• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Rainbow Capitalism - I'm sick and tired of the gaming industry's moral hypocrisy

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
The recent controversies around Blizzard made me realize how morally bankrupt the gaming industry has become. On one side you have thick moral messaging and virtue signaling about mutual respect and inclusivity, but on the other you have vicious monetization schemes that do not respect the consumer at all. How does the industry want to be taken seriously, when it is so evident that they are merely paying lip service to social solidarity in order to dig deeper into our pockets. The hypocrisy is certainly not limited to Blizzard alone, but right now they are the perfect example.

Blizzard's hollow virtue signaling

In May Blizzard released their diversity tool in cooperation with MIT Game Lab. They quickly received backlash for this boneheaded approach to diversity. By declaring "white male protagonists" as the new enemy image Blizzard showed yet again their complete lack of understanding of the societal issues at hand. As one says, the road to hell is paved by good intentions.

According to Blizzard they espouse "a culture of inclusion and belonging", advertising yet again their moral principles. They advocate for LGBTQ rights and the equality between Men and Women and are plastering their twitter feed with rainbows during pride month. There are many more examples, but it should be clear that Blizzard is trying their best to polish their own moral image.

Blizzard's moral bankruptcy

In practice though, it becomes rapidly apparent that Blizzard does not care about people at all. All they care about is profit. Not only is their workplace culture toxic for most people, they are also fleecing their customers for every penny possible. WoW has become a cesspool of bad monetization leading to an increasingly frustrated player-base that is leaving in droves. Blizzard released multiple games among the worst rated games on Metacritic. Burning Crusade Classic has a user rating of 0.5, Warcraft III Reforged is sitting at 0.6 and Diablo: Immoral is rated 0.5. Overwatch 2 is also turning out to be a cynical cash-grab rather than a worthy successor.

This video pretty much sums it up:


From the Blitzchung controversy to the predatory monetization In Diablo: Immoral, Blizzard is showing time and time again that they do not care about people. The monetization in Blizzard's mobile Diablo game is an outright anti-thesis to their proclaimed workplace culture, it is neither inclusive, nor respectful but divides the player-base into first, second and third class gamers. Yet another example how these monetization schemes are bringing the harsh reality of real-life social classes into the world of gaming.

If they don't respect their customers, then they have absolutely no moral authority to speak on inclusivity, diversity and respect.

Rainbow capitalism



At this point it should be pretty evident that the gaming industry's moral messaging on social media is just a shiny hypocritical veneer to pull the wool over customer's eyes. It allows them to appear virtuous, when in reality their practices clearly demonstrate how little respect these companies have for their own customers.


The corporatization of pride has turned into another revenue stream in order to mobilize minorities into buying more crap. By doing so these companies actually hurt the causes they try to advertise:

As the general support for LGBTQ rights grows, so does the corporate incentive for brands and companies to position themselves in sync with that growing sentiment. But in that commercialization lies the disconnect: Brands promoting gay pride and the LGBTQ community may not always be consistent in actually supporting the LGBTQ community, but they still capitalize on the help that people want to give that community. It brings into question what Pride Month means, where it came from, and what we really commemorate when we celebrate it.

It is exactly that hypocrisy that is souring people on these causes and it is high time that the gaming industry is being called out on it. Morality is not something to be exploited for financial profit!


TL ; DR

1. Companies are actually hurting these causes by exploiting them for financial gain, thus souring people on these issues
2. Their money making schemes are fundamentally incompatible with their moral messaging
 
Last edited:

"Morality is not something to be exploited for financial profit"....

...Yes it can, and it will be forever and ever.


I find equally pathetic those people crying in both extremes of the spectrum (blaming each other) for YouTube/Media content.

