Archive

Ji Firepaw - Harmless Panda or Supervillain in Disguise?

Updated Thu, Apr 19, 2012 by Mem

Ji Firepaw, a major player in the Pandaren starting zone, but a small player in the grand scheme of things in World of Warcraft, has caused quite a stir lately. What is this uproar about you ask? A smidgen of quest text found in the Mists of Pandaria beta is what has managed to spawn a wealth of outrage, a contingent of supporters, and has made it so that no WoW fan will likely forget the name Ji Firepaw anytime soon. The question is, is Ji Firepaw the sexist pig many have made him out to be or is he merely a harmless panda with a rather obnoxious personality?

Sexism in the Mists of Pandaria Beta?

The quest text in question was found in the starting zone for Pandaren’s in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Here players encountered a overly friendly, and some would say slightly creepy, Ji Firepaw. When speaking to Ji, players would discover that he offered up two slightly different comments based on if you were a male or female character. Below you will see the quest text laid out for you as it appeared in game for both male and female characters (before the change was made to it):

Male:
“Hello, friend! You’ve got a strong look to you! I bet you’re all the rage with the ladies! Join me! You and I are going to be good friends!”
Female:
“Hello, friend! You’re some kind of gorgeous, aren’t you? I bet you can’t keep the men off of you! Join me!”

I didn’t have the opportunity to experience the female version of this quest text myself, since I typically play male toons. However, my wife, who had made a female toon and played through the entire starting zone had never made mention of this quest text to me. This was surprising, considering the reactions of many other players. Perhaps she had failed to mention it to me but had been silently seething with inner rage?

Ji Firepaw - Harmless Panda or Sexist Pig?

While I personally didn’t find the text offensive, albeit a bit creepy, perhaps I was just wasn’t getting it. So I went to the person who generally helps me solve these types of conundrums; my wife. When confronted she conceded that she did remember the Ji Firepaw quest in question and that she had brushed it off, hardly giving it a thought. When I questioned her on why she didn’t find the quest text offensive as so many others seemed to she pondered the question for awhile and then explained her reasoning to me like this:

Ji Firepaw is a character in a game, much like a character in a book. When reading, I find characters I love as well as characters that I hate to the very pit of my soul. While the characters in these books are sometimes offensive, disgusting, and do and say things that are highly inappropriate, they are what help to make the story interesting. These varying personalities come together, much like the real world, to create a fantasy realm that feels real (even though it is not) and keeps the reader, or in the case of Ji Firepaw, the player, interested and engaged.

Did Ji Firepaw need reprogramming?

To my wife, and many others like her, WoW is a virtual world, and to get offended at things happening in a world that isn’t real, to characters that are equally unreal, seems rather pointless. She points out that having a bunch of NPCs with generic overly polite personalities would be boring, and makes for a pretty poor gaming experience. In her opinion, forcing WoW into a PC bubble, because some people find something offensive, could lead down a dangerous path (similar to the one taken recently by Mass Effect 3) of normalization that would leave the game feeling flat and lifeless.

To her, Ji Firepaw simply had a flirtatious personality, much like those you find in real life. She read the quest text, rolled her eyes, and moved on. Changing Ji Firepaw’s quest text and thereby killing his original and unique personality was, to her, a step towards turning in the game into something it never has been; a happy fun play ground of feel good. WoW in itself is about war, plague, combined with great heroes, and terrible villains.

To her, Ji Firepaw simply had a flirtatious personality, much like those you find in real life. She read the quest text, rolled her eyes, and moved on. Changing Ji Firepaw’s quest text and thereby killing his original and unique personality was, to her, a step towards turning in the game into something it never has been; a happy, fun, play ground of feel good. WoW in itself is about war, plague, combined with great heroes, and terrible villains.

Why this particular quest text has been singled out amongst all the other potentially offensive tidbits found through tout the game is a question she cannot seem to find an answer to. There are racists, sexists both male and female, do-gooders, and a hundred other personalities, all of which come together to make the great story we call World of Warcraft. Apprently many others didn't feel the same. Which is why Blizzard felt they needed to censor Ji  Firepaw's dialog.

As mentioned above, the quest text has since been changed in the most recent version of the Mists of Pandaria beta, and the debate is over, at least on Blizzard’s terms. However, the quest is still being talked about across forums everywhere and the debate rages on. Do you think this quest text was so offensive that it needed to be changed? Or do you agree with my better half on this subject and think Ji Firepaw should have been left in peace? Share your thoughts on Ji Firepaw in the comments section below. Remember, this is a touchy subject, so try to keep comments on an adult level.


