Whoever said that delivery is everything with respect to jokes wasn't kidding. Blizzard Entertainment is finding out the hard way that sometimes tongue-in-cheek humor doesn't play with a crowd of hardcore World of Warcraft fans. Then again, there is substantial evidence to suggest that Blizzard went well beyond the bounds of good taste with a video presentation made during BlizzCon this year. Fans are outraged at a video presentation that is staunchly anti-Alliance and homophobic. The video presentation in question was aired during the closing of the convention and preceded a performance by the band Cannibal Corpse.
In the video, George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher, the band's frontman, is seen saluting his allegiance to the Horde while at the same time describing Alliance players with offensive homophobic slurs. Fisher also suggests many times that Alliance players should "die." The video aired at BlizzCon was censored, but the uncensored version of the video has appeared online. In the interests of good taste we won't present it here, but if anyone out there is really interested it can be found pretty easily.
According to VG 24/7, the outrage over the video has spread across not one, not two, but three different threads on Blizzard's official forums. Moreover, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) along with several other media outlets have attacked Blizzard's decision to air the presentation and condemned the homophobic sentiments contained therein. In response to this, Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok posted a response on behalf of Blizzard's band Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftan on the official forums:
"Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.”
However, this apology is not enough for some fans who state that the video is a symptom of a much larger problem. In fact, some fans have complained about verbal abuse and even physical violence directed at Alliance players. Lending some credence to this theory, some WoW fans also state that a Horde bias may exist within Blizzard's staff as much of the team plays Horde. Further to this, some argue that Blizzard's staff is also responsible for fueling tensions by continuing to hype up the rivalry between the Alliance and Horde.
What do you think, Ranters? Is there any truth to the accusations fans are leveling at Blizzard or is this all just a big misunderstanding over a joke gone horribly awry? Let us know in the comments below. We think its rather sad that a video game and a convention meant for fun has resulted in people focusing on this instead of talking more about costume contest winners or panda filled lands. Though we suppose that if Blizzard wanted to do some damage control they could just let us know when Diablo 3 is coming out. By the way Blizzard, you can have that suggestion for free.
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