🎵"Money is money, money is money learn something money"🎵
 

MiguelItUp

Member
Game companies just reflect the state of Western societies as a whole. Our Hypermorals have taken over reason and logic.
Exactly. It's why there are so many memes about it. As soon as June hits, so many companies suddenly have rainbows in their logos, etc. A lot of them are known to not really give a shit about any of it at all. However, a lot of folks still see it as support or inclusion. A lot of companies do it for brownie points in hopes of acquiring more customers and making more money. Because doing such a thing will look good to some consumers and in return potentially get them more money and positive attention.

Money makes the world go around. :pie_disappointed:
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I find it funny how all these game companies hype up diversity yet look at every company photo of all 100 employees staring at the cam with a smile on their face and literally 90% of them are white guys.

I can understand Japanese studios being all Japanese due to the demographic mix over there but you’d think in American and European game studios there’s got to be some more half decent game programmers and artists that aren’t white dudes.

But who knows. Maybe game making and artistry and audio recording for games is one of those industries where the employee pool in USA and UK as 90+% white men.

Some company photos there’s literally zero minorities or women. I’m not sure if those pics are just the game making people or include other functions but if it includes others functions like sales, marketing, finance and HR, it’s still almost all white guys too?
 
May Blizzard released their diversity tool in cooperation with MIT Game Lab. They quickly received backlash for this boneheaded approach to diversity. By declaring "white male protagonists" as the new enemy image Blizzard showed yet again their complete lack of understanding of the societal issues at hand. As one says, the road to hell is paved by good intentions.
This is so ridiculous it's almost worse than Diablo Immortal's MTX. Actually it is worse.

Anyways, thread closing in 3.... 2.... 1....
 
Last edited:

VN1X

Member
The recent controversies around Blizzard made me realize how morally bankrupt the gaming industry has become. On one side you have thick moral messaging and virtue signaling about mutual respect and inclusivity, but on the other you have vicious monetization schemes that do not respect the consumer at all. How does the industry want to be taken seriously, when it is so evident that they are merely paying lip service to social solidarity in order to dig deeper into our pockets. The hypocrisy is certainly not limited to Blizzard alone, but right now they are the perfect example.

Blizzard's hollow virtue signaling

In May Blizzard released their diversity tool in cooperation with MIT Game Lab. They quickly received backlash for this boneheaded approach to diversity. By declaring "white male protagonists" as the new enemy image Blizzard showed yet again their complete lack of understanding of the societal issues at hand. As one says, the road to hell is paved by good intentions.

According to Blizzard they espouse "a culture of inclusion and belonging", advertising yet again their moral principles. They advocate for LGBTQ rights and the equality between Men and Women and are plastering their twitter feed with rainbows during pride month. There are many more examples, but it should be clear that Blizzard is trying their best to polish their own moral image.

Blizzard's moral bankruptcy

In practice though, it becomes rapidly apparent that Blizzard does not care about people at all. All they care about is profit. Not only is their workplace culture toxic for most people, they are also fleecing their customers for every penny possible. WoW has become a cesspool of bad monetization leading to an increasingly frustrated player-base that is leaving in droves. Blizzard released multiple games among the worst rated games on Metacritic. Burning Crusade Classic has a user rating of 0.5, Warcraft III Reforged is sitting at 0.6 and Diablo: Immoral is rated 0.5. Overwatch 2 is also turning out to be a cynical cash-grab rather than a worthy successor.

This video pretty much sums it up:


From the Blitzchung controversy to the predatory monetization In Diablo: Immoral, Blizzard is showing time and time again that they do not care about people. The monetization is Blizzard's mobile Diablo game is an outright anti-thesis to their proclaimed workplace culture, it is neither inclusive, nor respectful but divides the player-base into first, second and third class gamers. Yet another example how these monetization schemes are bringing the harsh reality of real-life social classes into the world of gaming.

If they don't respect their customers, then they have absolutely no moral authority to speak on inclusivity, diversity and respect.

Rainbow capitalism



At this point it should be pretty evident that the gaming industry's moral messaging on social media is just a shiny hypocritical veneer to pull the wool over customer's eyes. It allows them to appear virtuous, when in reality their practices clearly demonstrate how little respect these companies have for their own customers.


