Yesterday, allegations of the horrible treatment of women and harmful “frat-boy culture” went viral as the California Department Of Fair Employment And Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. As a response, the World Of Warcraft social hub of Oribos was recently packed with players who are participating in an in-game protest against Activision Blizzard.
The protest was organized by Fence Macabre, a role-playing guild on the Wyrmrest Accord and Moon Guard servers. They are also running a fundraising campaign for the charity Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young girls about computer programming and digital technology.
Thank you everyone who came out to the #OribosSitIn, we could not have anticipated the community response and have raised over 8000$ for @BlackGirlsCode. Our fundraiser, linked in replies, will remain open until Monday July 26th. Our full statement:https://t.co/LMPY3mom6h pic.twitter.com/FywNPjMTNZ
— Fence Macabre Caravan (@fencemacabre) July 23, 2021
One of the names included in the lawsuit is former World Of Warcraft senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi. He has since left the company, but there are several World Of Warcraft characters and items still named after him or as a tribute to him. These include an NPC in Stormwind City named Field Marshal Afrasiabi, and a quest called The Great Fras Siabi involving an NPC of the same name in Stratholme.
In a statement posted on Tumblr, Fence Macabre posted:
All of you, whether you’ve been with us since this morning or for only a portion, you have made a powerful statement with your presence. We hope this protest forces Blizzard to look in the mirror and see that those who inflicted harm—be it through direct action or by complacency—are held accountable.
Above all: We sit in solidarity for the victims and survivors of Blizzard’s hostile work culture, be they those who were forced to leave, those who continue to endure the suffering as we speak, and most: those who are no longer with us.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. We know this. But change starts with a spark, a humble—yet powerful—spark all of you have shone bright today. We hope from this spark, Activision-Blizzard can illuminate the rot plaguing their company and make transparent, lasting changes to better their organization and associated IPs.