In every state, protests against police brutality and anti-black racism have been ongoing ever since. Brands have issued statements of solidarity across social media platforms.
Companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo decry racism, affirm the need for inclusion and equality. A few, like publishers Ubisoft and Activision, even say’black lives matter’ rather than rephrasing it in corporate-speak.
In a piece for vice, Gita Jackson writes about how these statements are n’t just the bare minimum. They’re clueless and hollow, but also lagging behind companies like peloton in both timing and charitable donations.
The best of the gathered statements commit to making donations to charitable organizations. However, none would give an answer when asked about further plans for direct action or lasting changes.
In August 2014, Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. Video game companies could n’t be bothered to do even that long ago.
From August 10th through August 25th, 2014, the first wave of protests mainstreamed the black lives matter movement. The movement formed in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman the year before. During this period, the United States was rocked by live footage of the militarized police response to black protestors.
Sony, Microsoft, Bungie, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, EA, Nintendo were absolutely silent six years ago. Search every one of these corporate Twitter profiles from the duration of the Ferguson protests, and you’ll find absolutely nothing.
Companies that paid a little bit of attention to the world around them participated in the ice bucket challenge for ALS awareness that had gone viral the previous month.
Battlefield hardline is a game made possible because the militarization of police in the U.S. is blindingly obvious. The game took a military first-person shooter and re-skinned it with a coat of cop paint.
In 2017, the pulse nightclub shooting was either ignored or met with moments of silence or short statements of support. The lack of security at gaming events came under scrutiny, as an industry that loves giving lip-service to its community failed to do its due diligence in a material way.
The developers of call of duty have pledged to do something about racism in its player base, after years of complaints from its community.
”it’s abject cowardice in the service of capitalism, where a white supremacist’s dollar is just as good as yours or mine or mine,”says pic.twitter.com/o2nr4znql.
No corporation should be applauded for making a statement or even a donation. This is not a measure of the moral character of billion-dollar companies. They’re another form of negotiating under capitalism.
Rockstar games shut down servers for two hours with no commitment to doing anything else enough for you?. Video game companies are often more than happy to listen to a vocal minority. So they can do some more listening, if they’re made to.
The wheels of management do not turn for the sake of black employees or audiences. It took nearly six years and a second eruption of public indignation over the murder of black people by law enforcement to move to where we are now.