Twitch Streamers and Devs Help Activision Blizzard Walkout With Boycotts, Money

Twitch Streamers and Devs Help Activision Blizzard Walkout With Boycotts, Money
Reach out and lend a helping hand. (Image: Blizzard)

As employees at Activision Blizzard prepare for today’s Walkout for Equality, streamers, developers, and gamers from around the world are showing their support through charitable donations, game boycotts, and by signal-boosting the event.

While not everyone can attend the Activision Blizzard Walkout for Equality, there are other ways to show support for the employees of the company as they demand improved working conditions for women and other marginalised groups in the wake of their employer’s inadequate response to California’s sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.

One easy way to help is by making charitable donations to organisations promoting women in gaming. Walkout organisers included a list of such charities to donate to in yesterday’s event announcement. Charities like Futures Without Violence, working toward ending violence against women and children around the world, or Black Girls Code, helping young women of colour find their way into creative tech spaces. Since the announcement I’ve seen plenty of folks on Twitter donating, signal boosting, or even offering services in exchange for proof of donations. Speedrunning charity organisation Games Done Quick, which holds bi-annual marathons to benefit organisations like Doctors Without Borders, donated $US1,000 ($1,361) to each of the six charities listed by walkout organisers.

Speaking of, here’s the full list of charities mentioned in the Activision Blizzard walkout announcement, which Twitter users have been sharing vigorously since yesterday’s announcement.

Though the event organisers have not made a call for a boycott or any sort of “don’t cross the picket line” demand (this is a walkout, not a strike), many popular streamers have pledged to refrain from streaming Activision Blizzard games for the duration of the event. Popular Hearthstone streamer Brian Kibler will not be streaming any Activision Blizzard games today, saying he was “inspired by the bravery of those who came forward and have told their stories at very real risk to themselves and their careers.” The Guild actor and streamer Vince “Bladezz” Caso took to Twitter yesterday, suggesting others avoid streaming Blizzard titles today. Overwatch streamer Flats, as promised yesterday, will be streaming Pokémon today instead. A search for “#ActiBlizzWalkout streaming” shows streamer after streamer pledging to avoid Activision Blizzard games today.

Despite calls for boycotting, Activision Blizzard games are still pulling huge numbers on Twitch. Right now there are 34,000 people watching hundreds of World of Warcraft streams on Twitch, while 120,000 are watching Call of Duty: Warzone. According to Twitch tracking website SullyGnome that’s below the 30-day average for WoW, but above for Warzone. Still, even a small drop is sure to be noticed. Especially when that small drop is part of a much bigger movement of developers and gamers who stand in solidarity with the workers of Activision Blizzard as they take a stand to make this industry a better, more accepting, more friendly place for everyone.

Comments

  • There really should be some more gender neutral charities in that list as well since there are reported male victims who were also being harassed (guess Blizzard staff are pretending those complaints didn’t happen). Just because they’re not included in the lawsuit doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

    • That would involve them admitting that the Diversity that they trumpet is guilty of some of the culture of harassment and abuse at Blizzard, since the reports I’d seen would have been either gay or bisexual males harassing and assaulting other males.

    • Nothing wrong with voicing some other charities but be careful, the additional complaints were raised by one of the signees in solidarity, not as a seperate issue or counter to the walkout.

      Nobody has claimed these complaints didn’t happen aside from Blizzard and the letter from the participants is very clear in its calls for equality across the board.

      • The other charities should be included anyway, because gender neutral charities are prepared to help everyone. While I understand that gender specific charities are more specialised in some regards (i.e. in the handling of domestic abuse situations), there’s no reason as to why the staff couldn’t have included a broader selection, even if only to provide more options for donations (since streamers are likewise running events to assist the employees).

        When they’re overwhelmingly supporting female victims over male victims, it does feel like they’re leaving out the male victims. Men are already less likely to report these incidents due to feelings of shame and them excluding charities directed towards men doesn’t help the issue. I really wish there was more on how to get people to make reports overall, so no one has to wait 20 years before this behaviour gets addressed, whether criminal or otherwise.

  • “Speedrunning charity organisation Games Done Quick, which holds bi-annual marathons to benefit organisations like Doctors Without Borders, donated $US1,000 ($1,361) to each of the six charities listed by walkout organisers.”

    The relevant point that should have been made here is not about the bi-annual marathons but the lesser publicised marathon, Frame Fatales (Flame Fatales this year) which benefits the Malala fund

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