This post will be in regards to Activision Blizzard and the lawsuit brought against them by the state of California.
I follow everything going on with World of Warcraft and Overwatch on a weekly basis. I still play both games regularly. When the alligations of extreme sexual harassment in a toxic work environment broke these past few weeks, I read about it. I was disgusted and horrified.
And my first thought was, What kind of atmosphere has Acti-Blizz created and subjected their workers to?
Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would hit on them, make derogatory comments about rape, and otherwise engage in demeaning behavior, the agency alleges.Bloomberg
As more and more alligations came out, too many alligations for there not to be some truth to them, the time frame also came out. This was not an atmosphere created by Acti-Blizz. This was an atmosphere created at the time of Blizzard’s peak, when Metzen and Morhaime held the reigns.
The suit also points to a female Activision employee who took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. The employee had been subjected to intense sexual harassment prior to her death, including having nude photos passed around at a company holiday party, the complaint says.Bloomberg
I am disgusted.
I am horrified.
And I am done.
The blizzard employees are staging a walkout today, and it is not a coincidence that I write today. My heart goes out to those that were conditioned, harassed, and powerless to defend themselves. I hate that all the money that I’ve given to Blizzard these past 20 years helped to build that toxic empire, but cancelling my subscription now only feels like a drop in the bucket. Regardless, it is done, and I will walk away from this game that has been such a huge part of my life without any remorse or regret, and I will not look back.
Although the spotlight is currently on Blizzard—and I hope those affected by these detestable actions get every once of justice they deserve—these actions and this environment are not singular to just this company, or even this industry. It is rampant out there in corporations and small businesses alike, and Human Resources is only there to protect the company, not the employee. When I delt with my own harassment issues and unwanted physical contact, I went to HR to file a report. Since the employee was favored with the general manager, I was advised by HR (who was also a woman suffering from unfair treatment) to not file a report or it would end up badly for me. So I took the only recourse available. I found another job.
This is not the world I want to live in.
The tone-deaf words and corporate blather mean absolutely nothing, and I fear this walk-out today will mean nothing as well in the end. If those that are responsible for the crimes are not punished, it’s all for nothing. However, action against this behavior means everything.
My subscription fee will now be a donation to help protect the women and other marginalized groups that happen to find themselves in a toxic workplace, and to stop this behavior from ever forming in the first place.
- RAINN – https://www.rainn.org
- Futures Without Violence – https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org
- Black Girls Code – https://www.blackgirlscode.com
- Girls Who Code – https://girlswhocode.com
- Women in Animation – https://womeninanimation.org
- Women in Games International – https://www.getwigi.com