The gamer in the infamous BlizzCon video says she ‘dodged a bullet’ by not working at Blizzard

    
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Do I look like a patient cow?

When Xantia stepped up at BlizzCon to address World of Warcraft‘s character design and ask that women in the game not all look as if they had stepped out in just their underwear, it wasn’t the flippant dismissal of her question by the designers that bothered her. No, it was the sound of a large portion of the male audience booing her just for asking. A new interview with Xantia by Kotaku asks her about what she thinks about the question and the incident in retrospect, and it was that audience reaction that stuck with her more.

Honestly, the sound of being booed by that many guys, in some ways that bothered me more than getting dismissed. You had that initial cheer from the women in the crowd and then just a wave of boos.

Of course, Xantia has a bit more to say about the state of sexism in the game industry and notes that she did actually apply for a job in Blizzard back in 2012. While she wasn’t hired, she now feels that that was a stroke of good fortune. She also has some words on other topics, including Greg Street’s largely rambling apology for how he handled her question during the panel itself:

I guess Greg Street now knows who I am now. Cool. OK. And also that wasn’t really an apology, but sure you do you. Whatever gets you to sleep at night. I was joking with a friend when I saw it, when I saw everything he was writing about that, just, you know, “Oh, I couldn’t see her react, I couldn’t see her face,” and how he’s disappointed in all of these things. Yeah, but your ears were working just fine. Did you not hear hundreds of people booing me? What would it have taken to say, “Hey, guys, come on, that’s not cool?” Whenever you start explaining yourself to that degree, it stops being an apology.

Source: Kotaku
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Ernost
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Ernost

Damn, watching that video, I’d probably have burst into tears in that situation. The devs were straight up mocking her. Props to her for keeping it together like she did.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

I’m glad the Men’s Liberation Front is represented in the comments today, poor fellas, always getting the short end of the stick…

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Adam Russell

Sounds like a large portion of the wow community agrees with the attitude of bliz corp culture. Not really a surprise.

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Rndomuser

Honestly, the sound of being booed by that many guys, in some ways that bothered me more than getting dismissed.

I’m not sure why it bothered her. Not all of the male audience did this (unless there is a data which shows otherwise) and it’s perfectly natural for some people wanting to see attractive characters in the games and not wanting to see the characters that they may not perceive as attractive. I personally don’t mind if Sylvanas would look like she is now or if she would look like Dulia-Chai from FFXIV but I would not be bothered or surprised by such reaction from some of the audience. Of course, the developers themselves should’ve acted in a more professional way instead of trying to joke about it.

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Bruno Brito

Getting booed should bother anyone. Mass rejection hurts a lot.

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Rndomuser

Getting booed is just an expression of people having a different opinion. I am not bothered if some random people will disagree with my opinion in such way. This is why it is strange to me that she says she was “bothered by it” – it’s like being “bothered” by some random person (whom you just met and whom you probably will never see again) telling you that they don’t like the pizza topping that you like – even if they don’t like it you can still enjoy the pizza exactly the way you prefer to enjoy it.

Only thing that would bother me personally in this situations are the game developers responding to my question in a smug way while trying to turn this into some lame joke instead of a serious and professional answer (even if that answer would be “we disagree with your preference”) because they aren’t random faceless nobodys but official representatives of the company and because I expected a serious answer from them before asking the question.

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Bruno Brito

Getting booed is just an expression of people having a different opinion. I am not bothered if some random people will disagree with my opinion in such way. This is why it is strange to me that she says she was “bothered by it” – it’s like being “bothered” by some random person (whom you just met and whom you probably will never see again) telling you that they don’t like the pizza topping that you like – even if they don’t like it you can still enjoy the pizza exactly the way you prefer to enjoy it.

??

No, it isn’t, man. I’m sorry but i completely disagree.

The only equivalency i find here is a situation a former friend of mine went, where someone pulled her in the street ( she’s a trans woman ) and pointed his fingers at her and said “you’re a man in a dress”.

Booing is not disagreeing. It’s mocking. It’s not common and it also shows a lot of the mindset around that crowd. You don’t boo people you disagree normally. They felt that power because the place and the culture allowed it.

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Bryan Correll

Mass rejection hurts a lot.

Singular rejection can hurt even more.

/em goes to hide in a corner.

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Adam Russell

Her question wasnt at all about why they make characters look good but why they portray women as sex objects – running around in their underwear. Its a good point not just because of PC, but because it tends to push women gamers away. But then maybe wow players like the population to be mostly male..

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Tempus Thales

I honestly felt embarrassed for the girl asking the questions. Not only the Blizzcon panel, blew them off, with lackluster answers, but they made fun of them, in ways that would make anyone cringe. After reading all the comments made against the developer on the far right, every time I hear him talk I ask myself why is this guy even employed there any ways.

The last girl, named Piper, made a valid request and the Art Director gave her a bullshit answer…

Those guys should never handle people again. I;m so happy J. Allen Brack was asked to step down.

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Arktouros

I dunno about the booing but my reaction is certainly in line with the developer’s response on this.

When you look at the topic as a whole including female bodies, male bodies, monstrous bodies and otherwise in what is a fantastical setting it is generally unsurprising to me that most body choices are “idealized” forms. Like could you imagine Bolvar Fordragon walking up with some shlub body with a beer guy and being like “I’m here to take over for the Lich King”? Probably not.

More over if we’re really looking to have this kind of discussion in regards to MMOs then World of Warcraft is extremely on the “tame” end of the “Victoria’s Secret Catalog” spectrum. There almost none (that I have ever seen) revealing style outfits or super “stacked” character models. “Jiggle physics” aren’t a thing. Like if you had to pick a MMO that was “family friendly” you really can’t exactly go wrong with WOW.

So taken separately, on it’s own merit, then fine. When this is brought up again in the middle of the company roiling through numerous allegations of gender discrimination then it just makes this pointed question and mocking responses look completely awful.

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Alex Willis

on it’s own merit

What “merit” is that? They answered a serious question flippantly. They did not actually go into an aesthetic debate about the values of certain conceits or idioms of prestentation in video games. They dismissed her immediately. That was eleven years ago, not fifty.

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Bruno Brito

When you look at the topic as a whole including female bodies, male bodies, monstrous bodies and otherwise in what is a fantastical setting it is generally unsurprising to me that most body choices are “idealized” forms.

The problem is that this topic is already debated to death: The only idealized forms here are the male ones. The male body in fantasy is a power trip: Who you want to be. The female body is a treasure-fantasy: Who you want to have.

The reason why female gamers of all shapes and forms debate against the fantasy setting of idealized is that only one slice of those gamers are desired and designed as treasures and conquests.

Also, just as a heads up: Sylvanas model was updated to be less sexualized as the years went by. It was not something that happened overnight. And it was not just the booing, it was the dismissiveness. They treated her terribly.

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Arktouros

I’m a hard doubt on it being a settled matter. Society at large has shown an extreme obsession with fitness for all people of any gender. That it becomes part of our fantasy and the forms of fictional characters is entirely unsurprising in any capacity. Saying that goes entirely one way for just the males seems entirely dubious and I’d have to see some really conclusive studies before I took that even remotely seriously.

I mean debate all you want, but back here in functional reality there’s no treasure to be conquered. You have almost zero interaction with these characters on a practical basis let alone a personal or intimate one. Meanwhile if you think adding a bit of a gut or flab here or there will make them less sexualized or a “treasure” you might wanna have a wild google search adventure on the term “THICC.” It’s like those companies who tell you to cut your carbon footprint by not eating meat when like obviously the problem is vastly larger than that.

The booing and the dismissiveness were basically all in response to implying a game that has gone out of it’s way in a market of literal Korean jiggle physics simulators to remain pretty family friendly is purposely designing characters as if they came out of an underwear catalog. There’s a half dozen other ways you could ask about the topic of body idealization in fantasy and what their thoughts are on the topic when designing characters. I mean I literally just rephrased it. If I come to you and ask you Hey Bruno, why do some people think you’re a shitty person you’re probably not going to rise above it and give some well thought out response. You’re going to be like what the fuck man who’s saying I’m a shitty person, fuck those guys. But I mean you could have just addressed the topic.

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Bruno Brito

I’m a hard doubt on it being a settled matter. Society at large has shown an extreme obsession with fitness for all people of any gender.

This is a pure lie. Society hasn’t showed anything. MEDIA has shown an extreme obsession with fitness. People chase that because people in our society chase carrots, as the american dream ( and the crack on wall street ) and the fact that the US is one of the most obese nations in the world, and if you were right, it wouldn’t be. Simple as that.

Hell, if any of these were true, Steven Universe wouldn’t be a success.

You’re projecting here. You’re going by “society at large” without realizing that media is not the same as society. Society at large is not fit, it’s not thin, it’s all kinds of shapes, all valid and all of them deserve their time in the sun.

That it becomes part of our fantasy and the forms of fictional characters is entirely unsurprising in any capacity. Saying that goes entirely one way for just the males seems entirely dubious and I’d have to see some really conclusive studies before I took that even remotely seriously.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00118.x

Have fun. The male gaze theory is real.

