some of them might think that people who believe in imaginary friends are not quite OK or something similar.


There are stupid people all over the world, no matter the race, religion, skin color, sex or age. Relative anonymousness of internet just makes them feel safer to express their stupidity in various ways. I've been called lots of things but I've not taken anything personally because I feel there is no need for it. Why should I care what some random person on the net tells me?



Also, when talking about racism I find it quite funny how you seem to think all the people talking crap in wow and other public places are white instead of any other race. Hypocrite much? :)

Ixobelle said...

touche- I guess I should have included more screenshots of the white power "movement". Our screenshot above clearly illustrates being white. In all honesty, I think it's a pretty safe blanket statement to make, but I suppose I should have provided more background on it.

I don't pretend people other than whites aren't racist, but young white males typically seem to have the most 'gusto' for it in online games. They're racist, sexist, and PROUD OF IT. I'm not proposing any sweeping changes to rulesets or anything, this post is mostly just me rolling my eyes aloud as I log out and shut down my system for the night.

Ho Ho said...

"young white males typically seem to have the most 'gusto' for it in online games"

How can you make up people's skin colour by just looking at what they type? My guild has at least one black guy and he is probably the first one to make any kind of "nigga" joke.


Logical conclusion would be that you are a minority and therefore there are much less black people to do those things. As I said before, stupidity doesn't care about race or skin colour.



I'm playing in EU realm and we have very few non-white people around here. Not counting the regular anal spam the trade chat seems to be mostly half-decent. I've yet to notice any racial or religious arguments there but it could be that in general people in EU are less religious and our minorities make up a very small part of population compared to US. Perhaps if we had at least 30% of coloured/religious people things might be different.

Zanthor said...

Blizzard really does need to swing the banstick on these a lot harder. The 3 hour ban is nothing unless it's immediate, and even then it's unlikely to dissuade many users.

I personally think that blizzard needs to keep a rolling scale of reports for something like this...

One report, you're tagged for 30 days - 3 hour ban for the first offense.

Second report inside 30 days, you're now tagged for 90 days and get a 72 hour ban.

Third report inside those 90 days and you are tagged for 6 months, and you get a 7 day ban.

After that, you've proven you are a drain on society and should be banned from the game.

AcidCat said...

Well if there's one positive to this whole fiasco - I found your blog! Somehow I didn't know it existed. Thanks to brokentoys for the link.

Android8675 said...

I got some EverQuest 1 conversations along the same nature. I was simply reading, but I saved the chaotic banter to remind me that people are just mean, words hurt, and MMO companies are pretty hands off when it comes to these issues, which is sad, and a bit naive.

At 10+ mil though you should take a stand against these kinds of people, but it's hard to police this kind of stuff, takes a lot of resources, etc, but really what's a couple thousand bad apples really worth loosing customers you really want to have playing your game?

What're the RP servers like in WoW? Just as bad, or better?

isildur said...

I play on an RP server. I keep Trade and General turned off at all times, because this behavior is quite common despite the 'RP' tag next to the server name.

Except that in addition to racism, misogyny, and general idiocy, we also get long arguments about what is and isn't 'real' roleplaying.

Tholal said...

Out him on the server forums, along with the screenshot of his talk. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Phaedra said...

If you've ever checked out the Customer Service Forum for WoW, you can see Blue GM (it's GMs who work that forum) that post on how strongly they feel about hate speech. In most cases, it's NOT a 3 hour ban right away -- it's something worse. And there's a penalty volcano. Everytime that person is reported, they move up, until that account perma-banned.

However, these reports have to be generated by the players. GMs aren't normally just chilling in chat. Report, report, report. Have your friends report. Sure, it's a pain, but if people keep reporting these awful, awful people, Blizzard DOES take action. You just have to initiate it.

Anonymous said...

I used to run a LAN gaming center. Our main customer base was 12-20 year old, middle-to-upper-class, foul-mouthed, testorerone-filled, highly caffienated white males.

To this day, I cannot play World of Warcraft, Counter-strike, or Halo, just because I would rather not game with a community that is made up of people like my former customers.

Much like Blizzard, however, I was more than happy to take their money and let them type smack-talk to each other all day long.

