World of Warcraft players are gathering for hundreds of games to protest Activision Blizzard after the state of California filed a lawsuit against the company for operating a workplace full of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and “ culture of the brother boys ”. Players from both factions have gathered in the town of Oribos, where hundreds are sitting quietly on the stairs leading to their inn, discussing the lawsuit or expressing anger and dismay at the allegations.
Although the protest seems to have spread to other servers, it was initially organized by the Role Guild. Close Macabre to the Moon Guard and Wyrmrest Accord servers. The guild also raises money for Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that helps women of color enter technology industries. Fence Macabre has already raised $ 3,500.
“As a queer indigenous individual, witnessing the mistreatment of people in industries conditioned against them has always been something I have been passionate about raising awareness of,” a Macabre Fence officer named Hinahina tells me. "Fence Macabre as a whole, since I became a Member of Parliament, has always stood by his values in supporting and building the marginalized."
A player named Hinahina Gray is one of the organizers of the protest, which acts as an "anchor" that invites participants to a group of attacks so that they can see physically. To keep game servers stable, Warcraft dynamically controls the visible population in crowded spaces, automatically eliminating players. Hinahina and other players solve this by getting the players to form large groups of up to 40 people, so that the protesters remain visible to each other.
Hinahina tells me that since this morning, hundreds of players have flocked to Oribos to join the protest. "(The community) has been a lot favors, "he says." We have far exceeded our solidarity goal and intend to continue as long as there are people here. The overwhelming feeling is one of solidarity and intense care for the victims and survivors of the Activision Blizzard abuse. "
Part of the reason why players like Hinahina have decided to protest the game instead of other methods, such as organizing a blackout, is because they are "subleased", meaning that they have bought a six-month subscription that is not can refund. "Most of us have canceled our subs, used the remaining game time to take up server space and raise awareness, and it's already worked." she says.
At the same time, however, the subreddit of WoW, however, players shed their anger against Activision Blizzard and the treatment of employees. In a thread about demand with more than 5,800 comments, many express anger and displeasure at the allegations, some of which directly name Blizzard executives, such as Alex Afraisiabi. He served as creative director of WoW for years until he left the company quietly in 2020. "His sudden resignation last summer (is) impacting a little differently now," one commenter wrote.
The text of the WoW subreddit reader count, which Reddit moderators can modify, currently says, "2,150,693 are fed up with Blizzard; 19,279 subs are lost per minute."
For many players, including Hinahina, the allegations also raise many issues with WoW that have been boiling in the background for years. "Being a native Hawaiian and seeing Blizzard handle writing stories coded by Indigenous PoCs and others, I wish I could say that my perception had changed drastically, but it seems like this is coming to the heart of why not they’ve been able to write these stories and concepts well, ”he tells me. "The way Blizzard encodes 'monstrous' races with stereotypical features of PoC as if it were a small ceremony of multiple real-world heritages to effectively establish them as the & # 39;" another "barbaric game is also a problem."
A thread tending to WoW subreddit, simply titled "Hypocrisy," links to an image of a statue outside Blizzard's headquarters that says "Every Voice Matters" juxtaposed with headlines about Blizzard bans Hearthstone for Blitzchung to support the Hong Kong protests.
The players are upset, angry and, for those who gather in Oribos in protest, want to change. "I want the people who caused the damage to be responsible," says Hinahina, "I think all references to Afrasiabi and other employees who have contributed to Activision Blizzard's harmful work culture should be removed from all of their games. I believe that Activision Blizzard should own the damages and narratives it has applied and therefore used to report its work with the intent to sell content.Those who caused such damage should be dismissed without compensation. (including those who have the power to do something and did not do everything and would have to make personal amendments and repairs for the trauma the company forced on them ".
"It's their business, but the community has achieved what it is. They need us more than we do."