WoW in gay rights U-turn
World of Warcraft player Sara Andrews has won a change in policy from developer Blizzard, who had originally threatened to ban her, when a moderator prevented her from advertising a new guild as homosexual, transsexual and bisexual 'friendly'. Blizzard originally said the description of the guild violated their user agreement, a standing that was criticised heavily by equality groups. Andrews, known as Shimmre in the game world, challenged Blizzard's stand against her 'use of language' on the basis that other players often use phrases and words that are openly homophobic.
Blizzard's U-turn was marked with an email to Andrews which read: "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." Blizzard said they were merely attempting to prevent language that could provoke harassment.
Many guilds and players supported the player's stance, emailing Blizzard and even organising in-game gay pride marches. For their part, Blizzard said moderators would receive better training on such matters in the future. More from the World of Warcraft and its five-million inhabitants as we get it.
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