Parallel to yesterday's story about Starcraft 2's review policy for maps, comes the news that Blizzard is cracking down on "erotic" and offensive role-play in some parts of World of Warcraft's world. Specifically, the Moon Guard server.
Moon Guard is a role-play server (for non-WOW-ites, that means the players there pretend to be Night Elves while they're pretending to be Night Elves) and has developed a WoW-wide reputation for no-holds barred sexuality, racism and nastiness in the village of Goldshire. It is, according to some players, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. So Blizzard is taking some extra time to patrol that area of the game.
In response to gamer complaints and the server's growing reputation, Blizzard is promising to "patrol" this particular part of the game, and hand out appropriate punishments for violators of the game's code. Here's how moderator Arrestide described the plan, on Blizzard's message board:
"Members of our CS team will 'patrol' Goldshire on Moon Guard on a regular basis, and take appropriate action for individuals violating the Harassment Policy. Note that this pertains primarily to public messages (/say, /yell, General) and unsolicited whispers. We won't be showing up with that mythical crack of lightning-- we'll just be watching silently for any rule-breaking language and following up privately with the player[s] in question."
It bears mentioning at this point: Based on my, and everyone else I know's, experience in the game, the vast majority of World of Warcraft players are not engaged any kind of "erotic" chat or other frowned-upon dumbness, whether they are on role-play servers, Care Bear servers or PVP servers. Mostly, people hang out in front of the Auction house looking for a group, it seems.
Although they don't say so explicitly in their post, it seems to me that if the WoW players out there who prefer to engage in "erotic" role-play were to do so quietly, and keep their proclivities out of general channels, there wouldn't be a problem. This particular message board thread began with a post mainly about content on the server's main channel.
In this case, it really seems like Blizzard is responding to legitimate complaints from real players as opposed to unreasonably throwing around its authority. Having played WoW, I've experienced the annoyance of spammers using the general chat to sell gold, or /y-ing dumb crap. I can only imagine how disheartening it would be to play on a server with a lot of people intent on being disruptive/grief-y.
Source: Blizzard's Message Board