When You Put Bunny Ears On An Orc, YOU PROMOTE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Feministing dislikes Noblegarden.

(I do too, but only because it’s really tedious.)

To be a bit more serious, they do have a valid point, and one that could have been minimized very easily with intelligent design (for example, requiring both players to trade an item to activate the bunny state). But Blizzard has shown time and again that not only do they tend to encourage their community to minimize social concerns, they also tend to respond childishly when those concerns are brought up.

And yet, hey, 12 million subscribers!

(One of whom apparently won the game. Whoops.)

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117 Responses to When You Put Bunny Ears On An Orc, YOU PROMOTE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

  1. Bugz says:

    Damn Lum. You are really on a roll with this stuff today! 🙂

  2. Joshua Meadows says:

    (Darkfall!)

  3. Mailius says:

    The strange part about the happenings with Martin Fury was their forum mods were (for once) really cracking down and generally deleting threads about the subject as soon as they popped up.

    Although some of Blizzard’s decisions are immature (putting rabbit ears on female characters, uh hello Playboy?) are there any game companies that are a beacon of social awareness that all others should aspire to (and make good games?).

  4. TPRJones says:

    You know what? It’s just a game.

    If this is all that feminists have left to worry about, then in the real world women must have pretty much licked problems in equality across the globe. Congratulations women!

  5. TPRJones says:

    Although I will admit it was rather short-sighted of them to limit the bunny ears to female avatars. Surely they had to know someone would take it amiss?

  6. Drey says:

    There’s a subtle irony, to me at least, that the page header for feministing contains a pair of curvy female silhouettes, similar to the mud flaps you often see on pickup trucks and semi tractors; I’d have thought that would be construed as demeaning to women as well.

  7. Mortarion says:

    That author sounded like she was trying really hard (and mostly failing) to be offended. It comes off more snarky towards online games than anything.

  8. DrewC says:

    I’m genuinely surprised they limited it to female avatars. Seems like you get the same comic value by making it male or female avatars (if not more, cause we all know teh ghey is funny), and you can pretty easily deflect claims of sexism at that point by saying “oh we’re just making a pop-culture joke, go protest Playboy.”

    Also, back when I played WOW (mmm free time) I thought you could only cast targeted costumes on players in your group. Seems like a pretty simple and obvious restriction to keep. I mean, I’d be pissed off if someone overwrote my wicked awesome skeleton costume with their stupid bunny ears.

  9. Longasc says:

    Double standards indeed.

    I am a bit tired of this “It’s just a game” talk. World of Warcraft is a social meeting place, it is not that disconnected from the real world. If I call someone a nigger, I get banned immediately. Racist comment. Talk about sex – and you are in danger to get banned.

    I agree that this should not be blown out of proportion. Some female players probably liked it, too. But I am a male and do not have to endure this and similar oh so funny ideas over and over.

    On a related note, more achievements please. For every possible bullshit one can think of, more please… sigh.

  10. Sutro says:

    What makes you think the author’s a she? 😉

    No, I was offended, and in informal conversations I’ve had, I’m not alone. From my personal standpoint, I think it’s ridiculous to implement an achievement that has a chance of offending -anyone-. I spotted the potential for it to offend strongly right away.

    What I think is the important takeaway here is that there’s apparently a content creation culture at Blizzard that *doesn’t* recognize this capacity to offend, at all. To me, it speaks greatly about a wide variety of things, including male viewpoint dominance

    Think about it. Blizzard’s a pretty rigorous content machine. How many eyes did this pass before and not ONE person stopped to think, “Mmm, maybe we should do it a little different.”? “Little” being the operative term: Change the bunny ears to both sexes, and you’ve got a somewhat puerile achievement (like so many others,) but one with a lot less capacity to rile people up. Do what Lum suggested, and it’s perfectly fine.

  11. Gexx says:

    @Drey
    The zaftug women are flipping the bird. Here we are reappropriating a cultural meme and telling the the kyriarchy to f*ck off.

  12. TPRJones says:

    @Longasc: You do realize that WoW is a completely racist game, though, right? I mean come on, the very first thing you do is choose your race, and what side you’ll take in the ongoing horribly bloodthirsty race war that rocks the world of WoW and is the basis of the entire first half of everything you do.

    Almost all the major quest lines are rooted in one way or another in attempted genocide.

  13. Somedudepassingby says:

    “From my personal standpoint, I think it’s ridiculous to implement an achievement that has a chance of offending -anyone-. I spotted the potential for it to offend strongly right away.”

    By that logic, it’s folly to implement any achievements at all, because whatever you do somebody‘s gonna be offended….

  14. Not only did they limit it to females, they had to be over level 18. How creepy is that?

  15. Sutro says:

    @TPR: That’s fair, and there’s a long line of Internet discussions about if that’s appropriate or not.

    But let’s enter into a hypothetical and say it’s wrong. Does that mean that the achievement issue is the right way to do things, just because genocide is wrong? I didn’t know that there was a reason in society that we can’t fix one wrong because another thing that’s wrong is so much bigger.

    Just because item A, which takes a complete structural overhaul to change, isn’t the best way to go, does that mean that item B (which takes a minimal amount of time to change) is invalid?

  16. Exeter says:

    Too bad that so many female avatars (most?) are actually played by dudes.

  17. miber says:

    I’m offended by people being so easily offended.

  18. Daniel says:

    @TPRJones

    The thing that is even more shocking to me is that when you do the Betrayal series of quests in Northrend all the Scourge talk like Jamaicans. It’s all ‘dis and ‘dat and mon. It’s kinda funny but really I’m shocked that no one has made a big deal about the “bad guys” talking black. I can only assume that there aren’t too many black folks that play WoW.

  19. Informis says:

    My wife plays WoW and does not hide the fact that she is female. The amount of misogynistic nonsense she has to put up with is appalling. From being accused of starting drama (she doesn’t), to getting one-on-one strategy sessions to help her improve (she pulls 4.5K-5K DPS), to being told she doesn’t know how to play (she does), to getting offers from males who want to take her guild off her hands so they can whip it into shape (it doesn’t need whipping into shape), she puts up with more humiliating BS in one week than I could stand in a year.

    The point being, if you’re a writer looking for a women’s-issues topic in WoW, you can do a whole lot better than exploring the chauvinistic underpinnings of Noblegarden.

