For the past few days, the Twitter outrage mob have been demanding that Blizzard remove all references to alleged sexual harasser Alex Afrasiabi from World of Warcraft. Petitions have surfaced as well. Some have even suggested that Blizzard take those NPCs that Alex foolishly named after himself and put them in the all male prison in Stormwind called the Stockades. Strangely enough, there are no all female prisons in Azeroth. Perhaps in the name of equality, diversity and inclusion Blizzard could add an all female prison where players can go in and kill all the NPC inmates like they do in the Stockades?
Kotaku reports that Blizzard is planning on removing all references to Afrasiabi from WoW in the next week. Here’s the official tweet from the WoW Twitter account:
Even Activision-Blizzard mogul Bobby Kotick has just pledged the following:
In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.
What offensive content and who decides what is? Just the NPCs named after Afrasiabi? Or maybe there is more “offensive content” that the Twitter mob is angry about too?
Regrettably, the blue haired identity politics activists within Blizzard are not wasting any time and are already using this tragedy to further their own warped victimhood agenda within the beleaguered studio. They pressured the WoW team to include claptrap and dog whistles like “marginalized groups”, “sexual orientation”, “welcoming”, and “inclusive” etc. into the message. It’s all so tiresome and predictable.
From a legal perspective, if Blizzard were to give in to the mob and pull a Soviet style erasure of the NPCs in question, it would be a huge mistake. By doing this Blizzard would be admitting that the allegations against him are true. They would be preemptively throwing him undering the bus. If this case ever gets to trial, there is no doubt that the sharp legal minds would use this against them as present it as a tacit admission of guilt.
Afrasiabi is small potatoes here and is not the real target, the real target is the corporation that allowed him and others to get away with this alleged misconduct for all those years.
Over the past 17 years, Blizzard has foolishly allowed their designers to include all kinds references to themselves in WoW. Putting a memorial to yourself in a fantasy virtual world is vanity as it’s worst and another example of the immaturity and sheer stupidity of the Blizzard management and their developers. Rob Pardo was leading the WoW design team then, why on earth did he allow this to happen?
On a personal note, I always hated the fact that Afrasiabi named so many NPCs after himself. I would always do a /rude emote every time I had the misfortune to pass by one of the many living monuments he created to himself in Azeroth.
Blizzard is panicking right now and are facing an employee revolt. So it looks like they are going ahead with this Stalinist cancellation of Afrasiabi’s cringey references to himself. While they are at it, they should remove references to all Blizzard employees past and present from WoW as who knows what other bad behavior will soon be coming to light. If they did this, they could not be called out for throwing him under the bus. They should also remove all pop culture references from the MMO. It was unoriginal and sophomoric in the first place.
Update: the purge has begun