Right, I think that’s a nice offensive title to start. That is the shock factor covered, now let’s get down to the discussion. This blog actual has a lot less to do with sexism than you might think although as a white middle class male, I would be in a perfect position to address those issues!
The white man’s burden is an idea frequently represented films and used to support ideas such as empire and colonial development. It is the assumption that the Caucasian countries and peoples know best, are better educated, have better breeding, greater tech ect and therefore have a burden to care to lead and educate the natives by virtue of being better. These days it isn’t a very widely supported agreement, mostly because it was wrong in assuming that their was racial superiority, denied purple their own tights and responsibilities (and allocated then to the “invading” party) and ignored all the knowledge and culture of the “savage natives”. These days we go for equality of all and I hope that people are respected on the basis of knowledge, intellect and experience as opposed to race, gender or orientation. The natural conclusion of this is the policy of diversity. Simply put, you get better decisions taken in a group that contains a wide range of relevent knowledge, experience and deductive abilities. Decisions taken by a group of white heterosexual men will make errors that could of been avoided by consulting a diverse group simply because they have a more limited range of experiences.
Going back on topic, this is the issue that Blizzard encountered with their Warlords of Draenor marketing at Blizzcon. A bunch of guys with a limited opportunity to sell their story put forward a tale about a bunch of guys to an audience that was mostly guys. No one at Blizzard was deliberately saying “No girls allowed” but because all the big announcements were on all-male panels, they didn’t realise that their “lads on tour” expansion would not be completely palatable to half the player base.
Every team needs a range of abilities to avoid simple pitfalls. You wouldn’t do a raid composed entirely of healers even if they were the best healers in the world. The team planning the Blizzcon presentation lacked in team members that could highlight that their presentation might alienate some of the target audience. The important aspect is fixing things to ensure it doesn’t happen again. To do that, the panels need to be a more diverse group that can connect with the key demographics of the players and increase the skills-set in the presentation team.
Ultimately I am not worried that there will be a shortage of female representation in Warlords of Draenor. The Blizzard writing and quest teams are a more diverse bunch than the Blizzcon panels and I’m sure that they haven’t fix on a purely Boys’ Trip experience. They also have a good record at listening to their audience and fixing things so if expect some strong woman to show up by the time we hit the beta.
As for Aggra, I would have been very surprised to see her in this expansion. There are a limited number of main characters that can be supported in a game and since there is already a similar character that has to be featured (Draka unless they really mess up and stuff her in a fridge), I think having Aggra in any primary role would cause them to dilute each others impact.
Additional note: I’m not in favour picking team-members to meet a set demographic quota. People should be selected on skill. The way to ensure that a team of the best people is diverse enough to cover all perspectives is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to develop their potential.