  20. Mailius says:

    Daniel :
    @TPRJones
    The thing that is even more shocking to me is that when you do the Betrayal series of quests in Northrend all the Scourge talk like Jamaicans. It’s all ‘dis and ‘dat and mon. It’s kinda funny but really I’m shocked that no one has made a big deal about the “bad guys” talking black. I can only assume that there aren’t too many black folks that play WoW.

    In that particular quest you’re mostly talking to trolls if I recall– Trolls have always had a Jamaican accent (setting wise Trolls are also from a chain of islands). Just like in Warhammer where each of the races has a real-world analogue, in Warcraft (which is based on Warhammer) each race has some degree of similarity to a real world race.

  21. ikew says:

    Warning : Some people might be offended by the following comment.

    …. aaaand :

    The people that get offended by such things are idiots.

    Now, don’t take me for some male supremacy neo-nazi, some of my best girlfriends have been female (now that i think about it, all of them were), but i say that people (and women) of all genders should just stick it and shut up. Freedom of speech > freedom of not being offended. Bad jokes make me angry and i’d like to throw some shoes at people for coming up with that shit, but it’s my personal opinion (though i’d prefer the shoes to be someone else’s) and to insist that my gender shares my feelings, basing this assumption on a few friends i have talked to… Well that would be pretty dumb. And if feminists do it, they are dumb. Yea. Take this, feminist… dumbs. Dumbies. Somethings that are dumb. Bah. You got the point.

    @ Informis – the people she plays with are idiots. Dumb idiots. A friend’s girlfriend is a raid leader in a good guild in wow and get all due respect. She even got that position faster than most male raid leaders there.
    It depends on the PEEEPEEEL you play with, is that sooo hard :/

    I gotta grab some booze

  22. Din A3 says:

    Wow… PC is so last century. I thought people were over it already. Anyway, since we’re at it… I’m offended by violence. I’m a pacifist. So I think WoW should have a lot less violence-related achievements. And quests. And raids too. Also, no races. Or factions.
    We’re one big happy family.

  23. neispace says:

    All i have to say is they better not discover the entire mithra race in final fantasy xi, or they’ll pop a blood vessel. You can youtube “mithra character creation” and I think you will soon realize that this is nothing compared to the power of the dark side of the (japanese) force.

    They can even be school girls with scholar artifact armor!

  24. ml says:

    using the bunny item should flag you for free for all pvp. there, problem solved.

  25. Gexx says:

    @ikew
    And yet Blizzard and it’s environments are not a free speech zone. That’s the issue. Blizzard has committed itself to create a relatively safe space with restrictions on speech, and Sutro even quoted their legal-eese. So here, Blizzard is blatently going against their set policy and creating a situation where targeted individuals not only are removed of their agency in ways not consistent with typical game play (ie- pvp on a pvp server), but also rewarding others for participating and perpetuating this view of the female body as public property.

    Oh, and when someone starts a conversation with “Don’t take me as…” or “I’m not X but,”… yeah. It’s both a derailing technique (see: http://www.derailingfordummies.com/) and a fake apology.

  26. Joshua Meadows says:

    ikew :
    Warning : Some people might be offended by the following comment.
    …. aaaand :
    The people that get offended by such things are idiots.
    Now, don’t take me for some male supremacy neo-nazi, some of my best girlfriends have been female (now that i think about it, all of them were), but i say that people (and women) of all genders should just stick it and shut up. Freedom of speech > freedom of not being offended. Bad jokes make me angry and i’d like to throw some shoes at people for coming up with that shit, but it’s my personal opinion (though i’d prefer the shoes to be someone else’s) and to insist that my gender shares my feelings, basing this assumption on a few friends i have talked to… Well that would be pretty dumb. And if feminists do it, they are dumb. Yea. Take this, feminist… dumbs. Dumbies. Somethings that are dumb. Bah. You got the point.
    @ Informis – the people she plays with are idiots. Dumb idiots. A friend’s girlfriend is a raid leader in a good guild in wow and get all due respect. She even got that position faster than most male raid leaders there.
    It depends on the PEEEPEEEL you play with, is that sooo hard :/
    I gotta grab some booze

    Freedom of speech only applies to government interaction.

    So what does this have to do with a privately-owned video game? Or even freedom of speech?

  27. Gexx says:

    @Informis
    And they have been written. And feel free to write more. And encourage your wife to write them and to support female gamers undergoing the same things that she and I deal with.

    This article is (coincidentally, surprise surprise) corresponding with Noblegarden which is going on RIGHT NOW.

    Just because this is the article that appeared on Broken Toys doesn’t mean it’s the only one in existence. After all, absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.

  28. Sutro says:

    @Informis: That’s very valid.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that the game’s creators – the environs of the virtual world itself – are supporting a degree of misogyny. No, it’s not the greatest travesty ever perpetrated within World of Warcraft to females, but I dare say it’s one of the biggest that the developers have put their rubber stamp on and said, “This is the content we feel you should experience.”

    There’s some chicken-and-egg things you could say about it, but in my experience, reducing misogyny, racism, whatever, in the environment tends to change the behavior. Daryl Gates thought the same about crime in New York (broken glass syndrome) and it worked out pretty well for them.

  29. Iggep says:

    These are the same type of women that for years have preached how they support women. yet what they really mean is they support the “right” kind of woman. In other words, only women that support their own narrow point of view.

    Callous or not, these women are ridiculous. Their point is ridiculous, and I can only bring myself to feel pity for them.

  30. dartwick says:

    Lets see if you can guess my thoughts here.

    On second thought – more drama queens.

  31. Arkazon says:

    There is a very, very easy way for anyone strongly offended by Blizzard’s choices to take action: cancel your account. If you continue to pay for a service that you are offended by, then truly you are the fool, no?

    If the offended folks cancel their accounts, Blizzard will be able to gauge right away just how much of a minority this voice of the public really is. Otherwise, it’s whining without action to back up your principles.

  32. Informis says:

    “Just because this is the article that appeared on Broken Toys doesn’t mean it’s the only one in existence.”

    Of course. It’s just that, on the Internet there are billions of people vying for my outrage. I have learned to spend my reserves carefully. The Noblegarden bunny achievement isn’t helping things, but it is small potatoes.

