Monday, June 2, 2014

Rob Pardo is a sexist asshole

It's not a secret that I'm more than a little burned out on WoW. I haven't really raided since mid-March. Being a woman, I'm only vaguely looking forward to the boy's trip (look at Fan #16) of the next expansion.

However there is a big disturbance going on in the internet. Rob Pardo made a presentation at MIT Media Lab. In this talk, Pardo noted that Blizzard games aren't a place for "real world issues", and because they are all boys who grew up reading comic books their representations of women are "offensive to, I think, some women".

He thinks it is offensive for some women!

Just think of Noblegarden and it's terrible Shake Your Bunny-Maker achievement. Think of all the armor that is actual armor on males and bra and panty sets on females. Think of how even though Tyrande is allegedly the leader of the Night Elves Malfurion seems to entirely sideline and ignore her whenever he is present. Think of the quest in Valley of Four Winds where a Pandaren woman is forced to dance for the virmen ogler. I could go on and on and on.

A number of people have pointed out how Pardo's words are sexist and homophobic. Kurn is displeased. Cynwise is quitting. Rades is unhappy. Matthew Rossi at joystiq has an extremely eloquent write up that points out that including diversity doesn't mean you have to make it a focus and doesn't mean you can't keep the story fun. His point that including more people in a MULTIPLAYER game just increases the fun for everyone really resonated with me.

I would like to make the point that Pardo's insistence that "We're not trying to bring in serious stuff, or socially relevant stuff, or actively trying to preach for diversity or do things like that" is perhaps something that Blizzard needs to reconsider.

Something they need to strongly reconsider.

More than a week ago Friday some asshole, who hadn't gotten laid, murdered a bunch of people in Southern California. He played WoW. The juxtaposition of Pardo's remarks about Blizzard's disregard for women and lack of care for "real world" issues with this shooting looks really bad for Blizzard. The shooter this Friday was a racist and sexist and homophobic asshole. However, I have to wonder: if his primary leisure activity (marathon sessions playing....World of Warcraft, "The only thing I have left to live for") hadn't been as sexist in it's representation of women, would he have been quite so likely to go on a murderous rampage?

And this isn't the only mass-murderer to be called out for playing WoW. The Newtown school shooter played WoW. And Anders Breivik, the racist who went on a murderous rampage in Norway, played a lot of WoW as well. I don't think that WoW turned these men into murderers, but I do think it could have helped them not be murderers.

I'm sure that people will jump up to say that there are 7 million people currently playing WoW, so of course there are some people who go on to do bad things among them. To that I'd like to point out that A) there used to be 12 million people playing WoW and B) a lot of the quests that included and empowered women were removed with the revamp of the world during Cata and replaced with ones that didn't include women. Coincidentally Cata was the expansion where Blizzard's subscriber numbers really started to trend downwards.

So perhaps Pardo and the other sexist leadership at Blizzard could get their heads out of their asses and treat women and other minorities like people.

I am seriously considering canceling my own WoW subscription. I engage in a story when I can identify or at least like the characters in it. I'm no longer confident that that characters and story of Warcraft is something that I want to interact with.


Anonymous said...

Get over it, you big fucking baby.

Anonymous said...

females chars having less armor on compared to males is seen in every other game. besides who wants to play a female toon dressed like a tank? i advice you to turn on the tv (mtv) or read a magazine cuz i've got bad news for you..... life is full of it, better adapt or move to saudi arabia and wear a nikab.

achievements like meet your bunny maker are humorous, but I guess that's not your strong point. I bet if you search good enough you will find quests or achievements where they are making fun of males, which noone of us got a problem with. a bit of self mockery is healthy.

about the game having some sort of influence on criminality.. do you even believe that quests/achievements have an impact on shootouts and such? damn.. if that's what you think I don't wanna know what you think about action movies, pop/hiphop music, a football match, or even watching the news... wow is a pussygame compared to all of these.
it's not blizzard their job to make pacifist my little pony games to try to turn nutjobs like anders breivik in a better person. it's their job to make a fun game and that's what they do.

you went full retard when you came up with the conspiracy theory about the quest revamp in cataclysm, which from your point of view removed many of the female npc quests and thus leading to cataclysm being the least popular expansion. what have you been smoking? go to silverpine forest and play the sylvanas questchain, which is arguably the best quest zone in cataclysm and has a badass female char. the reason why cataclysm is a crap expansion is not because of any conspiracy theories, but because it just... plain sucked. no new world, dungeons too hard for the average player, raids not interesting enough, healer mana efficiency which they screwed up, a "stay in your capital and queue from there"-playstyle, i could go on and on...

you insult rob pardo for being an asshole, you insult blizzards leadership for being sexist, you make wild accusations including some grand female conspiracy sheme.. well what can I say except that you should take a look into the mirror, your behavior is beyond being an asshole.

Anonymous said...

But women wear less cloth tgan men irl too. Saw those shorts that reveal the buttcheeks that all girls and I mean ALL girls wear now in summer? If they want to change the image we have of women they should start being an example.

ps: Another post of this type that totaly ignores how games are also sexist for men.