World of Warcraft has its first trans character in the Shadowlands alpha and prepares the Darkmoon Faire on live

    
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World of Warcraft has its first trans character in the Shadowlands alpha and prepares the Darkmoon Faire on live

The first canonical trans character in World of Warcraft is here in Shadowlands: Pelagos, an aspirant among the Kyrians whose mortal form was that of a woman. The team has recently announced that Pelagos’ pronouns in quest text were being updated to he/him as opposed to they/them following feedback from the community regarding the best way to show respect to his gender identity.

On the game’s live servers, meanwhile, the Darkmoon Faire is running once more until July 12th. This is of particular note as the Faire gives an experience and reputation buff, and the 100% experience buff (and current Timewalking reputation buffs) stack with it nicely. So you’re already leveling faster and grabbing more reputation; now you can make it even more.

Last and certainly not least, Blizzard partnered virtually with Girls Who Code for this year, giving a number of young women a two-week digital cohort that was kicked off by president J. Allen Brack. The whole event culminated in developing and sharing various website projects and should provide a nice does of positive energy.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Corporate is one thing, but knowing some in tech and having tangential connections to a few in games myself -they really want to do these things and it really does matter to them, at least in my known cases. Are others just going along with their co-workers/circles? Perhaps. Are others not interested and just following some PR initiative? Probably. But there’s definitely social progressive (typically of millennial and younger) developers that want to do more than say a few nice things face-to-face with people – or on Twitter.

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Taran Wonderer

Sometimes the intent doesn’t matter if the effect is good. People accidentally improve society all the time.
If you don’t think the effect is good, you should propose new ones rather than merely ripping what they do try to do.

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xpsync

Finally. but…

It’s not much of a but, i need to preface a little as too many peeps get way over sensitive, critical, and always hunting for something to hate on so… (ps. that’s a crappy way to live, you’ll never be happy)

Maybe because i grew up with friends and fam in this environment to me it’s “What’s the big deal” this was an accepted way of life from my earliest childhood memories, that it’s as normal as the sun coming up (hint – this was many decades ago). OK, outside my little bubble yeah i know it’s not fully… and why listening and awareness is crucial, the uneducated need to be educated.

ok now the but… lmao

It’s fantasy world, there are orcs, there are all kinds of mystical creatures, its a FANTASY world to escape too, this is bringing reality into the fantasy.

It’s how i felt about Mass Effect “initially” but actually it made complete sense, getting right down to it, it would have been a glowing admission in the future, 100% sensible.

Here though meh i totally could have lived without it, does it bother me? Not at all, if anything i’m actually looking very much forward to interacting with this character. I mean my overall feeling is like wow is finally coming into the future, this trans character, and let’s not forget heavy duty character customization, the level squish, overhaul of leveling, and tons more, retail might become my go to as it’s still an mmorpg at heart.

I guess i sometimes feel corporations are only doing it because it’s good for the $$$, and not for the point, or that they care, and or feel like they are forced to because everyone else is doing it, so we better throw a trans into this “make believe world”. I dunno, yes totally fine with it but does it really fit, i dunno, doesn’t to me is all (but omg say that without prefacing the shit out of it, i mean it’s so sensitive that one can’t even have an opinion, it to me “does not fit” but far from the end of the world.). Bree feel free to delete if this starts a proverbial “shit storm” :)

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Taran Wonderer

In a fantasy world like WoW, it breaks my immersion that gender would not be widely accepted to be entirely fluid.

Imagine a world in which citizens can be dead, cows, trees, gods, constantly changing form, deliberately demonic, randomly gigantic, or turned into wisps or whatever else, and gender is an immutable concept that surprises anyone.

Magic infuses all combat…whole races are actually sentient robots or the descendants of sentient robots…time travel happens constantly…there’s a palpable afterlife….

Honestly…they would have gotten over the idea that genitals and hormones determined anything significant about anyone a long-ass time ago.

