As employees at Activision Blizzard prepare for today’s Walkout for Equality, streamers, developers, and gamers from around the world are showing their support through charitable donations, game boycotts, and by signal-boosting the event.
While not everyone can attend the Activision Blizzard Walkout for Equality, there are other ways to show support for the employees of the company as they demand improved working conditions for women and other marginalized groups in the wake of their employer’s inadequate response to California’s sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.
One easy way to help is by making charitable donations to organizations promoting women in gaming. Walkout organizers included a list of such charities to donate to in yesterday’s event announcement. Charities like Futures Without Violence, working toward ending violence against women and children around the world, or Black Girls Code, helping young women of color find their way into creative tech spaces. Since the announcement I’ve seen plenty of folks on Twitter donating, signal boosting, or even offering services in exchange for proof of donations. Speedrunning charity organization Games Done Quick, which holds bi-annual marathons to benefit organizations like Doctors Without Borders, donated $1,000 to each of the six charities listed by walkout organizers.
Speaking of, here’s the full list of charities mentioned in the Activision Blizzard walkout announcement, which Twitter users have been sharing vigorously since yesterday’s announcement.
- Black Girls Code - https://www.blackgirlscode.com
- Futures Without Violence - https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org
- Girls Who Code - https://girlswhocode.com
- RAINN - https://www.rainn.org
- Women In Animation - https://womeninanimation.org
- Women in Games International - https://www.getwigi.com
Though the event organizers have not made a call for a boycott or any sort of “don’t cross the picket line” demand (this is a walkout, not a strike), many popular streamers have pledged to refrain from streaming Activision Blizzard games for the duration of the event. Popular Hearthstone streamer Brian Kibler will not be streaming any Activision Blizzard games today, saying he was “inspired by the bravery of those who came forward and have told their stories at very real risk to themselves and their careers.” The Guild actor and streamer Vince “Bladezz” Caso took to Twitter yesterday, suggesting others avoid streaming Blizzard titles today. Overwatch streamer Flats, as promised yesterday, will be streaming Pokémon today instead. A search for “#ActiBlizzWalkout streaming” shows streamer after streamer pledging to avoid Activision Blizzard games today.
Despite calls for boycotting, Activision Blizzard games are still pulling huge numbers on Twitch. Right now there are 34,000 people watching hundreds of World of Warcraft streams on Twitch, while 120,000 are watching Call of Duty: Warzone. According to Twitch tracking website SullyGnome that’s below the 30-day average for WoW, but above for Warzone. Still, even a small drop is sure to be noticed. Especially when that small drop is part of a much bigger movement of developers and gamers who stand in solidarity with the workers of Activision Blizzard as they take a stand to make this industry a better, more accepting, more friendly place for everyone.