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Role Playing (Games) Your Rights Online

No Same Sex Marriage In World of Warcraft? 820

Posted by Zonk
from the i-can't-say-anything-because-i-can't-say-anything-nice dept.
Previously, we discussed a World of Warcraft guild representative getting reprimanded for mentioning same-sex relationships while advertising their organization. The subject hasn't been dropped in the intervening days, with GamePolitics providing an update to the community's reaction. Additionally, a Cathode Tan post links to a supposed discussion with a GM that kind of wrecks their whole equal treatment statement. From that post: "[GM] Anyone can report and we will take appropriate action. While it may seem ok because they are truly a heterosexual couple in real life, in game they are two females. Please keep in mind, you need to worry about the other players. While I do understand where you are coming from, there are those who do not have the maturity"
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No Same Sex Marriage In World of Warcraft?

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  • by b4k3d b34nz (900066) on Friday February 03, 2006 @05:58PM (#14638055)
    ...queer, even.
  • by MoxCamel (20484) * on Friday February 03, 2006 @05:59PM (#14638059)
    Say what you want about it being Blizzard's game and they can set the rules blah blah, but they damn well better set the rules for everyone. This notion that some of their players aren't mature enough to be tolerant is bunk.

    Obplug for my friend's blog, but I think she says it best: [ambernight.org]

    "...having spent a little time in World of Warcraft myself, I would have to agree that a large number of WoW players really are poop-flingers who can't even spell tolerance, let alone practice it. But if I were one of the few non-gold-farming players left in WoW, I think I would be insulted by [Blizzards] response, no matter how I felt about GLBT guilds. And what about the Christian WoW guilds? Will Blizzard shut them down too?"

    Mox

    • by Krach42 (227798) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:02PM (#14638080) Homepage Journal
      In other news, homosexual marriages in the United States are not legal, because "while you may be ok with it, some other people in the world, might not have your maturity level."
      • by Golias (176380) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:11PM (#14638172)
        Actually, homosexual marriages in the US are not legal because it's a back-door way (pardon the pun) to get in on all that sweet graft of economic and legal incentives which were intended to keep the parents of children together.

        The hypocracy here is that men and women who are incapable of producing their own biological offspring are still allowed to get married, even though they are no different (procreatively speaking) from gay couples.

        Being a libertarian, of course, I'm all for dropping all those freebies (and slashing everybody's taxes to make up for it) and then letting anybody marry anybody or anything they choose... but alas, libertarian nut-jobs like me never get elected to anything.
        • "Being a libertarian, of course, I'm all for dropping all those freebies (and slashing everybody's taxes to make up for it) and then letting anybody marry anybody or anything they choose..."

          Not so fast! I've made my platform on the fact that people should not be allowed to marry earthworms!

          Now on the more serious side, the real problem is that most people have no idea what they want. All they know is that they like bread and circuses* and that so long as the party(ies) in power provide that they are not i
        • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kHORSEe ... minus herbivore> on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:29PM (#14638351) Homepage
          The laws around marrige and finances have nothing to do with what you're taking about. The reasoning behind it all is that if you are married to someeone, it is for all intents and purposes impossible for someone to accuratly track what is yours and what is your partners. Therefore there needs to be provisions for that, in the income tax act, in the housing act, etc etc.

          The reason you can move your deductions onto your partners return and vice-versa, to get the tax breaks, is because even if there was no law allowing it **you could do it anyway**, because they would never be able to prove whose actual deduction it was in the first place, since you likely have joint accounts etc etc.

          • by isotope23 (210590) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:42PM (#14638472) Homepage Journal
            Please. You can create a contract spelling out who owns what (it would be equivalent to your argument). Indeed you could do this for a spouse, business partner, child etc.

            The REAL reason for marriage licenses goes back to Miscegenation e.g. racial
            mixing. [originalintent.org]

            Frankly I have always found it offensive that the state thinks it can force you to get permission and pay them in order to marry someone.
        • by Eccles (932) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:40PM (#14638456) Journal
          Freebies? More like higher taxes if you both earn decent livings, because more of your income is in the upper brackets. I would have saved a lot of money -- not to mention been eligible for IRAs*, more dependent care reimbursement, etc. -- if I wasn't married. Sure we get tax breaks for dependents, but they would have saved each of us individually exactly the same amount they save us as married's. The only married couples that get a break are ones where one spouse doesn't work outside the home. Look up "marriage penalty" sometime. If you earn about the same amount (like my wife and I do), it's especially heinous, because qualification for Roth IRAs, etc. is capped for married couples' combined income at substantially less than twice the limit for singles.

