Details of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard by California’s State Department of Fair Employment and Housing were made public on Wednesday night. The lawsuit includes numerous accounts of harassment and discrimination against women within the company. While plenty of players, fans, and former employees reacted to the report online, a guild of World Of Warcraft roleplayers organised a sit-in protest in game while raising now over $9,000 for Black Girls Code.
DFEH’s lawsuit alleges that their investigation found women at the company “almost universally confirmed that working for Defendants was akin to working in a frat house, which invariably involved male employees drinking and subjecting female employees to sexual harassment with no repercussion.”
Alliance Anchor: Vicaire-WyrmrestAccord
Horde Anchor: Loira-WyrmrestAccord
— Fence Macabre Caravan (@fencemacabre) July 23, 2021
Participating players were “sub-locked”, meaning they’ve pre-paid months of their subscription and still have remaining time available on their accounts. “Most of us have cancelled our subs, we’re using the remaining game time to take up server space and raise awareness, and it’s worked,” one of the organisers told PC Gamer.
While sitting on the steps of hub area Oribos, Fence Macabre were also working to raise money for Black Girls Code, an organisation that works to “empower young women of color ages 7-17 to embrace the current tech marketplace”. By the end of the sit-in, the group had raised over $8,000 (now more than $9,000), and plan to leave their fundraiser open until Monday, July 26th.
The guild posted a longer statement close to the end of the sit-in, in which they say:
“All of you, whether you’ve been with us since this morning or for only a portion, you have made a powerful statement with your presence. We hope this protest forces Blizzard to look in the mirror and see that those who inflicted harm—be it through direct action or by complacency—are held accountable.
“Above all: We sit in solidarity for the victims and survivors of Blizzard’s hostile work culture, be they those who were forced to leave, those who continue to endure the suffering as we speak, and most: those who are no longer with us.”
Players are also voicing support for victims and calling for change on the World Of Warcraft subreddit, with support from members of other Activision Blizzard game subreddits.