The corporatization of pride has turned into another revenue stream in order to mobilize minorities into buying more crap. By doping so these companies actually hurt the causes they try to advertise:



It is exactly that hypocrisy that is souring people on these causes and it is high time that the gaming industry is being called out on it. Morality is not something to be exploited for financial profit!
Appreciate the post and while most of this is obvious it doesn't hurt to put this sort of thing into perspective or highlight once again.

Unfortunately I think you're wasted on Gaf though. Many here can barely translate a thought into a coherent post and you can already see the dumb takes on the first page here alone. People here are more into fanboy shit like "Jim Ryan & Playstation must be sued" (honestly, how that thread has already hit 16 pages is beyond me lol). Bit of a tangent already but fuck me the state of this place sometimes...

Aaaanyway, keep it up! At the end of the day the best thing we can do is put our money where our mouth is and stop supporting these kinds of practices. Unfortunately most people here (and outside of enthusiast forums) have no standards and will be all over Diablo 4 once that hits because they are desperate to play the next big thing, at least that's the only reason that I can think of in this context. I mean If one of my favourite developers kept up with these shady monetization practices or and blatant virtue signaling I'd be the first to drop them. I don't say that as something to be commended as it really isn't that hard to grow a spine when it comes to this industry as a whole. However suggesting a boycott is often: at best ignored and at worst ridiculed (with all the poor takes that come with that type of rhetoric as well). Oh well!

EDIT: See this is what I mean, like clockwork lol.
Sounds like somebody just figured out that generally speaking corporations love to virtue signal about the latest popular woke BS…and then treat their employees & customers like dogshit. Welcome to your awakening!
Sarcastic Nancy Pelosi GIF by MOODMAN
 
Last edited:

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
Appreciate the post and while most of this is obvious it doesn't hurt to put this sort of thing into perspective or highlight once again.

Yeah I don't understand the cynicism either. I'm well aware that these issues aren't new. I think it is important to contextualize these issues in light of current news and to keep discussing them.
At least it is a more fruitful and necessary exchange than keep arguing whether FFVII or FFVIII is the better game.

It's not that questions of taste have no place here on GAF, but sometimes I also want to discuss the current state of affairs and highlight current issues within the industry.

This is so ridiculous it's almost worse than Diablo Immortal's MTX. Actually it is worse.

Anyways, thread closing in 3.... 2.... 1....

I've done my best to keep clear of politics. I'm aware the thread is about the intersection between society and gaming, but I find those subjects interesting.
Just don't bring partisan politics into this thread and it should be fine. I think we can discuss these things without it devolving into political mud-slinging.
 

nush

Gold Member
I find it funny how all these game companies hype up diversity yet look at every company photo of all 100 employees staring at the cam with a smile on their face and literally 90% of them are white guys.

I can understand Japanese studios being all Japanese due to the demographic mix over there but you’d think in American and European game studios there’s got to be some more half decent game programmers and artists that aren’t white dudes.

Your making the assumption that they are not being hired because they are not "White guys". What if they are working in a more lucrative field with those skills and not making videogames which is very unstable with regular hire/fire cycles. They are minority groups becuse there are less of them by definition hiring by local racial demographic quotas and not the best people for the job makes shitty product.

The most diverse company I ever worked for was a videogame company, but if you just saw the marketing department it was all white people, while product dev was the united nations.
 
I find it funny how all these game companies hype up diversity yet look at every company photo of all 100 employees staring at the cam with a smile on their face and literally 90% of them are white guys.

I can understand Japanese studios being all Japanese due to the demographic mix over there but you’d think in American and European game studios there’s got to be some more half decent game programmers and artists that aren’t white dudes.

But who knows. Maybe game making and artistry and audio recording for games is one of those industries where the employee pool in USA and UK as 90+% white men.

