Are the Horde evil?

Academic weblog Terra Nova has a furiously raging debate going on with one of its recent posts, "The Horde is Evil". The original poster, Edward Castronova, claims that the Horde races are inherently evil -- "One element of this is the fact that the words 'troll' and 'orc' and 'undead' have implied evil creatures for as long as those words have been in use in the English language (since the 9th century in the case of 'orc'). No one, not even mighty Blizzard, can un-do the meaning of a word in a matter of a few years." -- and that we should consciously be aware of the evil inherent in a "bad" character when we play it.

The comments thread is filled with denials, mainly from Horde players, citing examples such as Shrek the ogre and the Tauren race's inherent nobility as refutations of this hypothesis. It's an interesting point to think about. If you play Horde, do you do so because you like the power-driven, warmongering, "evilness" of the races? Or as an antidote to the Alliance's sickly-sweet blathering about the Light? Or perhaps just as an experiment, to explore the whole game?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.