  33. J. says:

    Arkazon :
    There is a very, very easy way for anyone strongly offended by Blizzard’s choices to take action: cancel your account. If you continue to pay for a service that you are offended by, then truly you are the fool, no?

    I don’t think anyone suggested that anyone was going to cancel their accounts over un-asked-for bunny ears on all the female characters.

  34. Sutro says:

    @Arkazon: That’s one way to look at it.

    Here’s another way. Take the example of an article in your local newspaper that is biased. Now, the rest of the content’s pretty good, you’ve had a gripe or two in the past, but overall, the service has been positive. You want to continue to use the service the paper provides you.

    But this one article is just too much. So, you write a letter to the editor. The reason you do so is that you WANT to continue to use the service, but the one piece of content produced that day is just not acceptable.

    Consider this a letter to the editor. I get a lot of entertainment utility out of World of Warcraft, but this one piece of content – in the mix of lots of others, that I like – is really objectionable. If content like it continues to appear, I’ll quit.

    I don’t feel that’s an unreasonable position.

  35. Gexx says:

    @Informis
    And even small potatoes are enough for you to devote two comment postings to.

  36. geldonyetich says:

    I’m with Lum – they might just have a point in this case. Lets break that down again:

    To get the Playboy achievement, you must place bunny ears, involuntarily, on female only characters of all the races of level-18 or above.

    Does it promote sexism? Not necessarily. However, it’s close enough to griefing on the ground that it’s causing involuntary, unexpected changes in other player characters, and that it’s gender targeted certainly raises raises some eyebrows.

    If I can’t shift it around to something guys wouldn’t mind if it were targeting them specifically, I can’t justify the act as being baseless as pertains to sexism.

    The “Playboy” title just seals it. I think Blizzard’s money hats have been cutting of the circulation to their brains that they live in such an incredible lala land that this made it past quality assurance.

  37. tmp says:

    Perhaps Blizzard could also introduce a matching buff, one working only on male characters of level 40+. The buff would attach extremely tiny, bright red sport car to character’s crotch and be called “Rev your stuff in high gear” or something.

  38. JuJutsu says:

    Gexx :@InformisAnd even small potatoes are enough for you to devote two comment postings to.

    I think the potatoes are so small, that I’m only going to devote 1 comment posting.

  39. Facebook User says:

    It’s anti-feminist to say that I’m a woman who isn’t offended, isn’t it? Ah well.

  40. Gx1080 says:

    First, that wasnt for sexism, it was for the lulz (In that thread, you can see a female gamer saying that). And, yes it did get the lulz, but they should add an archievement on male characters over level 40. I propose “Taking the blue buff”. You are welcomed to propose any.

    PS: DarkFall.;)

  41. The Alien says:

    Since I know lot of the people getting mad about this don’t actually play the game in question, I first wish to point out that you can put ears on anyone. The achievement is just female-only. This is just background information, not support or condemnation.

    Second, I would like to mention that the linked article includes discussion of the Hodir-themed quests. From my point of view, they are not in any way exploitative of women.

    Why? The Sons of Hodir are all male. Their tasks are typical burly male warrior stuff. I promise you, they are all polishing each others helmets, blowing each others horns and thrusting their spears with each other.

    It’s all terribly homoerotic.

  42. ceolstan says:

    Informis :
    My wife plays WoW and does not hide the fact that she is female. The amount of misogynistic nonsense she has to put up with is appalling….she puts up with more humiliating BS in one week than I could stand in a year.
    The point being, if you’re a writer looking for a women’s-issues topic in WoW, you can do a whole lot better than exploring the chauvinistic underpinnings of Noblegarden.

    I’d argue that the problem with something like Noblegarden is that it’s an institutionally-supported amount of crap. I’m also female, and in my own small gaming niche, it’s fairly well-known that I’m female. Right now, in my community and in my game, I’m generally not subjected to a lot of the kinds of sexism that many women face in game. That’s refreshing.

    However, most women realize that online communities will attract some people who like to exploit their anonymity by making sexist comments, using game emotes as a way to make sexual overtures, etc. The people who think those kinds of actions are funny are juvenile, but more importantly, they’re able to be written off as individuals.

    It’s different when the game itself creates and promotes sexist behavior. At that point, it’s institutional, and while it may seem like small potatoes in the greater scheme of things that women have to put up with, it’s galling because if women want to play the game, they have to put up with crap that the game encourages and even rewards.

  43. Gexx says:

    @ceolstan
    exactly! that’s a wonderful way to frame this frustration!

  44. Mist says:

    A reference to Playboy? Women were associated with bunnies long before Playboy was around. Like about 2000 years.

    PS: There is no Playboy title, author is misinformed.

  45. Mist says:

    Also, how putting bunny ears involuntarily on someone is somehow different from all the love and heart shower related stuff for the Love Fool holiday?

  46. dartwick says:

    This promotes sexism about as much as killing horde promotes violence.

  47. taodon says:

    Gee, why aren’t there more female gamers?!!

  48. hitnrun says:

    @ceolstan
    Well said. Longasc, too. When I can yell real life racial slurs at night elves, I’ll tell people annoyed by this to shut up because it’s just a game.

    Hell, I’d feel sexually harassed on my female characters, and I’m male. (If my WoW account were still up, that is.) Who the hell needs creepy shit like that? Not even so much in town – the bank areas of WoW are hives for all kinds of irritation – but when you happen to be alone with someone, on the outskirts or in a quest area, and he decides to do something sexually themed to your avatar that you aren’t allowed to prevent, specifically because it’s female.

    You don’t need to be a PhD in Women’s Studies who wrote in Hillary to see how that’s fucked up.

  49. Nerd Rage says:

    Come on, the tin foil hat thing was funny. The rest of it… meh.

    I can’t help but say something about how this is, for every disgruntled WoW player who won’t quit, essentially a dysfunctional relationship. You’re with someone who acts like you don’t matter, and treats you like shit, but rather than leaving them, you’re the type of person who reacts to this by actually wanting them more. Oh but it’s more complicated than that, what about the kids / my guild? You see where this is going… and it happens to both men and women all the time.

