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Blizzard apologizes for GLBT guild warning

Blizzard Entertainment has officially apologized to a "World of Warcraft" player who it warned could be kicked out of the game because she had been recruiting for a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-friendly guild using the in-world chat system.

Further, reports In Newsweekly, the company said that it would try to ensure that its game masters don't repeat the incident.

The warning, which came last month, caused a furor, and a great deal of discussion about WoW publisher Blizzard's policy regarding sexual harassment and protections against sexual harassment. At the time, the player, Sara Andrews, was warned under that harassment policy because, she was told, recruiting for the GLBT-friendly guild violated the game's prohibition against insulting speech.

Andrews objected, arguing that she could not possibly be insulting herself, but Blizzard maintained officially that the policy was designed to keep members of such a guild as Andrews' from being harassed by other players.

"Blizzard has stated that the original incident with Andrews never should have happened and that they will be reviewing policies and procedures," In Newsweekly reporter Alexander Sliwinski wrote, "and having 'sensitivity training' with their 1,000 GMs on staff in North America, Europe, and Korea in the hopes that something like this doesn't happen again."

Sliwinski also wrote that Blizzard told him it would start a WoW channel specifically devoted to guild recruitment in the hopes that players would keep such efforts out of the game itself.