Honestly, I agree with the author's wife. It's absolutely nothing to get bent out of shape about. And yes, I'm female. If a female gamer is going to get ticked off about something, how about going to the core of most games and commenting on how the female characters are almost always perfect little Barbie dolls. But even I don't care about that. Let's face it. These worlds are first and foremost fantasy worlds. There are those of us out there who are oddballs, and when given the chance, do on occasion play the heavier, elderly or not so pretty females (although most games do not offer this option). But overall, since it is fantasy, everyone wants to look pretty -- prettier in fact than many of them are in real life. So, that said, get over it ladies. There's real world stuff regarding the treatment of females to get ticked off over. A line from a character in a game? Not so much.

how to reduce the effect of online observation of this
computer science scholarships

I think it should have been left alone. Different personalities of the npc's in a game are what make it more realistic and I don't understand the uproar of this. I'm female by the way.

i'm a male, hehe, blizz don't bother when ppl are talkin adult in chat and there the language is much more offended than a few lines with a light flirting sense

i would say leave it so cause as told here above it just makes the game a bit more realistic

-1 to rampant political correctness.
+1 to having a sense of humor about a video game.

www.interiordesigngroups.com What’s up, every time i used to check webpage posts here early in the dawn, because i enjoy to learn more and more.

I personally don't see the problem. Sure, I'm male, but just like the author said, it's a virtual world with virtual characters. When one makes a character, they are stepping into another role, just like an actor does for a movie role. In movies, the real-life actors don't get offended by what someones character said to them during filming. I guess in that sense WoW can be considered a movie; one character talking with another, with no ill intentions. That's my opinion anyway... I guess I can sort of see where other opinions are coming from.

I sat thinking about this for a while.

I am a female gamer, made a cute female panda and when I saw that comment I did think that it was a bit bold but just a bit of harmless flirting. I thought it was kind of funny that Blizz would put in flirty conversation and moved on.

I think that it would be interesting to see what these people that were offended actually look like because:

Ji seems to think he's 'all that and a bag of chips'. He probably would talk to another capable handsome male panda like that because he thinks he's met someone on his level. His comment to the female panda is a compliment to another attractive person also. In rl the guy on the receiving end would probably take it in stride if someone said something to them along that line, because it is something they would think or say when meeting another person on that same attractiveness level.

In rl an attractive female would also take it in stride because she knows its true..she probably does have to keep the guys at bay. The only person who might find it offensive is someone who's been told that in rl but knows it was said in a cruel, mocking way. To have it said in a game to them may have scratched open an old wound and they since it is in a game they therefor have a forum to vent about it and maybe find some resolution that they could not find in rl?

Just a thought...

As a female gamer I would not take it offensively. As a 50 year old woman I would just take it as any comment that some men may make. There are plenty of men what call any women they meet "gorgeous" whether its true or not. Its just a generic comment and should be treated as such. If you're offended you should be able to challenge him to a duel then kick the crap out of him. :P.

the sexual harassment panda anyone?

It IS a video game, after all. I for one am an adult female player who saw little need to get upset over the words of an NPC in a video game in the world of wow. Maybe it is just me, but I do have the ability to differentiate real life and real world from video game and video game world. But then I have more to do with my life than live on the said video game as if it were my real life. I see Ji Firepaw as simply a character in a video game world handing out quests to male and female players and not as a living breathing interacting real life person. Offensive? no not to me. I simply shrugged him off and continued to do what was ask of me and moved on. I also have to wonder why anyone would be offended over the words of Ji Firepaw. In my opinion, if you are getting that offended, maybe WOW really is not where you need to spend your time. I think it should have been left alone. There is plenty of other issues in beta that really could have benefited from Blizzard's attention and time spent "correcting" Ji Firepaw's words.

Passing and adding through worthy subject, i am sure that you focused all aspects with real experiences. It's nice that you worked well and gave good material over here. Calendula Salve I see Ji Firepaw as simply a character in a video game world handing out quests to male and female players and not as a living breathing interacting real life person. Offensive? no not to me. I simply shrugged him off and continued to do what was ask of me and moved on. I also have to wonder why anyone would be offended over the words of Ji Firepaw. In my opinion, if you are getting that offended, maybe WOW really is not where you need to spend your time. I think it should have been left alone.

What about the major issue? Can you really clear this issue? help with resume

Is this the latest updates about Ji Firepaw.? Is there any new quest to come? - pay for youtube view

buy youtube view

A fashion week is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, which allows fashion designers, brands or "houses" to display their latest collections in runway shows and buyers and the media to take a look at the latest trends. 10starsfoods.com

News from around the 'Net