Sexism, discrimination, rape: we need to talk about Activision

Sexism, discrimination, rape: we need to talk about Activision

Sexism, discrimination, rape

The fish always starts to stink in the head.

I do not want to spread the numerous allegations against Activision-Blizzard at this point. You can read them in great detail here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It is about sexual harassment, partly rape, about discrimination, about bullying, about everything that is bad. A woman allegedly driven to suicide.

And it's not the first time. Another company, some allegations that sound almost exactly the same as at Activision Blizzard: Ubisoft opened the barbaric round of despicable scum behavior a few months ago. Only a few days ago there were new developments including a lawsuit, and then again immediately afterwards.

Table of contents

1 Poisoned systems 2 Those responsible 3 Breaking up encrusted structures 4 A problem that affects society as a whole

Poisoned systems

Still much more surprising than the public, who is aware of all this and at first glance does not want to believe are: the superiors of the company. At Ubisoft. At Activision-Blizzard.

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The fish always starts to stink in the head.

Those responsible

Nobody knows whether Bobby Kotick, whether Yves Guillemot, the bosses of Activision-Blizzard and Ubisoft, knew about the events that unfolded under their leadership. The courts have to clarify that. Both companies are being examined in different countries.

But: These people are at the top. You are in charge. In the best case scenario, they were, are ignorant, naive, did not notice what was happening. In the worst case, they have covered up and accepted, if not more.

The fish always stinks at the head.

They have allowed companies to develop into what they are . Places where people are scared. Places where discrimination, sexism, racism and even more drastic things spread like ulcers that devour and infect everything translate as fraternity culture. What a crappy term, even though I know it is obviously aimed at the connective character rather than the word "boy". But these are not boys, these are not misconducts that can be subsumed under a snappy name. What supposedly happened there - the presumption of innocence, of course, etc. etc. - are crimes committed by adults.

Breaking up encrusted structures

It will be further explained, it will continue to be excused. There will be further promises of improvement. In the end there are probably companies that say of themselves "look here, we are purified!" And then continue unchanged as before, now with little bows. And maybe a little more discreet this time.

The fish always stinks at the head, and in both companies there are many more, large fish below the sharks, and the smell below the surface is almost unbearable. And it is now breaking through and carrying an epidemic.

If the allegations prove to be correct, then no adhesive tape on the exploding fish tank will help. Then it has to be demolished and rebuilt. Blame me for being a social justice warrior or whatever, I don't care. Organizations, companies, need diverse management levels, need women, men, people from all over the world, all sexual orientations. For too long old, white men built patriarchal structures in which they were legislative, executive and judicial and made the world their own way. Excesses like the one we see are the result.

But those days are over. Fortunately, we live in an enlightened society and sweeping under the carpet and squinting both eyes, in the worst case wiggling your finger angrily, no longer works.

A problem that affects society as a whole

No, none of this is a problem for the game industry. It is obvious that things are likely to be similar here in many other companies, but also, above all, in other branches of industry. Activision-Blizzard and Ubisoft are probably not the great exception, as dramatic as this truth is.

Hardly any other industry is as charged with emotions as the games industry. We appreciate and adore individual developers, hate others for changing a game and not liking the result. We have a partially unhealthy relationship with this microcosm, which does nothing but provide us with games to pass the time.

If an oil company, if a clothing manufacturer has terrible working conditions, we shrug our shoulders because " that is our big, bad world ". Bad enough. But here it hits us to the core, it hits our small, not at all ideal gaming world, and we notice: Evil can live anywhere. And it is strong and destructive everywhere and spreads if it is not stopped.

But not in spite of this, but precisely because of this we must not accept it. We mustn't forget. We always have to remind ourselves what is happening and remind companies that we know what is happening to them.

The fish starts to stink at the head. It's time to drain the water, refill the tank and put in other fish.

About the author

Lukas Schmid has been working in various positions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games since 2010 , first as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and now as chief editor for,, and He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at around 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters are welcome in the comments under the column, to [email protected] or on Twitter to @Schmid_Luki.

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