Activision Blizzard’s Toxic Culture is Part of a Larger, Ongoing Conversation about Video Games

This week, employees at Activision Blizzard plan to walkout in protest over work conditions and leadership’s poor response to workplace treatment of women — particularly women of color, transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups, according to a Kotaku report. On July 20, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit alleging that the company cultivated a toxic and sexist, “frat boy” workplace environment, and since the bombshell news dropped, scores of former and current employees, reporters, and gaming leaders have voiced their concerns over the lack of accountability on the part of Activision Blizzard.

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Help Dante Basco and Beau Sia Kickstart FailSafe

There is only one week left in the Kickstarter for Failsafe, a new independent video game by Game Over Studios. Co-created by poet Beau Sia and featuring voices by Ashly Burch and Dante Basco. To help get the word out about the campaign, Beau and Dante stopped by Hard N.O.C. Life to talk about the game and the new world of storytelling their exploring with Failsafe.

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The Most Watched Hard N.O.C. Life Episodes

We’re continuing the celebration of our two-year anniversary week with another look back. This time, we’re going to count down the top ten most watched episodes of Hard N.O.C. Life, our (semi-)weekly YouTube series where I talk to folks about various topics.

When the site first launched in 2013, the idea for a YouTube show utilizing the Google Hangout format was going to be one of the main pillars. I had just come off a stint appearing on a similarly formatted show about basketball (more specifically, about Jeremy Lin) created by Terry Park for Asian CineVision and thought the format would be great for talking comics, movies, and TV. And thus, Hard N.O.C. Life
was born!

So just like we did yesterday, we’ve combed through the archives to find these, the ten most viewed HNL episodes over the last two years.

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Not That Creepy Internet Guy: How GamerGate Gave Geeks a Bad Name

Originally posted at Salon.com

We’re now three months in, and the social media-based “consumer revolt” against the “progressive agenda” of the gaming press, known as GamerGate, shows no signs of abating.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of the industry personalities that GamerGate has targeted for bizarre charges of “corruption” and “nepotism” since this mess started. I’ve come to consider some of them friends, if only Twitter friends. And my frustration and anger at the hounds of GamerGate biting at their heels has increased in proportion.

But it didn’t become personal for me until Felicia Day, an actress and writer who created the popular web series The Guild, dared write one blog post speaking out against GamerGate, talking about how scared she was of being targeted and “doxxed” (having documentation of her personal details revealed online) by gamergaters, only to be immediately doxxed in response.

Not because I know Felicia Day or have any sort of relationship with her, but because I don’t. Let me explain.

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Barbarians at the (Gamer)Gate

The latest Hard NOC Life dives headfirst into the internet controversy that is #GamerGate. Joining guest host N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch) are Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect), from This Week in Blackness Aaron Rand Freeman  (@ANSFreeman), #StopGamerGate2014 creator Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal), and Tanya (@INeedDivGms), creator of the #INeedDiverseGames hashtag.

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Don’t Be Silent! Things You Can Do about GamerGate

by Patrick Miller | Originally posted on Tumblr

I have spoken to a lot of people in the games industry who are frustrated about GamerGate but shaky on the prospect of speaking out themselves; they’re worried about receiving death threats, or drawing unwanted attention to their employer, or just overextending themselves getting involved in an exhausting conversation.

All of these are valid concerns! The problem is that good people being silent on the matter is what enables this to continue; many of the folks who organize under the GamerGate banner (both harassers and non-harassers) genuinely believe that they’re speaking up for the silent majority who share their beliefs but aren’t brave enough to speak out. (Personally, I tend to assume that people are jerks despite their good intentions until proven otherwise; IMO the hard part of being a good person isn’t thinking the right thing, it’s doing the right thing). In other words, silence is interpreted as implicit permission to continue.

So, here’s the thing. Speaking out doesn’t mean you have to wake up every morning and only get out of bed after reading the previous night’s GamerGate stuff for twenty minutes and getting angry. (I will say it’s pretty good at getting me out of bed, though). There are a bunch of different ways that you can make your voice heard, depending on how your personal HP/MP are doing.

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