We believe them.
We believe all the women at Blizzard who’ve come forward. And those that can’t.
We believe all the women in the wider gaming industry, the tech sector and beyond.
We believe them all.
We are disgusted by the details of the lawsuit published on July 21 2021, and the first-hand accounts across Twitter from women harassed and victimised at Blizzard & across the industry.
We believe you and stand with you all.
We want to say we’re surprised, but honestly we’re not. Disgusted, upset, angry….but not surprised. This isn’t even the first time we’ve had this conversation. Just over a year ago, when the last round of atrocious behaviour towards women in gaming came to light (on that occasion inside elite raid teams rather than Blizzard but it’s the same problem) we spoke at length about this. We laid our souls bare, spoke to our personal experiences of sexual violence and discussed what needs to change going forward. [You can listen to that episode here]
It doesn’t feel like it did much good.
Here we are again and this time the dirt is stacking up at Blizzard’s door, with senior people named in the lawsuit. This hits us hard. It feels personal when it’s Blizzard that is implicated.
So what do we do now? As content creators, lovers of Azeroth and the World of Warcraft. As women. What action should we take?
For us the answer isn’t to stop playing and streaming WoW. This is a complicated, personal decision, and if the one you reach is different that’s ok. This rot runs through the whole industry so running off to a different corner of it doesn’t feel like a solution. Many of those women that work at Blizzard, past and present, did so because they believed in the games and the products and were proud of their work. We have built an amazing community around this game, one we are extremely proud of. One that supports a huge range of people: women, men, queer, trans, non-binary folks. People from across the world, bought together by this game. We treasure that and hold them all close in our hearts. We want that to continue.
We can call this bullshit out when we see it in our communities. We can try to encourage, particularly men, to do likewise. Men hold most of the cards here. You can expose the ‘bad eggs’. You can reshape this narrative. Use your privilege.
We can offer a safe space to those that need it.
We can offer a platform to any that want to speak out.
What else can we do?
Ultimately we can’t fix this. Blizzard needs to drive change in their own company, starting right at the top. The ‘bad eggs’ need to go. Promote women and marginalised people into positions of power. ‘Good eggs’ need to call shit out when they see it. Every. Single. Time. Turning round a toxic culture needs clear leadership and engagement across the whole organisation. We would love to see Blizzard make that investment.
This Sunday we will not be recording a new episode of Girls Gone WoW. For this one week you will not hear our voices as we stand in solidarity with the victims. But we will open the chat room on Twitch during the 2.5 hours we usually record the show and you can come and stand with us. We will hold a space for people to come and share thoughts, feelings, ideas about action to take, talk through the impact this is having for them. You’re welcome to join us.
https://www.twitch.tv/warcraftradio at 19.30 BST on Sunday 25 July 2021.