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memitim

With all that variety you could be forgiven for thinking most of them aren’t massive racists too….but they are, so your reasoning doesn’t really work…
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a massive racist in a fantasy world, it’s just fantasy after all. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them including a trans character either (although I don’t know of any trans people who had to transcend their mortal form to make the switch…) but unless it has some actual impact on the story it does come across as virtue signalling whether intended or not and as the poster below me comments the regional versions will tell us if this was done for $$$ or not.

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Taran Wonderer

My point wasn’t that variety exists, it’s the gender matters comparatively less than most else in the cosmology and to reality. (Even if it shouldn’t matter almost at all in reality.)
In contrast, races* in this game have factional monopolies of territory, magic, tech, etc. (Genders mostly do not.) So racial animus–while evil and ridiculous–can still have enough basis in grievance or conceit to be vaguely immersive to me.

Also if this causes a positive impact–such a representation, acknowledging the existence of the unknown and disenfranchised or providing a voice for the voiceless–it doesn’t matter if it’s done for money unless the money causes negative impact.

* – They’re definitely called “races,” but are they?

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memitim

Also if this causes a positive impact

The ‘if’ in that sentence is the part that worries me, if it’s poorly done this can easily backfire*coughthelastofus2cough*and if it’s done for the wrong reasons the chances of it being poorly done are exponentially higher*coughthelastofus2cough* sorry terrible cough I have today…

They’re definitely called “races,” but are they?

Well, yeah they are…you aren’t going to become leader of the orcs without being an orc and even though there’s more than one faction of orc the phrase “traitor to the race” comes up more than once, the only exception here would be the undead since “undead” is technically not a race, it’s a state of being, but it is treated as a race for all practical purposes.

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Taran Wonderer

Yeah I don’t agree that backlash from homophobic and misogynistic people defeats the good of representation.

And I don’t know if they’re races, in the context of comparing them to other “races.” Seem more like different species, but I guess I don’t have a lot of info on how they can cross-procreate.

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memitim

I was referring to the backlash from the people it supposedly represents…

Other than the game literally calling them races half-orcs and half-elves are a thing in other fantasy settings, I forget if this has happened in Warcraft yet but since it ‘borrows’ everything else (including the person who transcends/reincarnates as a different gender, thumbs up if you can name them) from them I don’t see why not.

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Taran Wonderer

Obviously I’m willing to hear the arguments by other LGBTQ+ people for why the representation is bad, but I don’t know why people would be afraid of their backlash if it is so much quieter than the misogynistic backlash.

Calling them “races” can be simple error, since “race” means a certain thing currently specific to humans. Maybe Tolkien et al. managed to expand on the definition, such that any sentient communicative being is part of one sort of meta-species and that within that species are “races” such as humans and orcs and undead people, regardless of whether they can cross-procreate.
But given Tolkien’s racism, we’ll probably want to interrogate that more before assuming it.

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memitim

Obviously I’m willing to hear the arguments by other LGBTQ+ people for why the representation is bad, but I don’t know why people would be afraid of their backlash if it is so much quieter than the misogynistic backlash.

Eh? Why should they not be afraid of backlash from the people they are supposedly representing, regardless of how loud or quiet it is? If they actually came out and said that, that would only prove my original point…

Calling them “races” can be simple error

I mean it’s fantasy so I’m not going to go further into scientific technicalities about race vs species, they are called races in every fantasy setting I can think of and 95% of those settings feature racism and are essentially treaties about how racism is bad, that’s enough for me.

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Malcolm Swoboda

“you aren’t going to become leader of the orcs without being an orc” Except for that time it just happened through the Horde.

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memitim

Leader of the Horde is not leader of the Orcs.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Except 90% in practice.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Well do we want a game with gender wars as well as racial wars? Or is (FANTASY) racial wars actually enough for Warcraft and lets have genders relax a little?

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memitim

Oh god don’t remind me about that cringefest of a game…

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Malcolm Swoboda

What game? Warcraft?

