It’s a relatively arbitrary line which distinguishes what is “acceptable” and what is “unacceptable” in online games. If you reject the idea of playable intelligent pandas, why not reject the idea of playable intelligent wolves, cats, bears, goblins, plants or zombies? Why is the panda where the line is drawn?
Is it the markings? Racist! Could you live with playing as a beaver, but not a skunk? As a horse, but not a zebra? As a monkey, but not a lemur? Pfft... you make me sick.
Of course, I’m simplifying it for comic effect. In fact, WoW is a game I know little about and I’m only really using this whole panda- people debacle as a microcosm of the insane logic upon which MMOs are built.
Ps. This post is also built upon my long held assumption that the greyscale animals mentioned above are actually just olde-worlde versions of the other animals I stated. You know, before they invented colour television?