Hello Faction Friends,
Over the last few days, we have been listening, watching and trying to figure out if we can carry on with the podcast. A little over a year ago we began this podcast under the cloud of the sexual harassment allegations that surrounded many in the streaming and gaming community, not least of all one of the top Warcraft raid teams. We were extremely angry and hurt by what those perpetrators did to the survivors and to the community as a whole.
The lawsuit that has been brought against Blizzard this week, has made us both go through all those emotions again, anger, disgust, pain and righteous fury. And it feels worse this time because it’s not a raiding guild that we don’t play in, it’s our ENTIRE game world that’s been affected because it is the very creators of that world who have been so gross in their lack of care for their employees, who have let us down so monumentally that for some their world will have been shattered.
As a woman in the WoW community, I (Deme) have been sexually harassed by a previous guild leader. I have had rape jokes made to me in game. I’ve had people be upset that I run a guild. As a woman on the internet I’ve had unsolicited dick pics sent to me, been bullied and seen many friends go through the same. As a woman in a corporate environment I survived harassment from several bosses.
We believe these survivors. We stand with them.
We also believe that this is not something that magically happened in Blizzard in the past couple of years, the filing of the lawsuit states that some of these allegations date back over a decade. Alex Afrasiabi left the company very quietly back in June 2020, suspiciously around the same time all the Method news exploded. But it didn’t become public knowledge that he left until around November last year. He was with the company since 2004. It is highly improbable that all the people who have left Blizzard in the last three years didn’t know about his behaviour. If they did know about it, they didn’t act on that knowledge and if they didn’t know, they were incompetent. His office was nicknamed the “cosby suite”. Let that sink in a for a moment.
We are still angry. Very. Very. Angry.
This will not be the end of this, it is likely that Blizzard will counter-sue and that any court case (if they don’t settle out of court with NDAs) will go on for months if not years.
This is not limited to Blizzard. It happens every day, in almost every business, maybe on a smaller level, maybe at the worst so it’s vital that we all keep going, keep calling out the little micro-transgressions because that gives the OK for the bigger stuff; and this goes for men too. We need you ALL to stand up when your “bro” is being a douche, we need you to acknowledge you may have made mistakes and to do better and we need you to raise the voices of women who have survived and are telling their stories.
Do not be surprised when other women in tech companies or large corps start to come forward now too. We need them to. Their strength and bravery to do so must not be underestimated because it is hard to step forward with these experiences.
There is still a truckload of GOOD people who a) still work for Blizzard, b) make content about their games and c) play the games. Now more than ever, these good people have to come together to clean this house. If all the good people leave, it will just devolve further into a cesspit. There has to be accountability for the guilty, for the enablers, for all those who turned a blind eye. There has to be justice and compensation for the survivors.
We have tried to bring a podcast to you that is a safe place, a place where we can share the GOOD people of this community and we believe that we have, at least for the most part, succeeded. So we will continue with the show, but there will be a few changes. We want to talk to people who play other games too, we want to share MORE good people with you, so when (not if) more shit comes down, you may have other places to go that aren’t tainted for you.
To end, here are some things that might help if you’re struggling with any of this
- Sunday 25th July at 1930bst Girls Gone Wow on twitch.tv/warcraftradio will be hosting a chat room that anyone can dip in and chat about their experiences and vent and rant and find some healing.
- The phenomenal Des Mephisto is organising a charity drive with other WoW content creators so you can reach out to him if you want to help.
- Athalus of Realm Maintenance has touched on some other ways that may help make a difference in this edition of the Realm Maintenance podcast. You can listen to it here under the “latest episodes” called A Statement from Realm Maintenance. Rest Well Rho, you will be missed.
If you can’t listen to WoW podcasts going forward, we totally understand. We love you all, thank you for being with us.
Now is the time to claim OUR Azeroth.
Updated 2nd August 2021
I have some news. This weekend would’ve seen Bricco and I talking to the marvellous Mud from WowGrats. We have been discussing what to do with the show and honestly, we just don’t have our hearts in it right now to bring you the same show we have before.
We initially thought we could carry on with a mix of guests coming in from other games too, which is still an option, but we can’t present our show the way we always have in the current climate around our loved game.
With that in mind, we are going to take August off. We will keep talking and trying to find a way forward that we feel a) comfortable with and b) feel represents the community the way we want it too.
We still want to do everything we announced in the anniversary show, we still want to chat with you all and I know that we are missing being with you all on the show stream but we can’t find the love for the show itself right now if that makes sense.
We hope you all understand and we completely understand if patrons need to cancel or people drop off, that’s absolutely ok.
We love you all :blue_heart: