There’s been discord on Discord in recent weeks as World of Warcraft players and former staff have been drawing the ire of their fellow fans with controversial and hateful comments. Just another day in the paradise that is 2021 for Activision Blizzard.
Not very long after the launch of the WoW Community Council, arguments erupted over the kind of representation that was brought on board. Which came as a surprise to precisely nobody.
With the exclusive WoW forum acting as the official platform from which councillors could air their grievances and feedback, it didn’t take long for Discord to provide a space where councillors could converse behind ‘closed doors’. Though as we know, there are no closed doors on the internet.
The ‘Seat of the Council’ was soon littered with red flags as users began discussing the sudden inclusion of BIPOC NPCs in place of white ones. Unpleasantly summarised by one comment that suggested that there were “too many [black people] in Stormwind”.
Kotaku does a good job at analysing the politics and complexities of the conversation, however more Discord dissonance has emerged thanks to the comments of one former Activision Blizzard employee as revealed in a series of screenshots by ABetterABK founder and organiser, Jessica Gonzalez.
On a server named ‘The Right Wing of Gaming’, Geoff Frazier (under the name ‘Nebu’) has been decrying the efforts of AbetterABK to change the shape of the WoW developer in light of its tumultuous allegations against them this year. And in messages dating back to May 2021, women, the LGBT+ community and disabled people have also been in the firing line.
Some of the bigoted takes were posted during Frazier’s tenure at Activision Blizzard, though he apparently left the company in September this year. Needless to say, however, the screenshots don’t help Activision Blizzard’s case in fighting against the ‘frat boy culture’ and discrimination allegations.
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