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LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in WoW Shadowlands - The TechRadar Interview
05.10.2020 um 19:58
TechRadar conducted an interview with Blizzard employees on LBGTQ+ inclusivity in Shadowlands. Throughout the expansion's development, Blizzard employees have repeatedly stated their commitment to making choices that further inclusion and diversity, such as changing the gender of your character through the barbershop instead of via a paid service.
Now, Blizzard has dedicated an interview to this topic, with the bold promising title "Shadowlands will begin a more LGBTQ+-inclusive future for the game."
While this interview focuses on LBGTQ+ inclusion, Blizzard has also worked on diversity improvements, such as
better representation through customization options
reflecting the diversity of Azeroth, stating that these additions are "correcting an oversight."
Below are some highlights of the interview with Steve Danuser, Lead Narrative Designer, and Johnny Cash, Senior Game Designer and LGBTQ+ Advisory Council member. Make sure to check out the full interview for even more insights.
TechRadar Inclusivity Interivew
Flynn and Shaw's developing relationship was a fan-favorite
subplot, and we'll see the two of them on the road in the upcoming book
Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms
. We previously covered, in the
Madeleine Roux and Nobbel interview
, how Blizzard explicitly asked for this relationship to be included in the novel, and now we have a few more words from Steve Danuser on the topic:
We just really liked the chemistry of these characters. It kind of spoke to us. We could have had them just be friends if we wanted, but we felt like man, they have a much deeper connection, and it’s something that could feel like a really genuine relationship. It just felt really right for these characters.
World of Warcraft is not known for its romances. A lot of the weddings we’ve seen have had tragic endings. It’s not like we’re changing the game to be about romance. But there’s a place for it, where it feels like it enhances the story or the characters.
I think that Flynn and Shaw just made this really natural combination that was fun to see through questing in game, in Shadows Rising and in some other written material that we’ve got coming. I think you’ll just see that chemistry blossom even more. They’re fun characters to write for.
also drops in a few more casual LGBTQ+ relationship mentions, such as Talanji weighing in on the financials of an upcoming wedding between two women. This representation continues in Shadowlands itself, where we encounter a same-sex couple in the
Night Fae campaign
helping us understand Tyrande and the Night Warrior better.
Ardenweald has a questline where you’re trying to figure out some of the aspects of Tyrande’s transformation when she took on the Night Warrior power, and what that power is doing to her, what it means and what the potential cost is. You encounter a couple, where one of them was a Night Warrior on a different world in the mortal plane. You discover they are a same-sex couple. It’s not a huge part of the storyline – it’s just something that they are.
The interview touches on a few more topics, such as
trans character Pelagos
expressing his identity choice in Bastion, as well as the decision to add
gender changes to the barbershop
, which we have covered extensively in the past. Tying all these examples together, Steve Danuser closed by reiterating the importance of creating a welcoming inclusive space and continuing to build on that in the future.
We have a team that has a lot of different people with different viewpoints and backgrounds, so it’s important to us to tell stories that we care about, that reflect our concerns, and also make Azeroth a place that is representative of lots of different points of view, and very welcoming. Whatever your background is, there’s a place for you in this world.
This is a beginning for us. It’s not "well, we did that, and now we’re all done." We always think of more quests, more stories, more art to make and more systems to build. We’ll absolutely be thinking and looking for more ways to allow further representation in the future.
While more inclusive representation in WoW is only a positive step, hopefully in the future, diverse characters will be regularly added to Azeroth, so we can reach a place where the introduction of each character no longer feels like an isolated newsworthy event.
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