This week saw a protest by players against Blizzard Entertainment’s decision to pay US$20 million to a group of World of Warcraft players in a class action lawsuit. The players are accusing the company of using their personal information, as well as their in-game characters, to pressure them to make purchases and play games, which they consider unethical.

For the past two days, players of the popular World of Warcraft online role-playing game have been staging a protest against the online game’s parent company, Activision Blizzard. The event, which involved hundreds of fans of the game, took place in a California shopping mall, the University of California in Irvine, where the company’s headquarters is located.

A group of players have been staging a protest against Blizzard Entertainment, the company that makes World of Warcraft (WoW), the game they love. The protest, which has been going on for around two weeks, started with a player putting up a poster in-game that said “We do not serve Activision Blizzard”, along with a picture of a character from the game.

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You may be wondering what you can do now that the state of California has filed a 29-page lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard, alleging a severe pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination that led to the death of a Blizzard employee (among other things). If you’ve been reading our comments, you know that many MMO players are finding it to be Blizzard’s final straw, especially since a long-time World of Warcraft developer was named in the complaint; some of our readers are abandoning the game, searching for other games to play, deleting the game, canceling their subscriptions, or even canceling Diablo II Resurrected preorders. (I understand; my husband is looking for an Overwatch substitute right now.)

However, if you’ve already paid for a membership and are passionately opposed to it, you may participate in a protest inside WoW itself. Fence Macabre of Moon Guard and Wyrmrest Accord, as originally reported by Polygon, staged a sit-in this afternoon in protest of Activision-“unethical Blizzard’s treatment of workers.” The guild is also collecting money for the non-profit Black Girls CODE, and has encouraged “sub-locked gamers” (those who have already paid their subscription) to join them. We’re assuming this isn’t the first time players have expressed dissatisfaction with the lawsuit’s claims. If you’re going to cause problems, make it worthwhile.

Meanwhile, over on the Blizzard game subreddits, the moderators have issued a blanket statement condemning Blizzard’s behavior. A single message currently visible, signed by the mods of r/wow, r/Overwatch, r/hearthstone, r/starcraft, r/heroesofthestorm, r/Diablo, r/warcraft3, r/classicwow, r/woweconomy, r/competitiveHS, and r/blizzard. Here’s the quote from the WoW sub:

“As moderators of Activision Blizzard’s gaming subreddits, we strongly oppose the sexual harassment and hostile working environment allegations made in Activision Blizzard’s recent lawsuit against the state of California. This subject will not be censored on our subreddits. We are not employees of Activision Blizzard; we are unpaid volunteers who have no ties to the business. We serve our communities first and foremost, and we think this is an essential conversation to have.

“However, discussion on this subject must still follow the rules of our subreddits. Harassment of others, victim blaming, and sexism will not be allowed. For the sake of ease and visibility, we’ll attempt to confine the debate to the current main thread.

“We support the victims of this circumstance and hope that this case is handled in such a manner that those who deserve justice get it.

“We demand that Activision Blizzard address these concerns in a thorough and timely manner. We are very disturbed as a group of moderators by these occurrences and the harsh work atmosphere they have created. We work hard to make our communities welcoming and safe for everyone, and we encourage Activision Blizzard to show that they are doing the same.”

While we reported yesterday on public remarks from many women who saw or were victims of sexual harassment at Blizzard, the WoW subreddit has collected an even longer list of Blizzard developers who have given testimonies on the subject. I counted a total of 28 current and past employees.

Fence Macabre invites all sub-locked players to join us at the Idyllia Steps in Oribos on Thursday, July 22nd at 9 a.m. PST.

Vicaire-WyrmrestAccord is the alliance’s anchor. Loira-WyrmrestAccord, Horde Anchor

https://t.co/uRVkYZUcSY Fundraising Campaign pic.twitter.com/bl8IaLXVXh

July 22, 2021 — Fence Macabre Caravan (@fencemacabre)

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