‘World of Warcraft’: Blizzard Lawsuit Causes Player Organized Sit-In

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic (Image Courtesy Of Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic (Image Courtesy Of Blizzard)

World of Warcraft players recently coordinated a virtual sit-in after California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for fostering a toxic culture against women. Blizzard, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, is the developer behind the ever-popular online role-playing game known as World of Warcraft.

Fence Macabre, a World of Warcraft roleplaying guild, was responsible for the event. They used the sit-in to protest Activision Blizzard in light of the recent lawsuit, as well as to raise money for Black Girls CODE.

Black Girls CODE is a non-profit that aims to empower Black and African American girls through technological education. The organization was founded in 2011 by Kimberly Bryant, a 20-year veteran of the biotech industry. The organization teaches coding, game design, web design, and other disciplines to prepare young African-Americans for professional opportunities. The organization has teamed up with companies like Nike and Lyft in the past.

The sit-in took place at the Idyllic Steps located in Oribos. This is the newly added hub world from the Shadowlands Expansion. Many players attending the event were “sub-locked,” meaning they were operating on pre-paid playing time. This acted as another layer of protest, as players demonstrated they did not want to support Blizzard through monetary channels.

Hinahina Gray is a deputy for Fence Macabre who also advises games for cultural authenticity, drawing from her Native-Hawaiian experience. “It’s incredibly encouraging and heartwarming to know that even though various things may divide us on the way each of us interacts with World of Warcraft, we are still ultimately tied together in a community which believes in being the greater good,” said Gray. “We are here, and present, and informing people who come across us in-game and we’ve raised almost $3800.00 for Black Girls CODE. We’re doing something tangible here, and it’s good.”

Activision Blizzard was accused of gender-based discrimination, harassment and other alarming behavior. It was even alleged that this misogynistic culture led to the suicide of a female employee. Activision Blizzard denied the accusations, saying that California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing falsely accused the company.

As Grey stated, the event was successful both in protesting Activision Blizzard and raising money for Black Girls CODE.

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