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Blizzard Pulls Potentially Controversial 'World Of Warcraft’ Orc Content

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Blizzard Pulls Potentially Controversial 'World Of Warcraft’ Orc Content

Activision Blizzard is once again making an effort to clean up its act following the California lawsuit. The developer has been accused of sexist practices within the company including harassment of female employees by the state of California and is currently being sued. As a result, the company is going back through its content with a fine-tooth comb, making sure it's plucking out anything that could come across as sexist, racist or otherwise offensive and now this includes content regarding orcs.

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As reported by Comicbook, Blizzard is now removing the derogatory usage of the word "greenskin". It has been used throughout the game as an insult to orcs and though the developers have not specifically commented on these changes, they're happening.

There are two current theories about these changes. The first, and Comicbook's leading theory, is that it's to make the game more welcoming and have fewer depictions of racism (albeit fictional) within it. Wowhead believes that it may instead be an attempt to remove affiliations with Warhammer which uses the term too.

As another observation, I think that maybe "greenskin" as a mythical racist term is a little too close for comfort to an insult used for Native Americans. I mean Washington's American Football team had to change their name not long ago after outrage built once people realised how offensive it was. And though "greenskin" is a step away from that term it's echoing it and applying it to a fictional situation. At this point, no matter where the word came from it seems like Blizzard is now acting on a basis of "better safe than sorry".

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It should be worth noting though that a character called Captain Greenskin has not yet had their name changed and other terms like "green hide" remain.

The developers have been going back and changing all sorts of details in World of Warcraft. It was only recently that one of its blogs addressed a bunch of old inappropriate sexually motivated jokes were removed from the game and we expect that this practice will continue until WoW is squeaky clean.

Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

Topics: World of Warcraft

Imogen Mellor
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