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US congressman calls out Blizzard for allowing racist groups in WoW

"Racism isn't a game," rep. Lou Correa said after being made aware of far-right user guild, The Enclave

United States congressman Lou Correa has criticised Blizzard Entertainment for allowing racist groups into World of Warcraft.

Correa, representative for a district that includes Anaheim, where BlizzCon takes place each year, spoke out on Twitter about a notorious player-run guild called The Enclave.

As reported by Vice Waypoint, The Enclave is a well established group known for racism and anti-semitism, which has been present in numerous online games since 1998.

Correa was made aware of The Enclave by a member of his staff, who discovered a "racist Halloween costume contest" while playing WoW. He posted an image of an avatar dressed in white robes reminiscent of those worn by the Ku Klux Klan, flanked by two slave avatars, one of them named "Jesse Jackson" -- a clear reference to the African American civil rights activist.

The screenshot also featured a reference to Charlottesville, the site of an attack on an anti-racist demonstration by a white nationalist terrorist in 2017, which resulted in the death of a protestor.

"I was looking forward to welcoming you to Anaheim for your 13th #BlizzCon," Correa said on Twitter last week. "Instead, I find myself asking how this can exist in one of your games.

"The @FBI knows online radicalization is real. I hope you agree & will remedy this immediately. Racism isn't a game."

Speaking to Vice, Correa said that the content 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 last few weeks have been a difficult period for Blizzard Entertainment, largely due to its controversial ban of Hearthstone pro Chung 'blitzchung' Ng Wai for making political statements during a live broadcast.

The fallout from that incident tainted BlizzCon, which took place in Anaheim, California last weekend. However, Blizzard also made numerous big announcements at the show, including Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.

We have contacted Blizzard for comment.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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