There has been a lot of controversy in the MoP beta over Ji Firepaw and his dialogue. More specifically something said to female characters.
To Males he greeted them with:
“Hello, friend! You’ve got a strong look to you! I bet you’re all the rage with the ladies! Join me! You and I are going to be good friends!”
To Females he said:
“Hello, friend! You’re some kind of gorgeous, aren’t you? I bet you can’t keep the men off of you! Join me!”
This upset some people and the line has been changed. I have to say was pretty creepy, but then I think the male version was too. My take on it was he was trying to flatter either gender into joining him but getting it wrong and going waaaaaay too far. I’m not sure what it’s been changed to, not having played in the beta. And I’m not against the changes.
But that’s not really what I want to talk about. It got me thinking though.
Is there no room for ‘offensive’ characterisation in games any more?
I’m not sure I worded it right there so I’ll try and explain.
For example a dev wants to write a new character for the game. This character needs its own personality, and that may depend on what part of the storyline it fits into. Let’s say he is a member of a faction you have to deal with to gain acceptance. But this guy, well, it turns out he really doesn’t like women. And says so. Possibly in vocal terms. And part of the storyline is about you overcoming that. Either he gets cut down to size, or you change his opinion, whatever. My question is this.
Would people allow this to remain in game?
Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Oh, sure, the quest line may make my blood boil, but in the end, as long as the over all message isn’t “Hurr hurr, wimenz are useless” and finishes up with only male characters getting passed it, I’m not going to demand it changed. Shit like this exists in real life, and I hate that, I really do, but I feel removing all traces of offensive subjects from the media would harm rather than help. Show it being challenged. Show it bring overcome. But please don’t act like it never happens, because if people don’t know it does then how can it be beaten.
A new game comes out. In this game female toons can only take the cooking profession and their level cap is 5 levels lower than a male toons.
Now THAT I’d have a major problem with. It doesn’t highlight any issues other than the devs are assholes, and can influence young males into thinking of women as inferior.
Im not saying that it’s ok to have a character do a sudden about turn in personality and abuse someone out of the blue. I’m not saying it’s ok to have offensive content for the sake of the ‘lols’ or to troll users. But I am saying that in my opinion content shouldn’t be sanitised too much.
I hope this makes sense, as it did in my head, but on print I’m not so sure!