    Given the nature of the internet, I’m certain it’s impossible for someone to disagree with the claim that bunny ears equals misogyny for completely non-sexist reasons, but I’m going to do it anyway. If bunny ears in a video game honestly bothers you, your life is pretty good right now. Take your misguided energy and focus on a serious problem. How about building homes for the homeless, or volunteering at a soup kitchen? No? Is it because those things don’t actually benefit you? I’m going to reword the title of that feministing post to reflect the true intent of the author. “My Life, That’s Boring. Let’s Add Sexism!”

    I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate concerns among females regarding actual cases of sexism that occur every day. There are real problems we, as a society, must work on. But bunny ears in the world of warcraft… not so much. That’s good for one thing and one thing only. Inciting drama so people will pay attention to you, even if only for a little while. And in the end, it only serves to push people away from legitimate issues because they’re tired of hearing about the insignificant crap like this.

  50. Raelyf says:

    I’m not really sure I’d call sexism on this one. Annoying? Quite possibly – but sexist? I don’t think so. I mean, of WoW’s entire population of female avatars, I’d estimate somewhere between 50-90% of them are male behind the computer. At that point, does avatar gender have any real meaning?

  51. Nerd Rage says:

    FWIW, I will agree that involuntarily putting ears on anyone is not cool, and making it a requirement for a game enhancing mount is extremely not cool, but all of those things were an afterthought in the add sexism post.

    Go ahead and resume hating me now. I should probably say something about getting back in the kitchen so it’s easier to dismiss my rantings.

  52. Angelworks says:

    I’d offer my design help (for free) to Blizzard because it feels like they need it – not that I have any professional experience doing that sort of thing, but I thought of a bunch of more fun things to do for that holiday event than what they came up with – for instance hide eggs around all cities, not just 4 or 5 per faction.

    The bunny ear thing was just wierd to be honest. I had people following me around at one point :/.

  53. Vetarnias says:

    Never mind whether this is sexist (I’d say it is); what does it say about our society when 12 million people subscribe to, and are apparently content with, a game having stupid quests like placing bunny ears on a female character?

  54. mer says:

    This is pretty funny in a dark way.
    Second time this month something like this came up.
    Female gamer said she and/or her friend where made uncomfortable/upset/angry about a development choice.

    Male gamers line up to tell her how she is wrong and how “some female gamers obviously like it”. That their opinion on the matter makes it ok. And she should shut up.

    Hmmmm. What does that tell me?

    I’m just glad that not making these stupid mistakes makes good developers more money.

  55. Athryn says:

    You have to be kidding me. As a female gamer myself, I don’t think that article by feministing represents a majority of how women players feel. Heck, on the first night of Noblegarden, I held an impromptu parade around Dalaran on my Dwarf priest, with many people, both Horde and Alliance, thanking me for hanging out long enough for them to put ears on me. None of the other female players in my guild (of which we have many, actually) even commented, other than the fact that it’s a pain to find someone who plays orc females.

    If you want to put a real finger on the pulse of female wow players, go no further than the wowladies community on livejournal.

    I haven’t seen one mention there of a sexist aspect to the event, and trust me, when they have issues with something, they’re not reticent. There are frequent discussions there about issues dealing with women players in wow, and this just was not one of them.

  56. ikew says:

    @Gexx

    Freedom of speech is not some strange government idea, it’s *value* of our civilization. To be precise, it’s one of the most valuable values of our civilization.

    @Gexx
    I see your point – but i still think that people are making a big deal out of a tiny example of genuine tastelessness. I, for one, felt *raped* when a paladin corpse-camped me for about 60 minutes when they were overpowered some months ago. It was demeaning experience, devastating to my ability to enjoy the game and it made me feel like a lowly, unimportant mob. Someone wanted me to feel bad, he really did invest time in it – and he had no reason, i had never seen that guy before, but no, he waited and killed, waited and killed, waited… and killed…
    What i’m trying to say is – there are much worse things that can happen to you there. And they do happen. There was an achievement for /hugging the corpse of a player – when it was introduced, the non-so-much-pvp players on them pvp servers swarmed the low level zones to kill easy targets. And to hug them afterwards. THAT was demeaning. But you got the achievement no matter what gender was the target, so there wasn’t much complaining, eh?

    “Oh, and when someone starts a conversation with “Don’t take me as…” or “I’m not X but,”… yeah. It’s both a derailing technique and a fake apology.”

    I am not convinced that every time someone insist that he is not something, he IS that exact thing.

    Furthermore, i consider myself crusader of HUMAN equality. I do not see the point of giving one gender some exclusive rights. PEOPLE have rights, but sexes? I would not let someone represent me on basis of having the same kind of dangling parts. Neither feminists nor whire

  57. ikew says:

    @Joshua Meadows

    Freedom of speech is not some strange government idea, it’s *value* of our civilization. To be precise, it’s one of the most valuable values of our civilization. It has it’s place almost anywhere.

    @Gexx
    I see your point – but i still think that people are making a big deal out of a tiny example of genuine tastelessness. I, for one, felt *raped* when a paladin corpse-camped me for about 60 minutes when they were overpowered some months ago. It was demeaning experience, devastating to my ability to enjoy the game and it made me feel like a lowly, unimportant mob. Someone wanted me to feel bad, he really did invest time in it – and he had no reason, i had never seen that guy before, but no, he waited and killed, waited and killed, waited… and killed…
    What i’m trying to say is – there are much worse things that can happen to you there. And they do happen. There was an achievement for /hugging the corpse of a player – when it was introduced, the non-so-much-pvp players on the pvp servers swarmed the low level zones to kill easy targets. And to hug them afterwards. THAT was demeaning. But you got the achievement no matter what gender was the target, so there wasn’t much complaining, eh?

    “Oh, and when someone starts a conversation with “Don’t take me as…” or “I’m not X but,”… yeah. It’s both a derailing technique and a fake apology.”

    I am not convinced that every time someone insist that he is not something, he IS that exact thing. : P

    Furthermore, i consider myself crusader of HUMAN equality. I do not see the point of giving one gender some exclusive rights. PEOPLE have rights, but sexes? I would not let someone represent me on basis of having the same kind of dangling parts. Neither feminists nor male supremacy idiots have some special allowance to speak for anyone but themselves.

    sure, some girls have really been offended by the bunny ears. To them i offer to quit wow, if they think the devs don’t deserve their money, or to stand and suffer the indignity like the rest of us do. And to call the ones who stick those ears to them “idiots”.