Some company photos there’s literally zero minorities or women. I’m not sure if those pics are just the game making people or include other functions but if it includes others functions like sales, marketing, finance and HR, it’s still almost all white guys too?
It's because unless you work for MS, Sony, or Nintendo, the gaming industry is too volatile to work in for the amount of pay you get. Most minorities and impoverished people are told to stay away from careers like that and instead choose something way more stable and guaranteed. Every year you either hear about 3 things with the gaming industry: Being overworked with massive crunch, being underpaid, and entire studios being laid off after mismanagement and low sales. It's an industry where you have to really enjoy making games to a masochistic degree, or have a good enough backup income in case you're suddenly removed from a company.

This isn't even adding in the amount of people on forums like this one who do nothing but complain about every move your dev studio makes, and then on top of that make fun of you for wanting better working conditions from shitty publishers. I completely understand why certain devs come out of the entire experience jaded, angry, or completely ignoring social media.
 
Last edited:
What if I told you that people within the company genuinely care and want to show support and raise awareness to a cause. All the while, the company as a whole, see it as an opportunity to grab more attention to gain both social and monetary capital.

BOTH are true, and though they may not be true in equal measure, it's up to you to decide how much and whether or not it bothers you. Yes, the hypocrisy exists, so I get the general sentiment, but big changes can only happen when small shifts of momentum occur first. It's all a matter of time.
 
Yeah I don't understand the cynicism either. I'm well aware that these issues aren't new. I think it is important to contextualize these issues in light of current news and to keep discussing them.
At least it is a more fruitful and necessary exchange than keep arguing whether FFVII or FFVIII is the better game.

It's not that questions of taste have no place here on GAF, but sometimes I also want to discuss the current state of affairs and highlight current issues within the industry.



I've done my best to keep clear of politics. I'm aware the thread is about the intersection between society and gaming, but I find those subjects interesting.
Just don't bring partisan politics into this thread and it should be fine. I think we can discuss these things without it devolving into political mud-slinging.
Oh yeah, I'm as anti-woke as they come but I feel the mods my close just because it's still political.

Blizzard used to be amazing. Well they've done some good stuff as of late like the Diablo 2 remaster, they just end up doing dumbass crap like that diversity tool. I mean, how can you not see that as absolute parody at this point?

For what it's worth, I really do love Diablo 3. It gets a lot of hate but as someone who's played all three Diablo games in chronological order, Diablo 3 is my favorite. I just like the way it feels and looks.

I'm hoping Diablo 4 ends up being pretty good but I already hate the idea you have to be online to play it. I think a game with the option to play single player should not require you to be constantly connected, but hey that's just me.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
Almost as if they're led by pure emotions and that often, quite often, gets in the way of reason.

Soothe my emotions like a temporary fix, daddy.

True, American corporatism has always been very proficient at turning consumer feelings into profit, but now it always found a way to capitalize on moral indignation.
What I don't understand is how many people are falling for it, when it is painfully obvious how little these companies care about their customers.

Blizzard and EA have made it painfully clear with their "surprise mechanics" that we are nothing more than money bags to them:


How one can separate these predatory and exploitative practices from the moral messaging is simply beyond me.

What if I told you that people within the company genuinely care and want to show support and raise awareness to a cause. All the while, the company as a whole, see it as an opportunity to grab more attention to gain both social and monetary capital.

BOTH are true, and though they may not be true in equal measure, it's up to you to decide how much and whether or not it bothers you. Yes, the hypocrisy exists, so I get the general sentiment, but big changes can only happen when small shifts of momentum occur first. It's all a matter of time.

If these people really care so much, why don't they organize a walkout about the shitty monetization in their newest games instead of raising a fuss about their company's twitter logo? By this point, these people have become nothing more than useful idiots to these companies.
 
Last edited:
Yeah I hear you strange headache strange headache Just today I had somebody who told me that free games are more important than games being DRM free.

That's why companies keep getting away with this shit. They see that people don't care anymore. When getting a game free to you is better or more important (and the drm free game, which is Alien: Isolation with all DLC on GOG, is only $12.49 right now) than DRM like requiring a client or Denuvo, you can see why we're at where we are today.

