Why I am quitting World of Warcraft

The game remains horribly imbalanced in terms of culture and support for one faction (Horde) at the expense of another (Alliance). Specifically, the Horde have not one but two heavy metal bands that represent their faction, giving Horde players cultural artifacts that extend beyond the game while Alliance players receive no such recognition, support, or art.

Before you tell me to call the whaaaaambulance, understand that culture is a significant factor in team cohesion. When a team has unique identifying cultural attributes, they have a distinct edge in competition. This has been demonstrated through cultural and sports psychology numerous times. Basically, a team with multiple rock bands that are allied with them in the game will perform better in player-versus-player contests (battlegrounds) than the team that doesn’t have these things. The Horde outperform the Alliance in this area, in part, because being a member of that faction is distinct and has cultural dimensions that the Alliance, as a team, simply lack–by design.

Moreover, Blizzard has made it a point to continue to represent their pro-homophobia stance in-game through the continued presence of an Orc named “George the Corpsegrinder.” This NPC is the avatar of the reprehensible George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, the lead singer of the terribly bad Cookie-Monster metal band “Cannibal Corpse.” At BlizzCon 2011, Blizzard employee Samwise Didier gleefully introduced Cannibal Corpse by playing this heavily bleeped video. The unedited version of this rant reveals the depths of bigoted depravity of Fisher and proves without a doubt that he is violently homophobic. Does celebrating such a hateful bigot have any place in gaming? Apparently, for Activision-Blizzard, the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

George the Corpsegrinder shortly before dying for the 20th time to me that day. Activision-Blizzard simply does not care that they are celebrating homophobia by maintaining this trivial character–and that’s deeply problematic.

For me, WoW was something to do as I took care of my dying father. As the cancer robbed him of his memory and cognition, I would stay up at nights to make sure he didn’t overdose on morphine sulfate. I played WoW to stay awake and I fell in love with the game.

But now I’ve got to bow out. There’s no justification for why Blizzard treats my chosen faction as second-class citizens despite the fact that we pay as much as Horde players who derive greater satisfaction from the game.

It’s time for either the Corpsegrinder NPC to be removed from WoW and for the Alliance to be granted cultural artifacts that transcend the game or for me to depart. As Activision-Blizzard is notoriously homophobic, I know it won’t be him–so it must be me.

Shriek into the Void...

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