  58. Sullee says:

    @Scott

    Your suggestion of requiring a trade on both parties wouldn’t work in this case as part of the achievment involves the opposite faction women whom you cannot converse let alone trade with. I get your point though.

    Overall this whole event was very poorly designed… it simply isn’t fun and entirely too facile. The bulk of it is waiting out the RNG if you are going for all the achievements (I gave up after 600 eggs). The meta can be gotten without so much but still it isn’t fun. There is no puzzle for the brain to chew on.. just some timesink via travel and clicking ground spawns. Amazes me this crap makes it out of the most cursory design meeting let alone through their testers (who either suck or have absolutely zero power).

  59. AMIB says:

    Isn’t this the same holiday that has an achievement to wear a tux and blow a kiss to someone wearing a dress, but has not gender restrictions on that whatsoever?

    Can’t win for losing.

    And to correct a factual error here, you can put bunny ears on whoever you like, regardless of gender. If someone wants to follow another player around and keep replacing the bunny ear buff (every five minutes, as it has a cooldown), they can do so, regardless of gender or level.

  60. Spinks says:

    I personally think that achievement would have been a lot more fun if when you put bunny ears on someone, you had a 10% chance to get stunned for 3 minutes and had your PvP flag set. Then if a female character with bunny ears killed you during this period, they could get the achievement, “That Rabbit is Dynamite!!!”

  61. Stabs says:

    Ha ha, very nice Spinks!

    One of the traditional elements of Blizzard games has been a certain level of freedom for the designers. Right from Warcraft 1 there have been little easter eggs or pieces of dialogue that make players do a double-take.

    Perhaps this is the price of freedom, that if you allow your designers to cross certain lines from time to time in pursuit of entertainment they will at times be offensive.

    It’s very much a double-edged sword though, as Spinks recently considered over at her blog games that position themselves as games for boys are effectively jettisoning almost half of their customer base from the outset.

    Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Scott’s take on this is somewhat puerile? The feminist site reporting this didn’t say anything about violence against women. They simply stated it’s degrading to some players, non-consensual, and unfair. Hard to argue with any of those observations.

  62. […] Via Lum, Feministing objects to the new World of Warcraft quest where you find an unsuspecting woman, level 18 or older, and put Playboy bunny ears on her. Sexual harassment or harmless fun? […]

  63. TPRJones says:

    Sure, but all of comedy is degrading to someone, non-consensual, and unfair.

    Every joke has a butt. Sometimes it’s your turn.

  64. Joshua Meadows says:

    ikew :
    @Joshua Meadows
    Freedom of speech is not some strange government idea, it’s *value* of our civilization. To be precise, it’s one of the most valuable values of our civilization. It has it’s place almost anywhere.

    Try again, big boy. It’s government protection that allows me to criticize politicians without needing to fear being arrested or executed for treason like they did in the 1700s.

    I’ll agree that it’s become a value, but only because the original intent has been misunderstood from “protection from government censorship” to “I have to entertain every stupid comment on the blog or forum I pay for else I am Stalin or worse.”

    This isn’t a freedom of speech issue, it’s a right to be stupid issue. Blizzard is a private company, and if they want to have a stupid juvenile event that’s certainly their right; which is weighed against their image and desire to piss of their customers.

    I think the author has a point, but as another poster said earlier in this discussion there are much more severe issues to get upset about regarding sexism and misogyny in WoW and video games at large. I guess the difference in this example though is that the latter, larger issue comes from players acting like twats, while this was done by the game developers themselves.

  65. Drey says:

    @Gexx

    I’ve honestly never bought in to the “it’s OK for a minority to call each other the derogatory names that the majority uses for them, they’re just empowering themselves and taking the word back” line of reasoning. It seems that only works if the majority is no longer using the derogatory word, image, symbology.

  66. Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Scott’s take on this is somewhat puerile? The feminist site reporting this didn’t say anything about violence against women.

    Um, neither did I, save in the painfully obviously satirically strident title.

  67. Joshua Meadows says:

    Scott Jennings :

    Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Scott’s take on this is somewhat puerile? The feminist site reporting this didn’t say anything about violence against women.

    Um, neither did I, save in the painfully obviously satirically strident title.

    Why do you hate women? I’m going to boycott this blog immediately.

    By which I mean post comments telling you how outraged I am.

    >:|||

  68. Drey says:

    @Scott Jennings
    There you go again, Scott, thinking everyone who visits your site recognizes sarcasm when they see it! 🙂

  69. Vetarnias says:

    Joshua Meadows :

    Scott Jennings :

    Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Scott’s take on this is somewhat puerile? The feminist site reporting this didn’t say anything about violence against women.

    Um, neither did I, save in the painfully obviously satirically strident title.

    Why do you hate women? I’m going to boycott this blog immediately.
    By which I mean post comments telling you how outraged I am.
    >:|||

    Do you mean to say that Scott Jennings is ***?

  70. TPRJones says:

    I’m sorry, Vetarnias, that term does not exist in the world of Scott Jennings.

  71. Mortarion says:

    As an aside: I play a dwarf paladin. During the Winter’s Veil holiday, there’s an achievement to make snowflakes fall on the heads of certain races/classes. Everyone had to find a dwarf paladin and put snowflakes on his head.

    There are like five dwarf paladins in WoW. So for the whole holiday, I was *constantly* getting snowflaked. On the surface, it was unfathomably annoying. But you know what? Once I ignored it, it ceased to bother me. My character already looks like a retarded comic book superhero, so who cares what else is going on (graphically) with him?

    All you people who think the bunny ears thing is harassment – well, then the Winter’s Veil thing is harassment too, isn’t it?

    But seriously, if women are going to get offended at something sexist in the game, get offended at pants. Normal pants on guys that turn into chainmail bikinis (the most cliched fantasy armor idea) when worn by women? They have chainmail bikinis in the game, yet you’re getting offended at bunny ears? Come on.

  72. Sutro says:

    @Mortarion

    I can get behind the idea that Winter’s Veil and the Love Fool quests can be harassment as well. I do touch on avatar sovereignty in the post; I feel that the avatar sovereignty issue in this case, though, is exponentially made worse by the sexism issue.

