World of Warcraft has long been lauded for its immersion and customization. From Orcs to Night Elves to a fox-like creature known as a Vulpera (basically a furry), the possibilities for character creation are seemingly endless. That's what makes the character creation milestone set to premier in WOW's latest expansion Shadowlands, so surprising because you see, when the expansion is fully released on October 27th, for the first time ever, you will be able to play as a Black or Asian person.
Now, technically, you could always recolor the skin of your character in WOW to be black. But the character's base model was that of a white man or woman with classically white features.
But as you can see, Shadowlands is adding Black and Asian facial options for human characters. It's a much welcome change, but it's also kind of hilarious that it's taken possibly the most popular MMORPG franchise of all time over 15 years to give you meaningful customization choices in regards to the race of human characters. I mean, this is a game that let you play as a literal panda before letting you play as an Asian person.
But then again, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised. The fantasy genre is famous for excluding people of color, even in fictional worlds. Fans have no trouble imagining dragons that break the laws of physics in Game of Thrones, for example, but mention a lack of diversity in the show's cast, and suddenly the show must be a realistic depiction of medieval Europe at all costs. Meanwhile, when a fantasy story draws on POC's history, they still get excluded like MENA people in Dune.
I guess it's all to say that I'm glad WOW is moving in the right direction, but it's still hilarious to me (in a depressing, morbid way) that on their list of people to provide fan service to it went 1) White People, 2) Furries (seriously, it's uncanny), and then 3) everyone else. But hey, they got there, and it only took eight expansions to do it.
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Top Image: Blizzard