          So sorry, but your claim is nonsense. Gays want to get married because they want to make the formal commitment that is recognized by society, and "freebies" like right of inheritance, next of kin status for medical issues, etc. that don't cost the rest of us a dime (save possibly in estate taxes.)

          * In the mid-90's, I was working a job with no retirement benefits. I could not open a traditional IRA because my wife had retirement benefits from her job. Those benefits were in no way larger because she was married.

          A real-world example:
          "Roth IRA Income Limits
          You can contribute to a Roth IRA if your adjusted gross income is below these limits:

          Full $2,000 contribution
          Single/Head of household Up to $95,000
          Married filing jointly Up to $150,000" -- from quicken.com

          Got a couple where one earns $90K, one $80K? Single, they could both do full Roth contributions. Married? $0.
        • Even more hypocritical is the tacit assumption that homosexuals don't have children. I'm in favor of gay marriage because I'm pro-family, and I firmly beleive children with two mommies or two daddies deserve to have all the benefits that children with 1 mommy and 1 daddy have... and yet those same people seeking to make certain types of families unlawful claim they are doing it because they are "pro-family"!

          I personally know lesbian couples who have had children through artificial insemination and a gay co

    • by Doggan (945328) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:08PM (#14638140) Homepage
      This is as I warned! First you allow interracial marriage- Humans and gnomes, dwarves and tauren. Disgusting! Now these same groups want to take a step further. Two troll males as fathers?!? This is unnatural! They cannot have children. This is not the way it is supposed to be. They should not be allowed to adopt either. Can you imagine the poor child with two Tauren daddies? Or two undead mommies? Inconceivable!

      The next thing you know, these same groups will be preaching polygamy. Kalimdor cannot support this! It is a slippery slope!

      **disclaimer** /please don't take these comments seriously ;p
    • "This notion that some of their players aren't mature enough to be tolerant is bunk. "

      Yes, all those *tolerant* 12-year-olds. /snicker
    • There's been some really nice anti-semitism in Ogrimmar's general chat and trade channels on my server as well.
    • This notion that some of their players aren't mature enough to be tolerant is bunk.

      Bull! Heard in Barrens Chat:

      chuck norris will round kick some tolerence into you!

      Vin Diesel could cut teh tolorence on this server with his erect nipples!

      YOUR MOM!

    • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:17PM (#14638230)
      And what about the Christian WoW guilds? Will Blizzard shut them down too?

      Straw man. Blizzard has already said that gay-friendly guilds are fine - it's the advertisement in-game of guilds based around RL controversies like sexual orientation, religion, nationality, etc., that is not. They've also said that if guilds wish to recruit based specifically on these qualities (and can do it without disparaging those of differing qualities), they are welcome to use the official guild recruiting forum on their website (an out-of-game resource) to do so.

    • Say what you want about it being Blizzard's game and they can set the rules blah blah, but they damn well better set the rules for everyone. This notion that some of their players aren't mature enough to be tolerant is bunk.

      Corporations do not have a moral right to participate in bigotry.

      We have the power of the pure here and damned right we are going to hurt them. As we just showed Ford motors, it is bad business to back hate groups.

      Either Blizzard are going to eat humble pie pronto or they are goin

  • This says it all: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:02PM (#14638079) Journal
    "[Sylveri] So we suffer because of their lack of maturity"

    Yes. That's almost always the case. Because other people are too sensitive and might get their feelings hurt by seeing/hearing things they object to, it's in Blizzard's best interest to put a muzzle on things that are potentially offensive or would cause other problems ("LOL FAGS").

    It's an interesting variation on being politically correct, but that's really all it is.
    • Because other people are too sensitive and might get their feelings hurt by seeing/hearing things they object to, it's in Blizzard's best interest to put a muzzle on things that are potentially offensive or would cause other problems ("LOL FAGS").

      I don't agree, because:
      - Discriminating against homosexuals is offensive in itself, it's not reasonable to be offensive in order to prevent being potentially offensive
      - There is an infinite amount of things that people are potentially offended by. Not least of

      • - Discriminating against homosexuals is offensive in itself, it's not reasonable to be offensive in order to prevent being potentially offensive

        It's not only offensive, it's also illegal, at least in Europe.

    • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:19PM (#14638252)
      In some parts of the world, anti-gay propaganda is frowned upon.
      In some parts of the world, pro-gay propaganda is frowned upon.

      The only way to satisfy people globally, is banning such kind of talk -- in a game, it is TOTALLY out-of-character anyway. Thus, while somewhat limitting the freedom of speech, it bans only topics that are not appropiate to the topic of the game. If you want to discuss outside things, nothing can prevent you from using any outside forum.

      I used to be a high-ranking but sub-admin coder on a MUD. We enforced PG13 rules (no swearing, etc), and, while allowing OOC talk in general, we stopped (first by a verbal warning, then another one on the record, then a ban from global comm channels, and in egregious cases with a removal of the character) some topics that are grossly out-of-place. Such topics included talks about someone's sexual exploits, racial and sexual harassment, and yeah, pro-gay and anti-gay propaganda.
      You are free to talk about any topic you want, but you are not free to talk about them everywhere. On private property (like a game), the game admins have the right to remove you for not complying with the rules.
      • by Krach42 (227798) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:38PM (#14638437) Homepage Journal
        You are free to talk about any topic you want, but you are not free to talk about them everywhere. On private property (like a game), the game admins have the right to remove you for not complying with the rules.

        Yeah, I have this diner, and we only serve white people. Because since it's private property, we can chose to deny service to anyone we want!
        • by tsm_sf (545316) * on Friday February 03, 2006 @07:05PM (#14638657) Journal
          How do they taste?
        • by Hays (409837)
          That's a terrible analogy.

          The correct analogy is this- I have this diner. Anyone is allowed to eat there, we welcome all races and sexual preferences. However, if either a white supremacist or a civil rights worker starts inviting people to their table based on their views, we'll ask them to leave. This is a place to eat, and interacting with our patrons concerning a potentially divisive issue is not welcome, regardless of which side of the issue people fall on.
          • by rjstanford (69735)
            However, we will stand by quietly while tables of hooded klansmen gather, or panthers, of avon representatives, or any other group, until we see people mentioning that table 9 is a fun place to be if you're gay. Then we'll enforce the rule.
        • Mod Parent Down (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nazmun (590998)
          Totally incorrect comparison that illustrates a lack of understanding of real wow rules. Gays are not banned from forming a guild for themselves. They just cannot openly advertise in the general channel annoying everyone. They can advertise on the online guild recruitment board.

          A more accurate comparison to the diner example would be. You have a table with 3 gay peoples. They decide to stand up on their chair and SCREAM so that everyone in the vicinity can hear them to join their table of gay people.
      • by Knuckles (8964)
        in a game, it is TOTALLY out-of-character anyway.

        Looking [worldofwarcraft.com] at the girl on the left I wouldn't get the idea that in-game characters do not have or talk about their sexuality.
      • Ahh, yes. Gotta stop that "pro-gay propaganda." I can just see it now:

        "Hey, I see you always hang around Lagamorph. Are you two buddies?"
        "No, we're a couple."
        "But your character is male too!"
        "Yes. We are a gay couple."
        "ALERT! ALERT! PRO-GAY PROPAGANDA!!! PRO-GAY PROPAGANDA!!!!"

        And what is the anti-gay propaganda? "I, Lord Flagron, heterosexual (did I mention I'm straight? NOT GAY? Because being gay is BAD!) will give you five gold crowns for that grain (which I will use as a HETEROSEXUAL, because I am NOT

      • All I'm saying is if you send 40 male dwarfs down into a mine for a month, all alone, something is going to happen. And then when Hurin Little-Too-Manly and Glib Lightboots finally emerge from the mine and return home, if you don't let them talk about things and work out their feelings with their family, the shit is going to hit the fan.
  • It's a GAME!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GReaToaK_2000 (217386) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:04PM (#14638096)
    What next?
    He's playing a Female character... That's not right!!!
    She's playing a Male Orc...

    It's a freaking Game. A ROLE playing game. This is insane...

    I can't believe this made it onto /.
    • by Mayhem178 (920970) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:14PM (#14638198)
      No kidding! 99% of the time, when I'm playing any kind of game, I'll choose to play a female character. After all, why would I want to spend all those countless hours of gaming staring at a guy's ass as I'm running around killing things?
      • by MrWa (144753)
        I always hated it when I accidently barged in on my roommate after he hit autorun with his female dark elf and wiggled across the vast openness of the Plains of Karana ...
    • Re:It's a GAME!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OverlordQ (264228)
      Wait a minute . . .

