Oh yeah, I wanted to make note of one more thing. A “Guild Recruitment” channel was added to the city channels this week (or was it last week?) because of a controversy that rose up when someone advertised a gay-friendly guild in general city chat. If I were a better reporter, I would look it up and tell you what the name of the server was and who these people were and supply links to the forums where all this took place, but I do everything by half-measures. Anyway, this someone got “reported” for saying “gay.” The person advertising the guild explained that she was not using “gay” as a derogatory term, but the GM told her she was not allowed to advertise “gay-friendly” guilds anyway. This sparked a debate on the forums: “why is Blizzard anti-gay or at least suppressing discussion and acceptance when ostensibly they have a no-hate policy in their TOS” vs “I hate gays” vs “I don’t want to hear about RL issues in this game.” I did not thoroughly read the discussions as boards in general make me sick, but I saw things like “I don’t want my children to be exposed to immorality in general chat” and “I’m going to advertise a hetero-friendly guild” and “We don’t want you to talk about your sexual orientation on general chat becuase it is an issue that is divisive and hurtful to the community.” So, the end result was a new guild-recruitment channel. Nobody uses it and I still see large paragraphs like “Divine Knights of Shadow Fury Warriors of Light Deathbringers Savage is recruiting for endgame and accepting all level 55+. We are a PVP guild and will do MC + ZG soon. If you are fun and want a home to bs and pass the time, Divine Knights of Shadow Fury Warrios of Light Deathbringers Savage is for you. Selfish people need not apply” all over general chat, so that I end up not being able to read the extremely important “Selling enchants 7 sta shield 5g 15 agi weapon 104g or FREE WITH MATS icy fiery demonslaying +dmg to weapon” messages. Or the “Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked x so hard that y and z happened on the other end of the world” messages. Or the “Stop talking about Chuck Norris, he isn’t funny anymore” messages. Except they don’t actually say that, they say “GTFO hes no funy nemore.” I hate people. As for what I think, all people have a natural inclination to group together based on common interests. It may be locational–the Australians/New Zealanders/etc banded together to complain that they had no servers in their time zone and were forced to scatter on servers where nobody was awake during their peak hours until Blizzard opened up three new servers flagged as “oceania-preferred;” and, while not actually physically located anywhere nearer to Oceania than the rest of the North American servers, at least these servers’ internal clocks were set in their time zone. Or it may be language-based–the large raiding guild “Paradise of Nameless” on Dragonmaw is, I hear, all Chinese-speakers. I bet there have been attempts to make all-girl guilds out there, though I haven’t met any first-hand. So in a world that is so homophobic, where everything bad is “gay” and everyone stupid is a “fag” and where when people object to usage of such words they say “What if I’m from Europe huh? I just called you a cigarette. Or a bundle of sticks. Why is that so offensive to you? Besides, it’s an accepted part of vocabulary and slang, it does not actually offend gays. And if YOU aren’t gay, who are YOU to say that gays would be offended? You wouldn’t know and if you are objecting to it, you’re being bigoted yourself by assuming they would be offended by it,” why wouldn’t you want to find a haven from it all? I hate people.
Edit 1:41am feb 19: The above paragraph consists of paraphrases retrieved from my memory (and it turns out that my memory was wrong on several minor counts). If you want the actual story, links follow. Here is the first of a series of three articles on the subject, and some other stuff. Here is a brief article on it from bbc news. Another series. As for the original posts on the world of warcraft forums, they go away after a while so there’s no point in looking for them. The end.