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Is Blizzard Racist?


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Showing 1-25 of 53 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 26, 2012 5:30:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 5:31:51 AM PDT
AxisBeefyBoy says:
So I played through the D3 open beta last weekend and, as I always do with Blizzard games, I had a blast. But something always nags at my conscience anytime I log out of battle.net.

Am I complicit in racist stereotyping?

As Burke once said, "...the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing..."

I looked at my character, the Witch-Doctor, obviously a "voodoo" priestess of some sort, modeled after some fantastical distortion of Haitian culture. The WD, while a fun character to play in D3, harkens back aesthetically to cruel 19th and early 20th century depictions of African/Caribbean culture and folk as little more than savages dancing to the beat of pounding drums, replete with bones through their noses.

That got the juices flowing, so I did some digging.

It's interesting to note that one of Blizzard's first games (Silicon and Synapse) was "The Lost Vikings." While lacking any demeaning depictions of black culture, it's fixation on 3 Aryan warriors and their struggle to overcome a technologically superior race should give the objective observer pause.

Rock and Roll racing... in the future, music will consist of rock music from the 1970s and 1980s. Gone will be Hip-Hop, Jazz, Blues, Motown, Reggae, and Ragtime. Granted, Ragtime and combat racing might make strange bedfellows... then again, that might be wickedly awesome.

Blackthorne... BLACKthorne is a shotgun-wielding WHITE man. What does his name mean? Is he a THORNe to BLACKS?

Warcraft: Orcs and Humans... The modern era for Blizzard begins here. The game is set in a fantasy version of Western Europe circa 800-1400 AD. Giving Blizzard the benefit of the doubt here.
Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness (and Beyond the Dark Portal)... same as above... but something's fishy about that Troll Axethrower unit...

Diablo... "AH HA!" says the Blizzard fanboy! "We got you here! The sorcerer! The powerful and learned scholar! He is black and he brakes all racist tropes!" Fair enough. I'll go ahead and add in Diablo 2 and LOD here as well; the Paladin is black, and he's a noble champion of light and holiness. It looks like my case is... wait a minute... Diablo 1 and 2 weren't made by Blizzard... they were made by BLIZZARD NORTH, a formerly independent company (Condor?) that began developing Diablo 1 on their own until Blizzard bought them. Blizzard North is gone now, and with them went Blizzard's only sense of open-mindedness.

Starcraft... The marines are reformed criminals, as are the firebats. The firebats are actually worse in terms of their deviancy than the marines and the firebats are... you guessed it.

Warcraft 3... See Warcraft 1 and 2... but something about those trolls... wait a second... are they throwing spears now? What's a synonym for "to throw?" We're not very far from "chucking," are we?

World of Warcraft... you can "roll" a human "toon" and you can make him black. Whoopee. A black character running around in medieval England-ish Azeroth. Fair enough, I will cede this to Blizzard. But isn't it interesting that TROLLS are pretty much the only embodiment of anything representing real-world black culture in that game? And those tusks certainly look like bones through the nose, don't they?

Starcraft 2... back to the marines, firebats, and this time marauders. The marines remain white. The firebats and marauders are clearly black, and Blizzard goes to great length to make it clear that they are criminals. In fact, Blizz actually gives us statistics for the marauders, graciously noting that "only 47% of marauders have ever been to jail."

And that brings us back to D3 and the Witch Doctor...

Anyway, those are the facts and just the facts. Draw your own conclusions.

And see you all at launch on May 15.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:32:03 AM PDT
MrFoxhound says:
You need more games to play, as you clearly have too much time on your hands.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:36:08 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Yes, they are racist.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:36:41 AM PDT
Bobbum Man says:
Did you research "Witch Doctor". You can't be racist if your depiction of it is accurate.

