Massively Overthinking: Has Blizzard’s sexism lawsuit changed your gaming plans?

Following final week’s disturbing revelation that Blizzard has been overlaying up greater than a decade of abuse and that the state of California is making an attempt to carry it accountable, there’s been a definite rift within the on-line gaming neighborhood about what avid gamers themselves can do about it. Whereas some gamers and content material creators and even web sites have chosen to boycott the corporate’s video games, some sport devs have advised that there’s a greater manner to assist: by displaying up within the video games, on their streams, and at their reside occasions and making the tradition higher from the ground-up.

I’m curious what our writers and readers have determined for themselves, so let’s speak about it – ideally like adults – on this week’s Massively Overthinking. What does your private response to Blizzard’s sexual harassment scandal appear like? Are you continue to enjoying? Will you play sooner or later? And if not, what must occur earlier than you return? Has Blizzard’s sexism lawsuit modified your gaming plans?


Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Andy actually hit the nail on the pinnacle with this one, so I’ll attempt to hold issues to a minimal. Sure, Blizzard received caught, as many corporations do. No, I don’t imagine lots of the apologies popping out. I do suppose Blizzard will do one thing to alter, a minimum of a little bit, and that’s all I count on. It’s what occurred just a few years in the past once I did the Switch Overwatch launch, properly, some time after its launch. Whereas the information is worse, I really feel like I can’t count on rather more. So, in the intervening time, which means if Overwatch 2 out of the blue landed on my doorstep, I wouldn’t play it. But when Blizzard did one thing that appeared like it will deal with the difficulty (possibly get just a few girls into management positions, as I can’t keep in mind speaking to a single feminine dev in all my years overlaying their video games), I’d give them an opportunity.

In spite of everything, there are only a few video games the place my ethnicities are represented and fewer the place there are a number of characters like that. It’s exhausting to separate the artist from the artwork, and I can do it so long as the artist actually learns one thing from getting caught performing badly aside from to cover that motion.


Andy McAdams: I’m nonetheless combating this. My six-month subscription was set to resume this week, and I cancelled it. However I’m not satisfied it’s the appropriate factor to do. I work in tech; I’ve championed DEI work internally and am on a world management workforce for DEI initiatives. I do know, unequivocally, the worth of the grassroots strategy – each from lived expertise and from watching others calling it out. However a grassroots strategy from gamers is an effective method to begin altering gaming neighborhood tradition – the easiest way to cope with WoW’s worst gamers is to not let the habits simply slide.

However how do I, as a participant, simply not let the habits slide? I’ve no direct line into the individuals making this a heinous work atmosphere. Hell, even cancelling my six-month subscription isn’t actually a lot of a “stick it to the person,” however it makes me really feel higher, I suppose. Wrap that up with I’ve superb gaming pals who’re WoW-only and cancelling my subscription means I’m additionally willingly not enjoying with them (although in fact, I used to be so tired of 9.1 that I haven’t been enjoying a lot anyway – however having the choice to leap in with pals is all the time good).

Hazelnutty’s video on the state of affairs received me pondering once more about it in that I do know the state of affairs at Blizzard isn’t distinctive and even notably worse than different locations. They simply received caught. Does that imply that I’m being hypocritical as a result of I’m nonetheless enjoying/contributing to these different video games? Trolls would say (and have mentioned) sure to “personal” me, however I don’t know that it’s truthful. It’s true that capitalism and greed have ensured that it’s nearly unattainable to make utterly moral purchases and use utterly moral companies, however it’s clearly not an choice to utterly keep away from them solely and nonetheless be a part of society. Within the spirit of understanding a single individual can’t combat the entire struggle, I choose and select my battles as a result of… properly, we now have to. For the time being, it is a battle I’m selecting to combat by stopping help of ATVI merchandise. There are one million extra, in all probability far more deserving, that I’m selecting to not in the intervening time.

I assume the place I’m at is cancelling my subscription so I really feel like I’ve carried out one thing even when it’s not materially impactful to Blizzard and control the remainder of their responses to the state of affairs. This isn’t a “I’m gone endlessly” however extra of a “I’m going to step again and see how this performs out.”


Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): When the information began breaking, I instinctively went to uninstall Battlenet, however apparently I did that roundabout Blitzchung and by no means introduced it again. I ended enjoying World of Warcraft after Draenor made it very clear I wasn’t the kind of MMO participant WoW needed cash from anymore, so shedding WoW as an choice is gloomy however not painful. Then again, I’ve stayed a Diablo fan even by means of the scandals, and I had designs on enjoying Diablo IV, Diablo II Resurrected, and particularly Diablo Immortal. However I simply don’t see a transparent path to my shopping for any of these proper now. I perceive that many affected sport builders inside Blizzard have requested followers not to boycott, however my conscience calls for I maintain off to see what Activision-Blizzard does subsequent, as to this point, Blizzard has not solely did not make ample amends however signaled it means to double-down. So now, I’m gonna sit right here and watch. And write.


Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX, YouTube, Twitch): I’d been entertaining the thought of taking a break from on-line video games and the web over the previous few months, and I believe this revelation is an indication for me to do precisely that. So I’ll be taking a break from tremendous massive MMOs and something that even intently resembles a “sport as a service” from main corporations. I’m taking a break from my beloved BDO, PSO2:NGS, and SOLO. As a lot as I like these three, I simply want a break from the style. They’ll nonetheless be there once I come again anyway. I need to focus my downtime with my daughter and my spouse reasonably than the newest controversy or going out of my method to attempt the newest taste of the month.

I’ll be primarily focusing my gaming time on single-player video games made by indie studios. One latest favourite is Emberfish Studio’s Hadean Ways. I’ll even be revisiting outdated classics like Heroes of May and Magic 3. I’ll be supporting smaller studios in the intervening time. At the very least that manner, I can get in whereas they’re nonetheless small and straightforward to speak with. There shall be just a few exceptions; I actually get pleasure from Valorant deathmatch, the chat is mechanically turned off in that sport and its tremendous low stakes in order that’s going to be in my common playlist. And though Mirage On-line Traditional is an MMO, it’s a really small affair and I’d love to simply return and its a sort of MMO I’ve by no means actually tried earlier than. So I’ll be taking the time to play that.

However together with that, I’m going to simply give up Twitter and Reddit outright. MassivelyOP and our tipsters are greater than sufficient to maintain me within the learn about stuff I care about anyway!


Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): After having digested my rage on the Cosby Suite particulars that had been revealed lately, I’m a little bit bit much less livid at Blizzard whole and extra at these accountable, mixed with the silly hope that folks shall be held to account and the cynical realization that there’ll in all probability be one or two sacrificial lambs to appease the mob.

As for my relationship with Blizzard’s titles, they had been just about non-existent to start with. I don’t maintain deep, private recollections of something they’ve made MMO, multiplayer, or in any other case, so their catalogue was already just about simple for me to chop away wholesale. That mentioned, ought to my hopes come true and precise repercussions are felt, I’ll nonetheless not return. Nothing they make pursuits me anyway.


Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): For me, the most important factor that’s needed to be modified was merely a matter of administration; unsubscribing from World of Warcraft was form of a no brainer as a result of whereas I’m keen to remain subscribed for work when the sport is merely badly run, staying subscribed within the wake of this information was one other matter solely. Contemplating what a horrible patch 9.1 is and the truth that I’m nonetheless sub-locked for just a few months, it doesn’t actually change a lot, however it certain removes even the lingering want I may need needed to often play on my alts. So good work, Blizzard, that was superior.

In the long term… properly, I wrote a whole column about this, however it raises some severe questions on whether or not or not enjoying WoW or supporting Blizzard in any respect transferring ahead will ever really feel all proper once more. Fairly frankly, it appears unlikely at this level based mostly on the actions the corporate has taken and the habits that the leaders there have displayed. I don’t like saying by no means or making absolute statements, however I wrote up rather a lot about this already, and the brief model is that between a horrible product and a horrible company tradition, one thing wants to alter earlier than they’re again in my wheelhouse.


Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): (Justin, purveyor of our Casually Traditional column for WoW Traditional, wrote an entire column on this topic.)


MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): This final revelation modifications nothing for me. I do know I’m a damaged document at this level, however I don’t and won’t play any Blizzard video games — ever. I’ve had a distaste for the studio from the get-go of WoW (by no means actually knew it earlier than). The quarter-hour I endured in WoW beta turned me off of that sport completely and guaranteed that I’d by no means go play it, and the next environment of the neighborhood and studio by no means set properly with me, assuring I’d by no means play any Blizzard video games. Sadly, this newest information simply confirms to me I made the appropriate choice to start with: I by no means have and I by no means do need to help Blizzard in any manner.