Bottom Line: Find a game with a better community. There are tons out there.

highlatencylife said...

http://www.pennyarcademerch.com/pat070381.html


So true.

There was a day when it was confined to just Barrens Chat....*sigh* those days are long gone.

tiernoc said...

Cross linked from Broken Toys,

Definately agree with you about the filth from trade chat. Something that would probably help would be if whenever an account got banned instead of sending a nice quiet email to the account holder instead they mailed a letter containing the offense, and the action taken.

It might disuade some of these little monsters (who would probably not have anything to say to you in person) if someone else were to open the mail and read the things they were saying.

I guess in short: to make them publiclly acountable for their actions.

Halls of Shame for the banned are a great idea as well.

Pelle said...

Pardon my ignorance, but what the heck is a Jigaboo?

Also, unless something magic happened lately, there's still a rogue named Skagpunny on ravenholdt (Heroin pu**y) (checks armory)

yep, still there. I got a warning for repeatedly appealing the name.

Anonymous said...

This turns me off a game faster than anything else.

For a while I played "Silk Road Online", an Asia based MMO where the ability to do "shout" or zone chat was available only as a real money purchase item.

There has never been a game with as vile chat as that one and it was completely international so you'd have people bashing the Irish, the Azerbayjan, Kurds, and groups you'd need an atlas to locate. The violence and derogatory threats also had a particularly extreme tone. One player informed us that after beheading a particular ethnic players mother he would then rape her throat. And this was a particular money making feature for the game company! That was the last straw for me.

You just don't get that kind of insane goodness here in the US.

Sure, no company can monitor every bit of text in a game but by responding swiftly and strongly to harrassment reports from players, especially in the first few months, a norm can be established that empowers civility. No system is perfect but no system can work without taking player reporting seriously.

War said...

Do you really think these people are actually racist? I would think it is more about attention whoring than anything else.

tkioz said...

okay I agree with almost everything you said, wow is a cesspool of racist and sexist twerps, but come-on, "just a white guy"?

I'm a white guy and find what he said offensive, but just because there are some white people out there that are dickwads that's no excuse to label us all with the same brush.

Being an asshat isn't a racial thing, its a human thing. I've met morons of every skin-tone that make me ashamed to be of the same species as them.

Amantis said...

I'm aware that you are apparently not black so this point following will seem moot, but in the spirit of RP, it really is not. To a lesser degree there is an awful lot of hypocrisy in your post. I just felt the need to point this out to you, no followup necessary.
"when white people get on the internet" "anonymous WHITE PEOPLE" "Internet Whiteboy Syndrome"

Ixobelle said...

THIS JUST IN:

White people hate being reminded that they're white.

Film at eleven.

Anonymous said...

FFS, if you're worth more than the queen, you can bloody well hire a small crew to monitor the damn chat channels at all times and ban these fucktards back to the stone age.. Or maybe send them to the middle east, and they'll get stoned back to the ban age..

How about hiring some of the gold farmers? They obviously need money, and they work cheep.

I just can't imagine, like you mentioned, someone playing their first MMO, the mighty WoW, Slayer of all MMO World Records, and the first thing they get to experience is the scum of humanity..

Shame on you, Blizzard. From a lesser game company, maybe some slack could be allowed, but when you're making 80 gigabillion a minute, there's just no excuse...

War said...

"FFS, if you're worth more than the queen, you can bloody well hire a small crew to monitor the damn chat channels at all times and ban these fucktards back to the stone age.. Or maybe send them to the middle east, and they'll get stoned back to the ban age.."


That is just plain stupid. How many people does it take to monitor everything that is typed by 12 million players? 100k? Small? uh huh...

And even then everything is subjective. What is offensive to one person is humor to another. If you see something offensive, report it. Blizzard is not your mom shielding you from the bullies.

f said...

