Blizzard Decides to Allow Gay Guild in WoW

Blizzard Decides to Allow Gay Guild in WoW


After reviewing their decision, Blizzard Entertainment has decided to retract their decision that gamer Sara Andrews could not have her GLBT friendly guild and has issued a letter of apology to Andrews. The letter read:

Hi Sara,

I’m Thor Biafore, head of Blizzard customer service worldwide. I’d like to thank you for bringing your recent concerns to our attention, and to extend our apolgies for any inconvenience this has caused you or your guild. The action that was taken by our customer service representative was an unfortunate interpretation of our current policies, which are currently under review. This was ultimately escalated to my attention, and after reviewing all the details, I have had the warning removed from your account.

Please accept our apologies for the way our staff characterized your conduct, and rest assured that your account will not be penalized in any way for this occurrence. I’d be happy to discuss this with you further, so please feel free to contact me directly.

“I’m very happy that Blizzard has owned up to the mistake, apologized and corrected it,” Andrews wrote to In Newsweekly. “I am, however, curious to see what they mean by their current policy being ‘under review’.”

Dan Brewer, another World of Warcraft player, has asked for more clarification from Blizzard. He wants to know if having a lesbian wedding on a role-playing server would be violating the “Terms of Service.”

“Please remember that this game is played by a wide variety of people of all ages from a myriad of cultural and social backgrounds. It is in the interest of creating an enjoyable and safe game environment that we have established these rules,” an account manager wrote to Brewster. “Regarding a wedding between two characters of the same gender, Blizzard has no cause to take action against any account involved.”

“I would like to believe that this has always been Blizzard’s policy and that this entire issue could have easily been avoided by better training of Blizzard’s various representatives, especially as applies to sensitive issues such as race, religion, and sexuality. My guild and I anxiously await the clarifications of the Terms of Service that have been promised. I sincerely hope that they live up to our expectations and we can continue playing as we wish in a diverse fantasy realm,” Brewster stated.

“Although Blizzard is well within its rights to insist that players avoid referring to other gamers in an ‘insulting manner,’ Blizzard cannot issue a blanket ban on any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity. There is nothing ‘insulting’ about identifying oneself as gay, lesbian, or transgender, nor does the announcement of a guild for LGBT gamers constitute ‘harassment’ in any sense of the word. If other players react insultingly to the mere presence of LGBT gamers, then Blizzard should discipline the harassers, not attempt preemptively to silence the potential victims of harassment,” Brian Chase, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal who represented Andrews.

“What we’ve done is decided to add a guild recruitment channel to the game… providing players with a designated area where they can advertise their guilds in an appropriate fashion,” Paul Sams, Blizzard’s Chief Operating Officer, stated.

Blizzard will also be reviewing policies and procedures and having “sensitivity training” with their 1,000 general managers on staff in North America, Europe, and Korea. The believe the situation with Andrews should have never happened in the first place.

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