Sam Kash (@thesamkash): My ideas haven’t actually modified a lot. Maybe I really feel much more justified in my selection to not play Blizzard video games, although. I’ve been against WoW’s enterprise mannequin so lengthy that I gave up on ever enjoying it. Its different choices haven’t actually caught my consideration both. A few years in the past when Blitzchung was heart stage, that basically reaffirmed that the corporate didn’t have a correct ethical compass. With this, it’s not clear it ever had one.

Corporations can proper the ship and proper their inside affairs, however I don’t suppose Blizzard goes to have the ability to do this with out an enormous upheaval. This kind of habits isn’t restricted to a small group on the perimeters; it’s coming from the core. Do not forget that just a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. You’ll be able to’t simply pluck just a few out and contemplate it mounted. It’s a must to throw out the entire thing and begin recent.


Tyler Edwards (blog): I’ve saved answering this OT till pretty final minute as a result of the revelations simply hold coming, and it’s exhausting to get my ideas so as. Whereas I do know my discomfort pales compared to the struggling of the particular victims, I’ve been fairly devastated by the information. I’ve been an unlimited fan of every part Blizzard since earlier than I discovered to learn, and their video games have had an incalculable affect on me as a creator and as an individual. To know the form of evil that went on behind the scenes of video games that did a lot to encourage me is completely gut-wrenching.

Honestly, I nonetheless haven’t made up my thoughts about learn how to react. Do I boycott its future video games? Do I cease displaying all of the Blizzard books and motion figures throughout my residence? I don’t know.

The issue with conditions like that is that firms should not hiveminds. An abuser deserves to be punished, full cease, but when I punish the corporate as an entire, I’m additionally punishing the harmless bystanders, and in some instances possibly even the victims. For one instance, a lot of my favorite novels based mostly on Blizzard video games are by Christie Golden; I’ve adopted her on social media for a very long time, and I even employed her for some writing teaching just a few years again, and I’ve each confidence she’s an honest individual. Doesn’t really feel proper to boycott her work, or eliminate her books, due to another individual being a scumbag.

It additionally appears price noting that lots of the survivors at Blizzard have themselves argued in opposition to boycotts, preferring to alter the tradition from inside.

Nevertheless it doesn’t really feel proper to do nothing and proceed on as if nothing occurred, both.

I do have the luxurious of not being closely concerned in Blizzard video games in the intervening time anyway. They’ve been drifting away from delivering the experiences I would like for just a few years now. For the final whereas my solely engagement with its video games has been sporadic co-op matches in SC2 and much more sporadic forays into Azeroth on my free WoW account. If nothing else, I’ll in all probability proceed to try this (neither entails giving Blizzard any cash)… however not proper now. It doesn’t really feel proper. In the meantime the one upcoming venture of the studio I had a robust curiosity in was Overwatch 2, and I can reside with out it if Blizzard hasn’t carried out sufficient to wash up its act by the point it lastly releases.

What’s been possibly much more exhausting for me is learn how to really feel about Chris Metzen. He’s all the time been a significant affect on me as a author – a private hero. I backed his Auroboros Kickstarter purely out of affection for him as an individual and a want to help his work. Now I’m unsure what to suppose.

For what it’s price, I’m inclined to imagine him when he says he didn’t know concerning the worst abuses at Blizzard. My learn on him as an individual has all the time been that he’s mainly an honest man and attempting to be higher, however he did develop up in that “gamer bro” tradition and might have some casually problematic attitudes because of this. He additionally strikes as a reasonably “head within the clouds” kind of one that’s liable to overlook lots of what’s occurring round him. So the concept he could not have recognized concerning the actually dangerous stuff appears a minimum of believable to me. However whether or not that absolves him is one other query. No matter how a lot he did or didn’t know, it appears truthful to say he failed on some degree. He might and may have carried out extra.

I’m nonetheless processing every part, however I’m leaning in direction of asking for a refund for my Auroboros pledge because it stands now. It’s not about punishment. I simply can’t put him on a pedestal the best way I used to.


blankEach week, be part of the Massively OP workers for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable wherein we talk about the MMO trade subjects du jour – after which invite you to affix the fray within the feedback. Overthinking it’s actually the entire level. Your flip!

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