A popular WoW streamer asked people to share stories about being harassed in game. Here are some stories from the YouTube comments:
I’ve dealt with wow stalking before. someone harassed me publicly and privately. he would continue to make new characters to continue this harassment. after 3 months i reached out to blizzard to help me with this. i was sent a crappy “not our problem just keep ignoring those characters” response. issues like this have made me apprehensive to join new guilds or even pug with other people. i have encounter a lot of hatred and ignorance in this game just for being a woman. i know that the best thing is to be silent and say nothing. i shouldn’t be forced to feel like this by a game. i should be able to report people that continue to harass me and they should be punished for their actions. ty for talking about this asmond.
As a female gamer, harassment happens all the time. I’ve recently had to change my battle tag to a random generated tag instead of my original gaming nickname which has always been “DaniGirl” because I couldn’t handle the rando’s adding me, spam messaging me, and asking for nudes. I also don’t play competitive Overwatch with randoms anymore because I refuse to use a mic. I would get harassed at least every other game. If we lost it was always my fault, but only because “I’m a girl”. I really prefer not to join guild discords because I really would get “in game” stalkers sometimes even from guildies and its so utterly uncomfortable. I truly hate how much I have been told “I bet its nice to be a girl in gaming, guys will give you any items you want or carry you through dungeons, raids, and pvp.” I’m not dissing on any females who do play that way, It’s just absolutely not the way I want to play the games I enjoy.
Around the time of Cata a guildie started harassing me with extreme lude comments. I reported him and put him on ignore. Each time I did this, he just made another toon and would continue with the same stuff. This just seemed to escalate his anger. He was threatening me and my kids stating he would find me and what he would do to me and my kids when he did. A couple of people called Blizz (back then you could actually call them with complaints) and our rival guild apparently was reporting him as well. Since he was on my ignore I couldn’t see what he was saying but I was told “you really don’t want to know what he’s saying about you in general chat”. I figured it had to be pretty damn bad when our rival guild is putting in complaints. He was put on a 3 month suspension about many many months of this going on. His first day back he contacted my friend to tell him to make sure I know he’s back. My friend contacted Blizz by phone to tell them this and I heard he was banned from the game. I ended up making a toon on another realm and came very close to quitting.
My boyfriend, me and his colleagues all started to get back Into wow for shadowlands with the goal to get 2100 in rgbs. Since you always Need 10 people and we were only 10 people it sometimes occured ( of course) that Not all 10 people are available in the evening. But hey you can invite randoms right? LOL. I Was Our Teams target caller because i played ret and everyone agreed that im the Best for the role, since ive got the most knowledge. I think we Never had a random for more than one bg in the group. As soon as they joined the voicecoms they would immedietly leave ( often in the bg) or after the Match, telling me that women shouldnt Do shotcalling. The higher Our rating got the more toxic it became. To a point were we only played when every one of Our 10 man Group was available. Playing wow as a women and especially wow pvp is an absolute nightmare. I really really appreciate what you are doing for the community, much love
I’m a woman who’s been playing somewhat casually since Legion. When they changed how fast it is to level 1-50 in the Shadowlands pre-patch, I decided to finally level a resto shaman - had always wanted to try healer but healing made me so anxous. I had just set up a healing addon and was clearing some levelling dungeons to get used to it and had an instance where a DPS pulled by mistake and died before I could heal him. He saw my feminine name, called me brainless whore egirl and then proceded to contstantly pull everything and get the party wiped ON PURPOSE. This happened like 4 times and I think they were premade and wouldnt kick him so I just left. He then whispered me and carried on spam insulting me. I genuinely cried, ik its dumb but I was so anxious about healing and it made me feel awful. I don’t use feminine, girly names or ever go on VC anymore on any game because it just seems to invite these incel pigs to attack you.
Not precisely the racism or sexism story you asked for, but one day in BFA I was down by the docks doing table missions. I randomly got an achievement for some arbitrary thing. The game automatically puts the achievement into the chat for anyone nearby. Someone messages me and said “nobody cares about your” whatever the achievement was called. I ignored him and he continued to message me with vulgar messages and belittling me and I had done literally nothing but play the game. It didn’t bother me too much, but I remember thinking " what if I was a new player experiencing this? " I would probably have immediately quit the game if that was my first experience and who could blame me? Weird stuff like this happens in every game, but it does seem to happen more in WoW from my own personal experiences.
