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.Continue reading “Activision Blizzard’s Toxic Culture is Part of a Larger, Ongoing Conversation about Video Games”
Our public discourse has been overrun with the phantoms of “Critical Race Theory” and “Cancel Culture.” These ideas are like energon cubes for a section of white people. It has become their raison d’etre. They have become empowered by their imagining of a thing, instead of the thing itself because, in the case of the former, they have absolutely no idea what it is.
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.