Poised and Ready

I will have screenshots up when beta servers are not dying due to turtles blasting them off their racks, but apparently Ji Firepaw’s dialogue got changed. He now refers to women Pandaren by how poised and ready they are, making his character arc a little more subtle. As Llandrywyn on the MMOC forums espoused:

Where I find myself agreeing with the people who find it inappropriate came about by considering a simple question; “If Ji Firepaw is a flirtatious, bordering on sexist, lecherous old panda, what benefit does it have to his story?” Honestly, I can’t find any real benefit; without this line of dialogue he’s still define as being somewhat flirtatious, impulsive and reckless. His character is still developed in the same way and my overall impression of the character remains unchanged, except I find him somewhat more endearing in that he retains a little more dignity. I freely admit my personal feeling shouldn’t be a factor in the decision making of a creative enterprise, but the question I pose to this thread is this:

“If a character can be conveyed in the same terms, for the same overall feeling and with the same overall character traits, is it not just good and respectful practice for the designers to minimise content that might offend?”

I’m so fucking overjoyed with emotion right now that Blizzard changed this. There’s some speculation that this was part of a larger sweep of changes. Maybe we didn’t cause them to change it directly, maybe we did. I’m counting it as a victory anyways. I’m so proud and emotional about this – Blizzard, you did good this time. You nipped something lazy and uncreative in the bud and worked towards making an NPC that I don’t feel slimy talking to. I’m really happy with myself and everyone who took the time to talk about this issue. We really did something today.

Screenshot from courtesy of Xelestri:

13 Responses

  1. I am really happy about this, I just want to roll a panda to see the starting area and I was planning to do it on my husband’s server. He’s Horde. I wasn’t happy about the idea of having to deal with that NPC but I wasn’t going to have a choice if I wanted to level with my husband.

    I almost find some people’s reactions to the change worse than the original quote. I’m looking at your twitter feed and someone is saying “you are terrible and you disgust me” because Blizz changed some dialog? That is really, really awful.

  2. Hooooo boy, that thread is something special. But as I said over on Twitter, I’m glad that Blizzard decided it found more value in the opinions of those trying to point out the problem of including casually sexist language in its dialogue than the incessant, trollish whining of those who “DON’T CARE!!!!!” oh so very loudly or can’t tolerate their privilege being challenged in any way.

  3. Yeah don’t read MMO Champ. Small victory, but a win nonetheless. The key now is to never let up. Wherever you see this thing in their games, gather and make a stink. Let them know it’s wrong. Their continued to responsiveness to correcting these freudian slips will be the *only* evidence that they disagree with sexist ideology. It will be the only proof that this isn’t a one time gimmick. Their continued responsiveness will be the only way they can show that this issue truly matters to them.

    I’ve framed the solution quite differently :) Would have been nice to see the flip side once more.

  4. I for one am very glad it was changed, I really can’t believe the people on the forums and MMOC. I mean I can believe it, I see it so often, I just wish it wasn’t so common. I have no idea how you do it but thanks, for keeping up the good fight.

  5. The comments from the article about it on WoW Insider are absolutely terrible… I couldn’t even read more than a few of them haha, they were making me too angry. But kudos to Blizz for taking care of this- I was really hoping they would do something!

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