Would you prefer the Witch Doctor to be some middle class white man in a suit?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:36:51 AM PDT
Soulshine says:
I wasn't sure if you were joking until you brought up Rock and Roll racing.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:38:52 AM PDT
Pandaren Monks, proof that Blizzard wants nothing more than to mock our Chinese overlord.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:49:47 AM PDT
Rev says:
Surprisingly you have a point, you noticed something out of the corner of your eye. Assuming you played all these, unless you did read up on them. either way, it makes one wonder. i wouldnt be surprised if a company like this would be in any form racist. without being bias, i lost interested in Blizzard myself once they started stealing other companies ideas and ruining their own games, but thats another story. Its one thing to make a character type for a game, its another to bend the rules of character lores as we all know how they should be based upon other Fantasy realms... BUT its a big deal to stereotype a character to fit a specific culture. That can cause controversy on itself and if anyone really figures it out and it gets widespread then hell itself will break loose. (slight exaggeration there. lol)

maybe you did have too much time on your hands, maybe you didnt. you brought out some interesting facts about the games. im not going to look into them and conspiriorize about them. just thought it was quite interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:00:42 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
This 100%.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:05:04 AM PDT
LogJam says:
Well they are obviously racists. The whole lot of them. As racist as the day is long

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:06:09 AM PDT
JWK says:
"Blackthorne... BLACKthorne is a shotgun-wielding WHITE man. What does his name mean? Is he a THORNe to BLACKS?"

Welp, that's all the evidence I need. *lights a torch*

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:08:01 AM PDT
MrFoxhound says:
I'm pretty sure that the protagonist in Blackthrone was Native American.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:08:45 AM PDT
J. says:
This made me lol.

+1 internets for Axis.

Blizz is only slightly better than Tanooki-killing Nintendo.

When will the hate stop?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:09:16 AM PDT
JWK says:
"Anyway, those are the facts and just the facts. Draw your own conclusions.

And see you all at launch on May 15."

Woah, woah, woah. You've just PROVEN beyond a shadow of a doubt that Blizzard is the largest collection of racists the Earth has ever known.... and you're *still* going to buy Diablo III? Me and my friends here will still light our torches... but after we're through with Blizzard, we're coming after YOU.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:10:20 AM PDT
JWK says:
No, no. Axis has done research on the internet. This guy knows his stuff...

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:11:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 26, 2012 6:12:47 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:12:17 AM PDT
Coffee says:
Can't tell if trolling...or is seriously delusional...

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:18:52 AM PDT
Eh, troll topic sounds better suited to a Friday discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:37:56 AM PDT
"The marines are reformed criminals, as are the firebats. The firebats are actually worse in terms of their deviancy than the marines and the firebats are... you guessed it."

Firebats are what? White?

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:39:12 AM PDT
Kr155 says:
What about night elves?

Why is it that every time a character has blonde hair blue eyes we have to assume the writer is a closet aryan brotherhood member

That being said I would think that depicting nordic cultures as horn wearing axe weilding mead drinking warriors would kinda go hand in hand with the generic depiction of the witch doctor. on top of that it is in the nature of video games to use charactures, especially in games like star craft and war craft where you could have 20 of the same unit with no chance of individual expression. and in a game like WOW where you have to present cultural differences. Carribean/ african culture wernt the only ones used. You have scottish for the dwarves, midevil england for the humans, North american for the tauran, Is it gypsie for the Daenei? etc.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:41:20 AM PDT
The werewolves in WoW prove it! Lol me and a friend used to joke about it. Ever notice, ALL the people are white, but when they turn "evil" and become werewolves they're suddenly all black? ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:50:01 AM PDT
J. says:
And Orcs, the primary group of antagonists within the Warcraft universe are obviously modeled after African American stereotypes.

The Witch Doctor in D3 calls upon "firebats" to do his dirty work. We already know the Firebat is a crude representation of the black community in Starcraft, but their role in D3 has been further reduced to the role of servitude.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:51:46 AM PDT
Jon says:
Maybe Blizzard isn't racist, but you are.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:56:44 AM PDT
You also had the warlock class in WoW, one of his abilities was to summon a large black man (or a voidwalker as they called it) to take damage for you...

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 7:05:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 7:05:44 AM PDT
Most of the time, it's racist people pointing out racism.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:06:44 AM PDT
GUEST!! says:
And you could SEE THE MANACLES on the Voidwalker!!
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  53
Initial post:  Apr 26, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 27, 2012

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