Shit, I meant to quote strange headache strange headache and it won't let me delete the quoted post to the other guy.

I'm on strange headache side here.
 
Last edited:
Your making the assumption that they are not being hired because they are not "White guys". What if they are working in a more lucrative field with those skills and not making videogames which is very unstable with regular hire/fire cycles. They are minority groups becuse there are less of them by definition hiring by local racial demographic quotas and not the best people for the job makes shitty product.

The most diverse company I ever worked for was a videogame company, but if you just saw the marketing department it was all white people, while product dev was the united nations.
I’m a software engineer in the American Midwest in a different industry (healthcare). Devs here are about 60% Asian, 30% White, 10% other.

Most of the Asians I work with are skilled immigrants who came to the USA to get well-paying jobs and enjoy a good quality of life. And the few game devs I know are all white dudes like me who were passionate about gaming so they pursued jobs in the industry.

Is there a diversity problem? I have no idea. I’ve been part of the interview process for many devs in my company and I can tell you nobody here gives a single shit what race or gender you are.

And I’d imagine at most game companies, if anything, being a female/minority would actually count to your advantage in hiring. I strongly suspect any disproportionate representation comes from the makeup of people who choose to pursue a career in that field.
 
Tabletop RPG's >>> videogames anytime
The nice thing about tabletop RPGs....

There's no DRM, you never have to worry about crashes or patches, It's relatively inexpensive compared to video gaming, you can create and pretty much do anything you like, etc.

The only thing missing is that you can't play solo generally. So you need people in order to play but otherwise it's just paper and pencils and dice and a few books.

Now if you're somebody who can't get along with people and doesn't have any friends, then you might have a problem.

Do you guys not have friends?
 

22•22

Doesnt need recognition
I love the Rainbows colours

Weren't they used on some old (mid 80s "rally" car)


Now it has a ideological meaning.

Sigh
 
Last edited:

MiguelItUp

Member
Is there a diversity problem? I have no idea. I’ve been part of the interview process for many devs in my company and I can tell you nobody here gives a single shit what race or gender you are.
I was a part of them as well at the last fairly large game studio I worked for, as well as the culture checks. We honestly had a good diverse group of people in different departments. But when HR questioned it they realized it was just something that had happened organically. Probably helped that the city we were based in is known to be a multi-cultural hotpot. No one actively sought to force diversity, it honestly just worked out that way. However, there was a period of time where they were like, "You know, it'd be really cool if we could get even more women in the company" so, they attempted to pay extra attention to female hires. Around that period they realized that the applicants they received just didn't fit. So, they gave up "trying" to forcefully diversify, and went back to organic hiring, lol.
 

FingerBang

Member
It's not even the hypocrisy I have a problem with.

It's the whole pretending that having a rainbow flag and yelling TRANS RIGHT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS are a brave thing to do. That is the goddamn status quo. You get fired for saying otherwise.

Same as free Palestine, Stand of Ukraine and so on. I'm not making a judgment, just showing what the problem is. It's reinstating what is already accepted as the truth.

Also, the gay pride was a way for gay people to tell "hey, we're here to stay, stop pretending we don't exist". Most people know and accept that, even on the right.

In the end right now it's just marketing. Let's celebrate what we were told to accept as normal. Let's celebrate not knowing what a woman is anymore. Let's celebrate cutting tits off thousands of young girls. Progress!

I’m a software engineer in the American Midwest in a different industry (healthcare). Devs here are about 60% Asian, 30% White, 10% other.

Most of the Asians I work with are skilled immigrants who came to the USA to get well-paying jobs and enjoy a good quality of life. And the few game devs I know are all white dudes like me who were passionate about gaming so they pursued jobs in the industry.

Is there a diversity problem? I have no idea. I’ve been part of the interview process for many devs in my company and I can tell you nobody here gives a single shit what race or gender you are.