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memitim

No, Gender Wars.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Oh my god that was actually a thing.

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memitim

I wish I could tell you it wasn’t…

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Malcolm Swoboda

Companies may be doing it for $ but developers/designers are a mix ranging from grudgingly and with tolerance making changes to their design they might not do otherwise because it doesn’t come to mind easily, to overjoyed they’re allowed to do what they always envisioned. A dev feeling outright antagonism against this sort of stuff is more likely to be down an alt-right hole that no one should be respecting.

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Ben Stone

I know a lot of people are going to jump in with claims Blizzard are just ‘virtue signalling’ and doing it for corporate reasons, but honestly, who cares why they do it. The important thing is that its happening, in a popular game, which helps mainstream representation and visibility for a discriminated minority.

That being said, I do wonder whether these convictions will hold up in regions which are not tolerant of gender diversity or queer rights. If they make this character the same across all regions that will be a real moral stance if they are willing to put sales at risk over this.

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Utakata

“Virtue signalling” another doublethink term invented by alt-facts types (along with “cancel culture”), that has likely been there mechanic wise since the invention of capitalism. That is, the ability to read their target audiences for potential profit.

So yes, we should be always wary when any company grows a conscious, when they are only seemingly growing it to pad their bottom line. But I’ve also maintained that’s not entirely a bad thing, when advancing a just and equal society…

However, I would like those companies to go beyond that and make changes that may affect their bottom line. Like standing up to human rights in countries that oppose them, for example. And that’s tough one…because the big 3: China, Russia and the US know how to butter that bottom line, may not take too kindly to challenging them. But it would certainly give them a lot more credibility.

So yes, what was I going on about? Oh right…I agree, I think this one of those issue we should encourage, but do so with one eye and a pigtail open. /sigh

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

The problem with this type of stance is until there is at least one character of each of the minorities in LGBTQ+, any character they write that fits into one of those minority groups will be considered the “first” and people will claim was only added as a “PR stunt” instead of any of the other plethora of reasons a writer would want to design the character the way they did. After doing this, they can make all of the characters in that minority group that they want without people making a fuss over it.

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Bruno Brito

I’m all for them to normalize it.

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traja

It does seem obvious that the real motives have little to do with values but a lot to do with profits. How else would you explain simultaneously celebrating diversity and tolerance while standing in defense of human rights violations.

However that doesn’t mean that it is all bad. Diverse characters in games means that the attitudes of the customer base are shifting. It means that it is profitable to do now and that is a very good sign.

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Malcolm Swoboda

“I couldn’t give two shits what gender some character is as it doesn’t affect anything” – I know. That’s called privilege.

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jealouspirate

I really feel like Blizzard has been trying hard these past few years to improve diversity and representation in their games, which is great.

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Taran Wonderer

Is it
*mortal form was incorrectly perceived by others to be a woman.
?
Or did death actually cause a swap in gender identity?

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Winter

When you get to Bastion you get to choose the form you wish to take be it male or female regardless of gender before from my understanding.

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Bruno Brito

That’s actually really cool.

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Utakata

*The pigtails hopes Ms. Bree has the banhammer ready…as this topic got pretty ugly over at Blizzard Watch*

/bleh

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Vincent Clark

Hopefully we can better here. Fingers crossed :)

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Totes McGoats

Blizzard Watch is such a joke. I was banned for politely asking about the Hong Kong fiasco last year when they were refusing to even acknowledge the story for weeks, before they finally wrote an article lauding Blizzard’s self-serving nonapology at the end.

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Utakata

To be fair, and from my observation, they don’t like it posters get into arguments when there is no point to it. That is, none of the parties are planning to change their positions…so it starts to become just a shouting match of insults and innuendo’s. This maybe their way of detoxifying the dynamics, for good or bad.

To also be fair, it’s a little like that here too. But the admin least give us some more leeway. And shut it down when it moves into the ad hominem, as opposed to before.

…so you might of got caught up in that. :(