    As far as the dress issue, lots of people have noted that (LtM old schoolers: Remember Lietgardis and the AC Red Dress? ;D ) I agree with it full-heartedly. I just chose to point out this issue.

  73. Vetarnias says:

    @Mortarion
    Yeah, I remember that Winter Veil quest. It struck me as silly beyond words. As for the chainmail bikinis, I have no doubt that they’re there.

    But amidst all that, I don’t think you’ll find another subscription-based game out there which is more “mainstream” and more played by women than World of Warcraft. It’s not just when compared to games aimed at “Teh Hardcorez”, like Darkfall, but to almost every game out there: WAR, Conan, the rest of them.

    And if we’re to mention sexism, how can we not discuss the treatment of women Age of Conan, which is even more questionable than WoW ever will be, even if it were suddenly announced that Haris Pilton was the smartest female NPC in the game.

  74. Laag says:

    Wow Lum… how many times are you going to link the Tinfoil hat April Fool’s Day joke?

    Let it go, man. Not enough people were half as offended as you were to keep harping on it like this.

  75. Cedia says:

    I believe it is offensive to we of the older generation who do remember Hugh Heffner and his Playboy mansion, et all.

    This is the problem, though, most WoW players are young enough to be my grandchildren. So I guess I’ll accept being the minority and just be glad I had my husband click all the eggs to get my pet for me, because I am a terrible “click and run” person and couldn’t stand, as someone else put it, The Dick Olympics.

  76. Klaitu says:

    Verily, thou has besmirched my e-honor, and therefore I shall whine on ye tubes of yore!

    Seriously, people are whining about how bunny ears may appear on your head?

    If you don’t like the event, don’t go to the event, it’s not like you’re being forced to play WoW against your will!

    Seriously, go outside, discover sunlight, and realize that there are.. perhaps.. more important issues than how you can be offended by a video game.

  77. Facebook User says:

    @Mortarion – I know, I was one of the race/class combos that was continually pelted with snowflakes during Winter’s Veil too. But it didn’t bother me. It didn’t inconvenience me in any way or prevent me from carrying out my business in town. I thought they were cute, as I do the bunny ears.

    If I were to level an actual accusation at Blizzard in regard to the treatment of women in WoW, it would be the glaring lack of strong female characters in the lore.

  78. Micah S says:

    Lame Feminists: trivializing actual sexual equality issues with rants about virtual bunny ears since right now.

  79. Amp says:

    If this riles up the feminists, we should add bunny ears to all the female characters.
    If this offends you, you fail at the internet.

  80. Bonedead says:

    IMO (seeing as that comes from the “community” section of the website, which has a disclaimer that views expressed in the community section do not reflect that of the editorial staff) she’s blowing it way out of proportion because she thinks she finally has something gold to impress those she looks up to/aspires to join. Again, this is all IMO. But if you look at her recent comments, she’s saying that it really isn’t a big deal to her, and she just likes getting discussions going.

    She implies that Shake Your Bunny-Maker has some sort of ties to Playboy. I’m pretty sure that’s fucking stupid. Oh man, they changed the word money to bunny, Playboy invented the word bunny, so they must be referring to Playboy. CRAP. If anything they’re just ripping off some rapper, actually, Elmore James (American blues guitarist) coined the term first in 1959. What a sexist bastard amirite?

    I’m done trying to prove some point I’m unaware of. The author of the article is just being loud to be heard, and I’m done giving her attention.

  81. Bleaktea says:

    Is this worse than the red dresses in Asheron’s Call? Because I was informed that those were the greatest evil in the history of mankind.

  82. Turdblossom says:

    I’m not sure that anyone mentioned this yet, but the “fastest mount in the game” she keeps referring to can be gained by several achievements, not just this one. There are more than one meta-achievement that grant that mount (or one of identical stats). It’s a clever bit of obfuscation on her part though, to imply that the only way to get that item is to be [what she considers to be] a sexist.

    I did the Noblegarden stuff, and in all honesty it didn’t even occur to me that it’s sexist; I thought it was tongue-in-cheek good fun, a la Monty Python (those sexist bastards!). Maybe I’m part of the problem; on the other hand, maybe to a woman with a hammer, all the world looks like a nail.

  83. dartwick says:

    Much of many well received MMOs is about the imposition of will and power on others.

    Most men dont write long whiny diatribes when they are gay humped in an FPS or MMO(probably by a straight 14 year old). And I dont think most women get upset of this stuff. We are paying to much attention to drama queens.

  84. Sutro says:

    @Turdblossom: The Heroic:Glory of the Raider/Hero achievements stopped giving the 310 mounts for rewards when patch 3.1 was released. Check your patch notes.

    The only other way to get a 310 mount is a 2 percent drop rate off of a 25-man raid boss, which I don’t really consider practically achievable except through good fortune.

  85. Sutro says:

    @Bonedead: LOL. No. I don’t have any aspirations to join the site; if I did, I wouldn’t write stories that require manual moderation within an hour of its creation.

    And… guilty as charged! I wrote that article hitting the high points of what I felt was wrong with the achievement – without getting into the more complex avatar sovereignty issues – and left it at that.

    Think of that ethos what you want, but we’re in a “quick hit” media consumption society. If you don’t make your points, make them passionately, and get out… it doesn’t get read. That story has the more comments on Feministing’s community site than the vast majority of things posted there. What’s the point of having an opinion if you can’t spark a dialogue – even if it’s against you?

    Like I *also* said in the comment you’re referencing, I absolutely believe in everything I said. I also believe there are more facets to it than what I wrote. And I wouldn’t edit it. If you can’t understand the reasoning for that, we’ll just have to agree to disagree, and you can curry your supporters for your position, and I’ll just kind of hang out. 🙂

  86. wowpanda says:

    All I have to say is Spinks got the best idea, I’d love that 🙂

    And finally figured out why my female toons are getting stalked, it is the garden thing. This is just a game. A lot of hot female toons are controlled by man.

    Spinks :
    I personally think that achievement would have been a lot more fun if when you put bunny ears on someone, you had a 10% chance to get stunned for 3 minutes and had your PvP flag set. Then if a female character with bunny ears killed you during this period, they could get the achievement, “That Rabbit is Dynamite!!!”