I think part of the problem is these kids don't realize "transgression" has ben done to death already. It's like they think there's actually something fresh or new about their boringly juvenile behavior.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I thought our trade chat was bad but that guy steals the A-hole of the year award!
I really couldn't even read the whole thing... it made me want to puke. When I log onto my character I become who she is..night elf not some white chick at a computer.. I thought that was the beauty of WoW. You don't know who the person is behind the character, and any stereotypes of the real world should drop away. As a woman, I have seen lots of crude, and offensive things on trade, and I try to chalk it up to teenagers that don't get enough attention from their parents. These people who spout this crap off are hungry for attention anyway they can get it. I think it would be interesting to see how long they would keep saying this crap if no one commented on it. They are like trade chat arsonists, they get off on lighting a spark and seeing how intense the fire gets.

Daniel A. said...

halo 4 can't come soon enough. great writing - spreading it around.

Ixobelle said...

just as a followup:

Moxxi is still doing just fine, so no action (or at least nothing permanent) came of my ticket.

GG Blizz.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that a post regarding racism practically opens up with it.

"he's just a white guy, and when white people get on the internet, they use the internet cloaking field in a unique way... they become anonymous, but they insist on letting everyone know they're anonymous WHITE PEOPLE, and proceed to drag themselves back and forth in the shit trough of Trade, trying to outdo each other in complete and utter foulness."

I'm not excusing the behavior of these offenders by any means. But you need to hold yourself to the same standard you put on people when you get on a soapbox.

Tonio said...

I came to this post by way of Brokentoys. Fantastic post -- I've seen so many cases of this and, as you say, Blizzard doesn't want to lose their $15. (No-one in the US business world seems to understand the value of having a reputation any more.)

Well said.

Anonymous said...

My husband sent me this post and I thought it was very interesting and totally spot on. I've seen similar comments in WoW about ethnic and religious minorities and about women. It's all such a turn off to what is otherwise a fun game.

I've often wondered if the source is as you suggest, anonymity and a desire to demonstrate one's "whiteness" or if it is a basic assumption on the part of these individuals that all other gamers are white, Christian, and male.

Cocaloch said...

Well as much as I detest this kind of behavior, we should think do we really want Blizzard to censor people like this. I mean he was an ass, but really, giving them the go ahead to do that seems like a bad idea to me.

Jim said...

They don't do anything because you're allowed to say whatever you want in this country even if it is racist nonsense like what Moxxi said. He's allowed to call people niggers just like you're allowed to post racist generalizations like:

"when white people get on the internet, they use the internet cloaking field in a unique way"

Moxxi is an idiot and clearly offensive. But I'm sure he offends many white people as well with these comments. Racist assholes (be they white, black, Asian or whatever) are part of the reason I stopped playing WoW.

mike said...

Great post, and all too true and common in any online community. :( Sadly, from a purely financial standpoint it makes COMPLETE sense to not ban racist people.

If Blizzard bans someone for being racist, they lose a customer. Chances are said racist is enraged and offended someone would "censor" him/her and they don't come back.

If Blizzard doesn't ban the racist person, they MIGHT lose a customer. But chances are, the person complaining doesn't quit and instead just files it under the "resigned resentment" category. Sum loss to Blizzard: Zero.

Now if the opposite was true, and being racist actually COST Blizzard money...then I think we'd see some results.

Anonymous said...

"""""" "The most recent trend I have noticed is people talking about god and religion blah blah. And then the anti religious who talk shit back. Its annoying."

Perhaps they talk back because religious talk to them feels offensive? E.g some of them might think that people who believe in imaginary friends are not quite OK or something similar.


There are stupid people all over the world, no matter the race, religion, skin color, sex or age. Relative anonymousness of internet just makes them feel safer to express their stupidity in various ways. I've been called lots of things but I've not taken anything personally because I feel there is no need for it. Why should I care what some random person on the net tells me?



Also, when talking about racism I find it quite funny how you seem to think all the people talking crap in wow and other public places are white instead of any other race. Hypocrite much? :) """""


- That's the most intelligent comment I saw on this. Makes perfect sense.


"""There are stupid people all over the world, no matter the race, religion, skin color, sex or age. Relative anonymousness of internet just makes them feel safer to express their stupidity in various ways. I've been called lots of things but I've not taken anything personally because I feel there is no need for it. Why should I care what some random person on the net tells me?"""
= Perfect observation of this kind of shit.