16215 Alton Pkwy
Irvine CA 92618-3616
I've been a World of Warcraft player fairly steadily for the past six years. I've spent money on games, novels, licensed apparel, comic books, and microtransactions; but most importantly I have spent time. A great deal of time, leveling, gearing, roleplaying, and developing my characters. I have participated in discussion groups at sci-fi cons where I have defended my choice to play WoW, and I have not regretted supporting your company both with my wallet and my voice.
This past weekend was Blizzcon. Being an East Coaster, I was unable to attend, and I didn't purchase a virtual ticket. But I heard about what happened at the closing concert.
http://youtu.be/pGsNsSX-iO0 (footage from concert)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_Lv0r-l4c (original interview uncensored)
The choice was made to broadcast a homophobic, profanity-laden rant by the lead singer of Cannibal Corpse. He was introduced by Sam Didier, one of your lead developers and artists, who expressed glee at this interview--which was originally recorded in 2007, yet was shown again. The words "faggot" and "emo cocksuckers" were used to refer to players who choose to represent a certain faction.
I play both factions ingame. I have no favoritism one way or the other.
But we live in a world where young people are bullied into suicide because of their expressed or perceived sexuality. Many of these young people play WoW as a source of escapism. It is a safe assumption that at least ten percent of your customer base are GLBTQ, and many more of them are allies of those minorities. I myself am a bisexual woman. One of my main characters is a female dwarven rogue that I roleplay as being in a same-sex domestic partnership.
To see Sam Didier up on stage endorsing that kind of language, albeit "bleeped", was heartbreaking. I have put hundreds of hours into my characters.
I do not know if I can continue to financially support a company that considers that kind of language appropriate. Certainly if I chose to use such words while in an instance group or battleground ingame, I would face being reported to a GM and at least a 72 hour ban. Yet Blizzard chose to actively promote this behavior.
Perhaps you could give me a reason to continue my subscription. Perhaps you could offer an apology. Perhaps Blizzard could film an "It Gets Better" video.
Perhaps that would be enough. It would certainly be something. Enough to restore my faith in your corporation? I cannot say. But again, it would be something.
Can you risk doing the right thing?
Apologize and for homophobic statements made at Blizzcon 2011
Homophobic language is not tolerated within the game. Why was it actively promoted and endorsed at their corporate convention, with players being called slurs and told to harm themselves?