I mean debate all you want, but back here in functional reality there’s no treasure to be conquered. You have almost zero interaction with these characters on a practical basis let alone a personal or intimate one. Meanwhile if you think adding a bit of a gut or flab here or there will make them less sexualized or a “treasure” you might wanna have a wild google search adventure on the term “THICC.” It’s like those companies who tell you to cut your carbon footprint by not eating meat when like obviously the problem is vastly larger than that.

We agree on that, but two things:

1- “Functional reality”. I get that you like to throw jabs and it’s kinda of our thing with one another, but keep the “insane” remarks out of it. I don’t like when people imply i’m crazy.

2- You’re mistaken where you think it all stems of “adding a bit of gut or flab here or there”, which shows the lack of domain you have on this specific topic.

The booing and the dismissiveness were basically all in response to implying a game that has gone out of it’s way in a market of literal Korean jiggle physics simulators to remain pretty family friendly is purposely designing characters as if they came out of an underwear catalog. There’s a half dozen other ways you could ask about the topic of body idealization in fantasy and what their thoughts are on the topic when designing characters. I mean I literally just rephrased it.

Translation: “If she made her question in the way that the male crowd of that event found acceptable, she wouldn’t be booed.” Which is a mistake because you’re implying that they would respect her, which…going by their recently found antics, do you really think Blizzard respects anyone?

If I come to you and ask you Hey Bruno, why do some people think you’re a shitty person you’re probably not going to rise above it and give some well thought out response. You’re going to be like what the fuck man who’s saying I’m a shitty person, fuck those guys. But I mean you could have just addressed the topic.

If i am a shitty person? I should have to question myself, absolutely. But that’s a false equivalence. She never asked them if they were shitty. She asked them why are their characters overssexualized, which some of them absolutely are. Just because they can’t convey that well because WoW looked like dogshit doesn’t mean it’s not true.

You’re not always right, Ark. Maybe talk to some feminists to understand how the concept of male gaze and male power fantasy permeates gaming and entertainment culture. Or do you really think that the Black Cat on Marvel exists because she’s something all women want to be?

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Brinto Sfj

I could not get my sister into WoW because of the “nun factory”(according to my sister) female clothing. My sister is a devout muslim, plays by all the rules and she found wow’s female clothing to be like that! This incident also made her hate me for a bit as she thought I was trying to tell her something as back then she was playing a mobile game where the objective was dressing up avatars and partying hard, and her avatar was dressed up in sexy clothes and was a ramp model or something. She thought I was trying to imply that she was going off the rails or something. Bad shit week for me! Even worse, it was the week of her birthday!

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Bruno Brito

I could not get my sister into WoW because of the “nun factory”(according to my sister) female clothing. My sister is a devout muslim, plays by all the rules and she found wow’s female clothing to be like that!

Your sister is not a ruleset for everyone, but i get her point. I’m all for options. What i disagree with, is the concept that Blizzard characters weren’t sexualized. They were. WoW might have not be able to convey it well enough, as Ark puts it, but the ART was. Sylvanas and Night elven archers were all in skimpy outfits. It was through their art.

This incident also made her hate me for a bit as she thought I was trying to tell her something as back then she was playing a mobile game where the objective was dressing up avatars and partying hard, and her avatar was dressed up in sexy clothes and was a ramp model or something. She thought I was trying to imply that she was going off the rails or something. Bad shit week for me! Even worse, it was the week of her birthday!

Again, options is good for everyone.

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Alex Willis

Greasy. Just fucking greasy. It might seem like a long time ago in terms of cultural evolution, but I guarantee you it doesn’t feel that like ago to the target of that kind of misogyny. I’m confident that feels pretty god damned fresh to her.

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Ben Stone

I mean, this was 2010, not 1910. The responses weren’t ‘the norm’ back then. Just shitty gamer culture at its finest. She is spot on. ‘bUt wE hAvE taURen LadIEs’. Yeah none of which you bothered to actually have as main story characters. Only buxom Jaina or Sylvanas up until recently for female representation.

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Bruno Brito

When Magatha is part of a cinematic, we can talk about tauren ladies.

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Greaterdivinity

It seems like women having applications turned down or choosing not to apply after shitty comments made towards them are the big winners, here.

Whenever you start explaining yourself to that degree, it stops being an apology.

Damn she’s spot on. If you have to explain yourself, you’re not apologizing. Just accept your fuckup in the past, apologize, and commit to doing better moving forward.

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Greaterdivinity

It seems like women having applications turned down or choosing not to apply after shitty comments made towards them are the big winners, here.

Whenever you start explaining yourself to that degree, it stops being an apology.

Damn she’s spot on. If you have to explain yourself, you’re not apologizing. Just accept your fuckup in the past, apologize, and commit to doing better moving forward