      Verizon own the pipes so they can do what they want with it
      Blizzard owns the WoW servers but they . . . can't do what they want with it?

      Oh noes, tell me it isn't so Slashdot!!
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:04PM (#14638102)
    > While it may seem ok because they are truly a heterosexual couple in real life, in game they are two females.

    As opposed to human females performing unspeakable acts with male gnomes, which is just fine. Date outside your species, just get the sex right.

    Reminds me of the old "Finding Nemo" joke.

    "Why are the fundies so mad about Finding Nemo?"
    "Because Ellen Degeneres is in it!"
    "She's a talking blue fish!"
    "Yeah, but she's a lesbian talking blue fish!"

  • Maturity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by umbrellasd (876984) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:05PM (#14638104)
    While I do understand where you are coming from, there are those who do not have the maturity.
    And there are children with two male parents. I bet they have the maturity to handle it.
  • Then perhaps a Mature server should be setup to set these kind of topic to rest, not sure how they could regulate that kind of scenario but then again.. that's not my job! And please give me a break, don't tell me there is a single teen out there that doesn't know about same sex couples.
  • Well.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Visceral Monkey (583103) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:07PM (#14638129)
    It's a game. And more importantly, a business. They will do whatever they need to to keep maximum profitabiliy.
  • Sanctity (Score:5, Funny)

    by The_Rippa (181699) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:09PM (#14638154)
    You know this will ruin the sanctity of online marriage.

    Maybe they should create a monster named Santorum that will unleash a frothy mixure of lube and fecal matter upon the players that choose to have a gay marriage
  • Ban marriage in the game. Tell me it's not easy to accomplish. Nothing can be as fair as that! Why does a MMORPG need marriage anyways??
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:14PM (#14638200)
    Hey, it's all 1's and 0's in WoW. And you can't have 1's consorting with other 1's while 0's consort with other 0's. Why if that happened the first time a big, nasty XOR came along everything would become nothing, and then where would you be?
  • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:18PM (#14638239) Homepage

    From TFA:

    "we do feel that the advertisement of a 'GLBT friendly' guild is very likely to result in harassment for players that may not have existed otherwise"

    So punish the harassers . Blizzard should sprout a pair and teach that intolerance will not be tolerated.

  • by Kawolski (939414) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:23PM (#14638296)
    It's just that the grooms involved don't know it...yet.

    What do you mean you're only "ROLE-PLAYING" a female character?!

  • Tell them about it (Score:3, Informative)

    by faldore (221970) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:39PM (#14638451)
    If Blizzard's actions piss you off, tell them about it. [mailto]
  • by Eggman27 (587963) <daeggman AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:46PM (#14638502) Journal
    TO HELL with Blizzard for their intolerant tolerance policy. Take a stand and do something about the players who don't play by your rules - don't cut off a nose to spite a face.

    TO HELL with immature intolerant WoW players who can't be bothered to live and let live and allow people to make whatever choices they wish without ridiculing, tormenting, and otherwise being assholes toward people who happen to think or act differently from your perverted view of the normal world.

    TO HELL with pathetic lifeless types who have to bring real life into a fantasy game. It's fantasy for a reason - it shouldn't be like real life. Role-playing has its uses and applications, but in the end, it's pretending and doesn't mean anything in the real world. Your avatar in WoW shouldn't be an exact extension of you in an online game anyway - that's what role-playing is: being someone you aren't.

    TO HELL with people trying to insert sexuality (hetero, homo, or otherwise) into a situation that has no place for it. Can you give birth to little Taurens/Undeads/Orcs/Trolls/Humans/Dwarves/Gnomes/ Night Elves in WoW? No. Can you contract a sexually transmitted disease in WoW? No. Can you form any kind of meaningful, lasting bond with anyone that exists entirely within the game and doesn't require actual real-life interaction in order to keep it from getting stale because of limitations of software and hardware? No. It's a game and it's a computer - a data stream can't cuddle next to you in bed, a purely online buddy can't massage your shoulders, and an avatar can't make you breakfast the next morning. Get over it and keep what you do in the bedroom IN THE BEDROOM. Last I checked, you can't own a house in WoW, so if you're making hay, you're either doing it in public, or you're doing it on someone else's property without their permission - and neither of those is condoned in our society.

