It seems Blizzard can’t catch a break as of late. The World of Warcraft publisher is embroiled in yet another controversy following the decision to ban Hearthstone pro Blitzchung for coming out in support of the Hong Kong protest movement.
Californian member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Lou Correa, has lambasted Blizzard for allowing fringe Neo-nazi guilds to exist within World of Warcraft.
In a tweet authored last week, Correa slates the publisher for facilitating racism in its massively popular MMORPG. A member of Correa’s staff fell upon a Halloween costume event with all too apparent racist undertones.
Correa’s staffer provides a picture for reference. In it, we see a member of the notoriously racist guild, The Enclave, sporting a white outfit. The design is uncomfortably similar to the robes of the Klu Klux Klan. He is sided by two slave-like characters. One of which has their in-game moniker to read the name of American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.
The robed player, known in-game as Horrigan comments ‘Next stop: Charlottesville.’ This, in reference to the Unite the Right rally held in the Virginia city in summer 2017, where a counter-protester died at the hands of a white supremacist who mowed his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters.
In an email to Vice, Correa says;
The user-generated content found in World of Warcraft is just one example of how far-right extremists are infiltrating online platforms and video games. By allowing white supremacists refuge, companies inadvertently create safe harbors that extremists can leverage to recruit and indoctrinate other people while also degrading the enjoyment of their own fans.
The congressman calls for Blizzard and the broader gaming industry to take steps. He demands these fringe groups are ousted from online communities.
The Enclave guild is a known entity within the World of Warcraft community, famed for its white supremacy and rampant racism, which one Redditor describes as ‘an absolute cesspool of trolls and bigots.’
In a recruitment post on the Blizzard official World of Warcraft forum, a user offers this rather stark warning to prospective applicants;
There will be heavy use of racial slurs in guild and discord. If you take issue with this they will boot you for speaking your mind, if it does not match their groupthink. If your ok with casual racism, group trolling and bullying this is the guild for you.
According to a Reddit post, the guild has disbanded in the wake of Correa’s public outcry. Rumors suggest Blizzard has permanently banned The Enclave leader Horrigan.
As of writing, Blizzard remains silent on the matter.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.