Given the fact that this week has been shining a harsh spotlight on Blizzard’s enormous mistake over a Hong Kong Hearthstone player, you would think that at the very least there would be a corporate memo floating around about not screwing anything else up. Apparently not, though, since according to a piece on Ars Technica, the LGBT guild “Gay Boys” in World of Warcraft has been forced to change its name to the far less poetic “Guild ZFXPK” after reports that the name was offensive. The guild leader himself was given a temporary suspension, which was subsequently overturned.
A member has cited numerous private messages from other players with homophobic sentiments openly stating that the guild name would be reported for… well, reasons of homophobia, that much should be obvious. Obviously, none of us are strangers to horrible guild names in WoW; a quick show of hands in the newsroom reported such gems as “No Girls Allowed,” “Sapped Girls Don’t Say No,” and “Your Mom Is An Epic Mount,” some of which were quickly changed and others of which were not.
This is hardly the first time that Blizzard has had problems with this particular flavor of overzealous behavior, either, as back in 2006 someone was warned she could be banned for recruiting for an LGBT guild in chat. That exploded into another big story across mainstream media; Blizzard did ultimately apologize for that incident, saying it “never should have happened” and promising that “sensitivity training” for GM staff was on order.
In summary, it’s good to see lessons were learned and this came at just the best possible week for Blizzard. Just firing on all cylinders, huh?
After confirming that the guild name should be back to normal and citing a “careful investigation of your account warning,” the unnamed moderator made clear that this kind of automatic takedown may very well happen again: “There isn’t a way to stop people from reporting this name, as some find the way the term is used offensive. 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!”