Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Sexuality And The World Of Warcraft

Video Game Law Blog

January 31, 2006

virtual gamer Sara Andrews has been instructed by Blizzard Entertainment, the publisher of the popular World of Warcraft online role-playing game, to stop her in-game recruitment activities for her WoW guild. If she continues, Blizzard has threatened to ban her from the game. the problem? in her recruitment messages, Andrews wrote that her guild was not ''glbt only', but we are "?glbt friendly'."? 

Blizzard claims Andrews' recruiting was a violation of WoW's harassment policy, though its unclear how this could be so since Andrews doesn't appear to be harassing gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgender players but, rather, making it clear that her guild welcomes such players. on this point, Blizzard has said that it is reviewing its harassment policy and that the policy will likely be broadened to include 'any language that could result in situations where players are going to break down into harassing debate"?. does this then mean that Blizzard accepts that Andrews' in-game recruitment activities don't violate the present harassment policy?though Blizzard insists that it is only trying to enforce a policy to protect WoW members from being harassed, its approach has been criticized as attempting to deal with potential harassment of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender players by forcing such players to keep quiet about their sexuality.coverage at