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Gay World of WarCraft guild forced to change name after ‘complaints’

Reiss Smith October 14, 2019
World of WarCraft's chromatic sword.

World of WarCraft's chromatic sword. (Blizzard)

The ‘Gay Boys’ World of WarCraft Classic guild reportedly had its name changed after anti-LGBT+ trolls complained.

The ‘Gay Boys’ guild was renamed late Wednesday night to the randomly-assigned ‘Guild ZFXPK’, Ars Technica reported.

A customer service email from Blizzard, the game’s developer, reportedly said that the name change took place because “fellow players reported [the] in-game name as inappropriate multiple times”.

“A thorough investigation” is said to have taken place before the guild’s creator had their account suspended. This suspension was later overturned.

Ahmil Jilani, a member of ‘Gay Boys’, said that he and his fellow guild members have long faced discrimination while playing the game.

“If you reviewed my chat logs, you would see multiple messages… with individuals messaging: ‘F*** the gays, reported,’ among other extremely hateful and discriminating comments,” he told Ars Technica.

This is 2019, and we have a right to exist as a community.

“To say there is anything inappropriate about the words GAY or BOYS is, in and of itself, inappropriate, childish, and discriminatory.

“Individuals that found the name inappropriate should be the ones taking a good look at themselves in the mirror, because this is 2019, and we have a right to exist as a community.”

After the ‘Gay Boys’ went public with their story, their guild name was promptly restored.

A second email purportedly from Blizzard warned that the guild name could be automatically changed again if further complaints are received.

“There isn’t a way to stop people from reporting this name, as some find the way the term is used offensive,” a customer service representative reportedly wrote.

“If you get actioned again, you can appeal like this, and we can look at it once more. For now, though, you have your guild name back!”

World of WarCraft previously told gamers not to create LGBT+ guilds.

This isn’t the first time that LGBT+ gamers have been targeted while playing World of WarCraft.

In 2006, Blizzard reportedly warned a player that she was in breach of the games terms of service by inviting players to join a queer-friendly guild.

Sara Andrews was reportedly told that “the advertisement of a ‘GLBT friendly’ guild is very likely to result in harassment for players that may not have existed otherwise,” and that “while some language in and of itself may not be offensive, it may incite certain responses in other players that will allow for discussion that we feel has no place in our game.”

Blizzard later apologised and stopped enforcing this policy.

More: blizzard, online hate, World of Warcraft

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