  87. Brent Michael Krupp says:

    But Sutro, the Ulduar versions of those achievements give 310 mounts so it’s same as before, availability-wise.

  88. Female Gamer says:

    I’m a feminist. I’m a gamer. And I’m offended …

    …offended by people who are claiming to be offended on my behalf. I never gave them the right to speak for me, and they don’t.

    To anyone who was offended by the bunny ears: When you’ve been told you can’t even apply for a job you’re highly qualified for because you’re female, get offended. When you’ve been told you have to have a man co-sign to open a bank account, get offended. When your college academic advisor tells you that women shouldn’t be in college, and especially not in the sciences, get offended. When you’re denied housing because you’re a single woman, get offended. When you’ve been told you have to clean a filthy bathroom because you’re the only woman working there, get offended. When someone at your new employer’s home office demands that you put the real manager on the phone or you’ll be fired, get offended. And especially, when you’ve been told that your chances of getting a promotion from your boss are directly related to your boss’s chances of getting a blow job from you, get offended.

    If the WORST thing that ever happens to you because you’re female is that someone zaps your game character with silly bunny ears, thank your deity of choice every day that you were not born into my generation, that you did grow up in the world we we grew up in, and that you did not have to fight the struggle we fought to have the opportunities that you take for granted. The women of my generation, and the generations who came before us, fought for the right to equal and fair treatment under the law. We fought for the chance to prove we could do a job, and do it. We fought for the opportunity to be everything we could be, do everything we could do. We did not fight for the right to never be offended. Anyone who thinks that such a right exists is trivializing every woman’s struggle to be treated as a human being, as an adult, as an equal.

    Go ride your pink pony to the land of nicey-nice, you weak sisters. Find yourself some politically correct game where nobody is allowed to say any words, think any thoughts, that you personally do not like. You might want to get yourself a fainting couch while you’re at it, and make sure you have a man standing by to open doors for you and help you into cars. Or woman up, deal with it, and stop looking for things to get offended by, because you’re giving all the real feminists of the world a bad name.

  89. TPRJones says:

    You win the thread!

    Well said.

  90. The Alien says:

    Sutro :
    @Turdblossom: The Heroic:Glory of the Raider/Hero achievements stopped giving the 310 mounts for rewards when patch 3.1 was released. Check your patch notes.

    The Glory of the Ulduar Raider and Heroic: Glory of the Ulduar Raider achievements award new super fast mounts. These directly replace the Glory of the Raider and Heroic: Glory of the Raider reward mounts.

  91. Sutro says:

    @Female Gamer
    I’m really confused where the notion that I’m speaking for all female gamers came from. Did I ever say that I was? Like I’ve said multiple times, I’m not a female. I posted on the community site for Feministing. Maybe the staff posters purport to speak for everyone, I sure as hell don’t.

    You’re right though, it’s a generational difference. It’s the difference between second-wave and third-wave feminism, and there’s plenty of message boards filled with third-wave feminists for you to argue with.

    I’ve iterated TIME AND AGAIN in the comments on this thread that no, I’m well aware that this isn’t the greatest threat to women on the planet. I know there’s bigger, monstrously bigger, issues that are out there.

    What IS scary about this is that there’s such a STFU backlash to someone expressing their opinion, one crafted from the observation that several women – again, do a quick Google search for “noblegarden” and “sexist,” – are bothered by this. As someone on F13 noted, it’s not a situation where “OMG HOUSE ON FIRE, CAT IN TREE, ONE FIRE TRUCK! WHICH DO WE SAVE?” It’s an observation that there’s a content creation culture that’s not recognizing that some people believe these achievements are sexist.

    Look. We’ve all heard the arguments about Barbie, pink clothes, and such. The argument there – that’s pretty well universal among even second-wave and third-wave feminists – is that the patriarchal environment crafts ideology. And it’s an additive effect. If you don’t stand up against patriarchal environmental cues where they exist, how’s anything going to change?

  92. Cedia says:

    @Female Gamer

    Yes, those things are extremely offensive and are examples of inequality. However, things that objectify women also offend me. You’re coming across as rather strident when you tell other women what they should and should not be offended by.

  93. Sutro says:

    @The Alien

    That’s fair. I missed that. I read over them several times to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but I did. That said, there’s not a single guild according to raid tracker WorldofRaids.com that’s finished that achievement yet. It’s early, true, but still a little surprising that not even Nihilum has apparently done it yet.

  94. harl says:

    @Sutro

    I’m offended by achievments.

  95. Sutro says:

    harl :
    @Sutro
    I’m offended by achievments.

    Heh, I get that, harl. In fact, I could have a few things to say about the wisdom of implementing the uber-grindy commitment-centric achievement system in a media/popular environment where MMOs are under assault from all sorts of talking heads about addiction…

    …but I think I’ll save that one for another time. 🙂

  96. Xanthippe says:

    Cedia :
    @Female Gamer
    Yes, those things are extremely offensive and are examples of inequality. However, things that objectify women also offend me. You’re coming across as rather strident when you tell other women what they should and should not be offended by.

    I’m with Female Gamer on this. Actually, I’ll go even further and say that I actually _like_ those pants that look different on female toons than on male toons. Dressing like a strumpet is a fun option. If one doesn’t wish to dress like a strumpet, then don’t.

    Does this make me a sexist? Or just a victim of patriarchal brainwashing?

    My god. There are so many things to complain about with regard to Noblegarden, but this one is the silliest I’ve yet seen. It’s as though someone’s just looking for an argument.

  97. foolsage says:

    Bonedead :
    She implies that Shake Your Bunny-Maker has some sort of ties to Playboy. I’m pretty sure that’s fucking stupid.

    You can’t be serious. The connection is blatant and intentional. Whether this offends you or not (it mostly disappoints me; it doesn’t get me angry but I don’t care for the discrimination, mild and tongue-in-cheek though it is), whether you think it’s sexist or not (I think it is, though as other have noted it’s hardly the worst example of sexism in video games or real life), it’s clearly a reference to Playboy magazine.

  98. Sutro says:

    Well, -this- is interesting.