And I’d imagine at most game companies, if anything, being a female/minority would actually count to your advantage in hiring. I strongly suspect any disproportionate representation comes from the makeup of people who choose to pursue a career in that field.

My girlfriend is Asian and works as a software engineer. She's job hunting and every day she has more and more of the feeling the bar is much lower for women. I told her to take advantage of it, but she's unhappy because she thinks people will always assume she was hired because she's a woman.

And that is why this kind of shit needs to end.
 

wtftad

Gold Member
I know there is a Blizzard witch hunt currently...but the meta critic user reviews are a joke. I looked at the average ratings given by the 5 of the first 6 user reviews shown for Diablo Immortal and they were "O". Each of the users had also only scored 1 game....Diablo Immortal. That doesn't mean EVERY negative user review is from a user with one game review obviously but isn't that an example of a "social eco chamber" in action?
 
Capitalism is exploitative by nature so its no different with LGBTQ rights, blm, or even if corporations realized blue lives matter would sell more they would. Normalizing is important, but corporations are never on our side socially/politically.
And the same people fall for it every single time.
We all fall for it. People started buying pillows cause it aligned with them politically.
 
Last edited:

Filben

Member
Corporations want your money first and foremost. If they have to put up a banner to reach like 100.000 more customers they'll gladly do so; or don't want a PR damage because "why didn't you take a stance!?".

If they can improve their image and related to that their sales they'll do anything that's considered acceptable or even desirable.

In reality they don't care about your gender, about your political views, about you. You're either a potential customer within the primary or secondary target audience or not. That's what counts. Because corporations aren't natural persons but a corporate identity by law and will act as such. There may be people behind that corporation who really do care but it's either people who don't make decisions or corporations of a different industry who doesn't earn big times by mass media with manipulative tactics.

If a corporation really cares you'll much more likely find them in community services, non-profit activities and the like. Your local (youth/sports/activity) club/society is probably making more for diversity, social injustice and discrimination than big corporations (unless they spend a lot of cash to those societies).
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
I more interested in how the black community feels about being constantly used by radical lgbt groups every other day like they are in the same situation “ I’m looking at you Disney “.
 

chromhound

Gold Member
I more interested in how the black community feels about being constantly used by radical lgbt groups every other day like they are in the same situation “ I’m looking at you Disney “.
it's annoying.. So many other nationalities on this planet
 

KungFucius

Member
I.e you don't understand the simple fact that major corporations have 1000s of employees and the assholes are not the same people as the ones openly signaling to their employees that they are not bigots, so you have to virtue signal that you are a bigot and angered by the acknowledgement of LGBTQ and pride month while you point at something crappy to justify your baseless bigotry and whining. The only hypocrisy here is yours.

There is probably an LGBTQ group inside each of these companies that makes sure these harmless things happen. So what if the CXOs are selfish, poorly behaved assholes. They have to be to justify paying themselves millions while paying employees less each year due to inflation.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
I.e you don't understand the simple fact that major corporations have 1000s of employees and the assholes are not the same people as the ones openly signaling to their employees that they are not bigots, so you have to virtue signal that you are a bigot and angered by the acknowledgement of LGBTQ and pride month while you point at something crappy to justify your baseless bigotry and whining. The only hypocrisy here is yours.

There is probably an LGBTQ group inside each of these companies that makes sure these harmless things happen. So what if the CXOs are selfish, poorly behaved assholes. They have to be to justify paying themselves millions while paying employees less each year due to inflation.

What are you talking about? This thread is highlighting two things:

1. Companies are actually hurting these causes by exploiting them for financial gain, thus souring people on these issues
2. Their money making schemes are fundamentally incompatible with their moral messaging

Oh yay, another culture war thread.

No, go read the OP again.
 

ACESHIGH

Member
Its a fad. Remember the Hot Jeans and Fidget Spinners? They were all the rage for a while, then disappeared all of a sudden.
 
Top Bottom