I don’t have any personal stories, I’m pretty lucky with having a deep voice, but one reason I stopped playing WoW back in Wrath was how often I’d get in a pug, a person with a feminine or childish voice would enter voice chat, and immediately they’d be pounced on with all sorts of misogynist comments. I had a healer friend who was the best healer I ever played with, and she would never talk in voice chat in the guild that was full of her personal IRL friends and her fiance because of how many bad experiences she had. People using “autistic” and “cancer” as a general insult also got to me in Legion times. My wife is autistic, I am ADHD, and my dad has cancer. None of us are your punching bags, women deserve to be able to talk in voice chat, and these jokes aren’t funny. And Blizzard doing nothing about it is why no Blizzard game has ever been my favorite game for longer than a few months. I love WoW, I love Overwatch, I spent a lot of time in HotS, but I always just left because of how often chat would fuck things up for me.
I’ve been G Kicked for being black before, lol it was hilarious, and around early Wrath, I linked social media and just got kicked. One time I was in with a clique of friends who constantly dropped the N Bomb, and after the run I linked social media and never heard from them again I’m old school, my skin is pretty thick, so stuff like that makes me laugh. However; I understand how annoying it can be. Being a black kid on the internet in the early 2000s really just desensitizes you to casual racism.
G kicked means kicked out of a guild.
I dealt with more creeps in WoW than I ever had to IRL, and that’s considering I was a dancer for 5 years. Specifically WoW - I played MMOs since iRO, and nothing compares. My TBC experience was made up of two things: The best world pvp I can remember after vanilla, and a guild full of Axe-spray-instead-of-showering neckbeards that understood I was female and was “worried that I would be too sensitive.” so they spent half a year insulting me all day long, berating, abusing, accusing me of bizarre stuff, ridiculing me for religious beliefs, politics, how I handled friends, how I didn’t handle friends. How I didn’t rush to cap to level them in arena (got 2100+ without em though so no loss). I think they only logged in to bother me. I kept to myself and a friend of mine, but we met the leader through pvp and were kind of close in wow terms (i.e. i guess you remember the name and do content rather together) Like it was straight up abusive, but I thought sticking around and showing that I could tolerate it and roll with the punches would make us closer. It just got worse and worse until the day I said I’m done fighting and blocked them, then 3/4 of the guild gquit around us moments later. To this day it’s hard not to wish each and every one of them drowned for putting someone through that, pretending it was anything but what it was. I hate to use the word “misogyny” - it’s overused and the people who use it aren’t the kind of people I associate and share problems with.
I also played on RP servers, and I didn’t just get creepy meme whispers. I got people who would “groom” you into ERPing with them. And it wasn’t even like, oh wanna erp? you into that kinda thing? hey me too lets do it. You thought you made a friend (Man I loved the idea of meeting new people once… WoW ruined that) but they were spending weeks making sure they want to stick their e-dong into you and you wouldn’t block them the moment they told you it’s out, and one night when no ones around they lay it out, out of no where. It’s greasy. Unclean. Naturally weaseling out of that situation without blocking them = they have little to say to you after. Worst part wasn’t losing an imaginary friend, the worst part was that I played on the RP servers - I never engaged, because there were too many narcissists, gatekeepers and flat out weirdos. But one day realizing the only PvPers you played with would have never made it on a real PvP server. Like “I played on an RP server and all i got was this lousy sexual harassment and psychological torture”
In Shadowlands I tried to play the game normally, forget all the horrible in the past, and engaged in banter with the randos in BGs, and rather than the kind of nonchalant back and forth you get during Alliance raids in FFXIV, I got 50 different non-offensive messages reported (e.g., “lol”; no.";“you’re ridiculous”) in 3 days and after a 24 hr chat ban in a community I get whispers now in telling me to kill myself and public callouts from idiots no where close to the objectives calling me worthless because I wasn’t over THERE too to heal them, yea. Or some asshole protection warrior who sits at spawn, goes ignored, but targets me and keeps me there - team doesn’t help me but they all band together insulting and screaming and crying about no heals/ Like I can’t begin to tell you how horrible the experience is now healing people. Everyone deserves the worst in that community. Being female or black or whatever in Shadowlands doesn’t matter - the community doesn’t care what you are, they hate everyone equally.
I’m not a high road type, but the amount of hate I have for WoW because of the community is something I can’t put into words here. When Asmongold started playing XIV all I could think about was him dragging these people over to my world and hated him at first. But it’s not like that. And his community has nothing to do with these people. But there are few things that could cleanse that community.
Being a gay man and existing in the WoW space has exposed me to some of the most volatile hate speech ive experienced in any online game. I cant try and find groups in LFG chat unless I want to bear witness to some of the worst discourse and slurs that exist.