    The thread on the World of Warcraft forums discussing my Feministing post was nuked by the moderators:

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=16474315406&sid=1

    Pretty funny considering that personal attacks go past the mods on a daily basis. Yeah, the thread was extremely hostile to me, but I was taking it in stride in my responses. I’ve seen way worse personal attacks on the WoW forums go by unnoticed, and the topic matter doesn’t violate their CoC.

    I’ve got an e-mail in to CM, be interested to see the response.

  99. D-0ne says:

    I find W.O.W. offensive.

  100. Spinks says:

    @Female Gamer: I’m very glad that I never had to experience the discrimination in the workplace that you did, and very grateful to feminists of your generation for all the progress that you made. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and surely we are still allowed to feel upset (even if it is just a mild twinge) whenever we sense that we are being treated differently by those in a position of power due to our gender?

    Still, it does give me the chance to use a phrase that I haven’t used since I was at university (and thought I would never use again!)

    I demand the right to define my own oppression!

    IMO the dreadful over-reaction on bboards that Sutro mentions above implies that … there is an issue. Or at least, a lot of players are not yet capable of calmly discussing the possibility of discrimination in games they play. I think we still have a way to go.

  101. tmp says:

    dartwick :Most men dont write long whiny diatribes when they are gay humped in an FPS or MMO(probably by a straight 14 year old). And I dont think most women get upset of this stuff. We are paying to much attention to drama queens.

    I think this is more about the developers being dense enough to encourage players to act in such manner, rather than anything else. I figure if an FPS or MMO made it actual achievement to teabag X players, it’d raise some eyebrows and spawn some blog posts, too.

  102. JuJutsu says:

    “I demand the right to define my own oppression!”

    Me too!

  103. I think my Blood Elf DK looks HOT in the bunny ears… I don’t get it. 😉

  104. Merc says:

    Men and Women are different. Film at 11:00.

  105. geldonyetich says:

    You can define your own oppression or claim to be a female gamer who is okay with this until the cows come home. Either way, you’re not setting a global definition, and the question isn’t whether someone will be offended by this – someone will be offended about anything – so much as what (if any) actual harm this is doing.

  106. Sullee says:

    I think this is much ado about nothing. Not that your complaints don’t have merit moreso they just need to get in line behind the fact that this very poorly designed content.

    Everyone gives blizzard credit for such quality but this was shit. So is the bulk of the achievement system. I am tired of the industry insiders occasionally taking half-hearted swipes at these chuckle heads and then going back to giving them money and trying to copy them.

    This holiday event was utterly and entirely crap design. It wasn’t even amateur level. Blizzard should get blasted to hell and back every time they they try to get away with something like this.

    Having poorly designed achievements that encourage the wrong type of play because of an irresistable carrot is reprehensible. This little event alone had achievements that to complete required waiting out the RNG and unhealthy camping. You folks should start self policing some of this bs or it will be bad for everyone.

  107. AMIB says:

    @tmp
    Because the female head is such an object of sexualization.

  108. Longasc says:

    Well said, Sullee.

    I actually think it was also casually sexist and a sign of the usual Blizzard ignorance and double standards, but I absolutely agree to your comment regarding achievements:

    Crap achievements and dangling a carrot for people that they get if they do the most hilarious crap in shitty designed events.
    Unfortunately, we have many games out there that share the achievement craze, basically to-do lists with hilarious objectives to gain something special in the end.

    http://worldofwarcraft.mmocluster.com/achievements
    I suggest creating this achievement:

  109. harl says:

    Sutro :

    harl :
    @Sutro
    I’m offended by achievments.

    Heh, I get that, harl. In fact, I could have a few things to say about the wisdom of implementing the uber-grindy commitment-centric achievement system in a media/popular environment where MMOs are under assault from all sorts of talking heads about addiction…
    …but I think I’ll save that one for another time.

    Actually I was commenting on “I think it’s ridiculous to implement an achievement that has a chance of offending -anyone-.” The only outcome of that position is no one gets anything.

  110. DrDre says:

    I think that there’s one thing that we can all agree on, and that’s that bitches ain’t shit but hos and tricks. I for one am tired of the victim culture mentality perpetrated against hot girls who flaunt being hot by ugly girls who are mad that they’re ugly. Every womens’ studies class I’ve ever seen has been full of chubby, pasty, white girls who are always sick and complain about everything. All the internet has done is make it easier for them to complain and blame everything about their lives that they don’t like on a man.

    Ship ’em off to Saudi Arabia.

  111. TPRJones says:

    tmp :
    I figure if an FPS or MMO made it actual achievement to teabag X players, it’d raise some eyebrows and spawn some blog posts, too.

    I would think it should be fair as long as there’s also a clamstamp achievement, then everyone gets a chance at the prize.

  112. […] races in the game.  Certainly this sort of turn-about would have gone some ways towards blunting some of the criticism about the sexist and/or Playboy Mansion overtones of the event. (Putting bunny ears on level 18+ […]

  113. tmp says:

    @TPRJones
    Fair, even that is debatable given there can be quite different attitudes towards having someone else’s body part pressed into one’s face, depending if that other person is male or female. But –which was the point– such “content” getting accepted without any complaints how inappropriate it is for game developer to encourage this sort of interaction… unlikely.

  114. TPRJones says:

    I don’t disagree, I just wanted to use the word “clamstamp”.

  115. […] but after thinking about it perhaps there are some deeper issues to consider. This week Broken Toys mentioned a blog article by a man who was offended by bunny ears as part of a WoW achievement for the […]

  116. Capn John says:

    Wait, the bunny ears are demeaning and promote violence against women? I thought it was a nod to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time.

    If I see bunny ears and think “tribute to a legendary video game” while you think “violence against women”, who really has the problem here?

  117. Female Gamer says:

    geldonyetich :
    You can define your own oppression or claim to be a female gamer who is okay with this until the cows come home.

    If it’s okay with you, I’d prefer not to be gratuitously called a liar. Why qualify my statement of who I am when you don’t do the same to everyone else?

    Pick a time and a Vent server and I’ll drop in and say hi. If, of course, you don’t believe the pitch of my voice is a lie, too. Or ask Lum. He knows a few things about me, like my real name, and he knows people who have met me in person he could confirm it with if he needed to.

    Or, of course, you could just grant me the same courtesy you do others and assume that I’m not actually lying all the time. That would be kind of a nice thing.

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