    TO HELL with people forgetting that World of Warcraft is privately owned, privately operated, and they can choose whatever the hell they god damn jolly well please to have going on in their game. If they choose not to allow certain things, they are within their rights to do so. If you have a problem with it, LEAVE! Don't give them your money. But for the love of God, let us other less-finicky souls choose what we will and will not do with our time and money. Consumerism is a choice - take responsibility for your purchases and don't expect the manufacturers to tailor a wide-ranged product to your narrow views.
    • TO HELL with Blizzard for their intolerant tolerance policy.

      TO HELL with people forgetting that World of Warcraft is privately owned, privately operated


      TO HELL with people who possess the courage to damn the same people you're paying $15/mo -- and continuing to pay $15/mo. Or have you already quit? If so, this was misleading:

      let us other less-finicky souls choose what we will and will not do with our time and money.

      Oh, and
      TO HELL with those who can't tell the difference between "finicky" and "outraged at
  • by Barabbas86 (947899) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:53PM (#14638560)
    Blizzard knows it's target demographic. This demographic tends to breed stupidity because of the anonymity they are allowed, also knowing that its hate speech (and this includes calling everything they dislike 'gay' and everyone they dislike a 'fag') is acceptable to Blizzard unless it is reported, which only warrants a warning. Blizzard wants to make money, and does so by supporting the masses who either intentionally prejudice or are so apathetic they use the above-mentioned terms without any thought of the profound consequences. If people started calling everything 'niggerish,' or 'kykeish,' the intelligent world that remains connected with reality would be outraged. Blizzard doesn't care to teach them a lesson by deleting their account and making their cd-key unusuable, they only care to prevent litigation that might result from their egregious negligence. This is one of the evils of a business that cares for little more than profit.

    But, it's not a race, or a religion, things which were at one time the basis of persecution and by many, thought acceptable. Now people have moved on to hate based on sexual orientation, or any cultural movement perceived by many to be unworthy. Take the emo stereotype as an example. I posted on a forum something that was deeply emotional, and in retrospect I can see how it could be perceived as melodramatic, because as I posted it, I was in a temporary state of depression. Many of the comments called me 'emo' as if it were an insult, and then wished my death. People always search for something to hate and there are justifications for just about anything, whether or not they are reasonable.

    Back to the topic. Blizzard is interested in making money, if they were to ban everyone who said 'gay' or 'fag' as a response to any instance of such words used with derogatory intent, they would lose a lot of money. I would predict that if the number of GLBT players deeply offended (and would thus boycott) by Blizzard's current policy was greater than the number that using such hate speech, they would have a different policy. Unfortunately, there's no way to replicate the WoW experience without using illegal player-run servers, which, if they gained popularity (deemed necessary to the success of an MMORPG by most) and cost Blizzard money, they would be shut-down. It is a certified monopoly and thus has power to spare and abuse for one motive: profit.

    I think we can all agree that the use of censorship is potentially dangerous, but when there are a large number of minors playing, it's entirely unacceptable to expose them to such hate-speech, or allow them to participate in it, which at the very least forms negative habits. The right solution is to ban those who use hate speech, but nobody who would use the language in a discussion that does not dissolve into harassment.

    GLBT is a reality just like any other quality or quantity we can observe, and to shun its existence in any medium it will propagate is an abhorrent abuse of power. To say there would be no homosexuals in a world with 'humans' or other intelligent beings is against the evidence we have today. Thus, it must be accepted and if there are those who would undermine its acceptance without reason, the harm they cause must be prohibited.

    To punish those who advertise as GLBT-friendly because of the irrational responses others might have is tantamount to punishing someone for making a mistake in a party raid that causes everyone to lose their temper and succumb to anger and abusive language when a GM gets wind of the chat filter working over-time. With a reasonable GM, I don't see the second scenario ever occuring, but profits motivates the first.
  • by smash (1351) on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:22PM (#14639124) Homepage Journal
    It's *not* reality - it has it's own laws, etc.

    It's "legal" to "kill" people there, unlike in reality, but same sex marriage is not - unlike here.

    Don't like it? Don't play.

    End of story.

    I'm all for equal rights, but this is not reality we're talking about - it's an alternative game world with it's own physics, laws, customs, etc - if you desperately want to be married in game but can't be due to the law or whatever, then *roleplay* that oppressed minority group in game.

    smash.

  • You know... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lewp (95638) on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:50PM (#14639264) Journal
    It'd be nice if the WoW GMs were as proactive about removing gold farmers, or as responsive about bugged quests/mobs, as they are about ruining the fun of honest players. It really does seem that the worst things about the game are the people running it.

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