Sunday, September 2nd 2018

Riot Games Gaffe Results in Sexism Allegations at Pax West 2018

In what ended up overshadowing most of the news coming out of PAX West 2018, Riot Games delivered a masterclass in how not to handle things in a politically-correct environment. The situation in question concerned a series of sessions that were targeted to, and I quote, "women and non-binary folks" which was well intended and meant to be more of an acknowledgement of the minorities in the gaming industry.

Unfortunately, this wording and then poor-execution and follow-up from their part meant that things quickly turned sour. People at the event were quick to notice that the room reserved for these sessions appeared to have volunteers attempt to keep them away. What was intended to be a support session then turned into allegations flying all around, and social media lit abuzz with what seemed to be discrimination against straight men by the company.
These sessions were targeted at increasing the gender diversity in the gaming industry by offering resume reviews, interactions with women employees of Riot Games and were scheduled to be held throughout the event from 10 am to 6 pm. When asked for clarification, a Riot Games recruiter made things worse by saying men were allowed but only after 2:30 pm which was quickly turned into fodder for the ever-growing fire that now added segregation allegations as well. Making things worse were more Riot employees using their social media accounts to double down on this stance by invoking the privilege argument, and calling out some of the complainers as "manbabies". These were primarily targeted at members of the League of Legends subreddit who in turn were, in the author's opinion, extrapolating things beyond reason but ended up being another case study example of how not to handle things. Riot Games ended up having to provide a statement late last night local time, which did little to assuage those who felt that anyone who paid for an event ticket should have received the same treatment as others. This has since resulted in many people, game journalists and industry personnel alike, taking sides and opening up a can of worms that, in this author's opinion, both sides need to acknowledge and work towards a resolution sooner than later.

[Update, September 7 2018: Two Riot Games employees, including one referenced above, have since been let go by the company as reported by The Verge]
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192 Comments on Riot Games Gaffe Results in Sexism Allegations at Pax West 2018

#1
xkm1948
Hey where is the choice of being a helicopter? This is offensive!
Posted on Reply
#2
DeathtoGnomes
so its LoL reddit trolls vs Riot Games, no surprise there really, reddit are a bunch of crybabies, e-peen waving, and bandwagon riders. Its not just in LoL sub-reddits, you can see that going on in all game related sub-reddits.
Posted on Reply
#3
hat
Enthusiast
Let me get this straight:

1. Women and non-straight men feel discriminated against in the gaming community
2. Women and non-straight men get support from Riot Games
3. But women and non-straight men don't like their wording, then they get mad
4. Everybody mad

Is that correct? :banghead:

People these days got skin about as thick and durable as a wet paper bag. Why is this even a thing? Why does anybody care? It doesn't matter to me what anybody else is like behind closed doors, not sure why it matters to anybody else. Man, whatever happened to "live and let live"?
Posted on Reply
#4
RejZoR
Whoever brought this diversity garbage into gaming industry should be hanged by the balls assuming they even have them. No one cares if you're a minority black transgender lesbian with one leg and dyslexia, that literally never was the point of gaming which used to be reserved for the dirty nerds coz it was too childish, but now everyone wants to have a pie of it coz its so fun. I also don't understand why they are obsessed with this notion that characters in games need to be a reflection of our real selves (that pushing for all inclusive disabled transgender female minority protagonists). Someone who has no legs probably appreciates that players in FIFA have a pair of healthy legs so they can run around because they can't in real life. And same goes for this "women and minority only" workshops. You can be dyslexic or missing both legs, but you maybe excel at composing music or doing texture designs. You don't need bloody special workshops. Studio will see your talent past your whatever disability if you prove yourself. And legs aren't mandatory for doing great music or textures or models...

Then again, Riot Games haven't released anything else notable other than LoL which makes it look like they got lucky at doing one thing. And then they'll fall into irrelevancy. This diversity nonsense won't help their case in the long run either...

Winter is coming, snowflakes are everywhere already...
Posted on Reply
#5
DeathtoGnomes
"hat said:
Let me get this straight:

1. Women and non-straight men feel discriminated against in the gaming community
2. Women and non-straight men get support from Riot Games
3. But women and non-straight men don't like their wording, then they get mad
4. Everybody mad

Is that correct? :banghead:

People these days got skin about as thick and durable as a wet paper bag. Why is this even a thing? Why does anybody care? It doesn't matter to me what anybody else is like behind closed doors, not sure why it matters to anybody else. Man, whatever happened to "live and let live"?
I thought non-binary meant transgendered here.

"RejZoR said:
Whoever brought this diversity garbage into gaming industry should be hanged by the balls assuming they even have them. No one cares if you're a minority black transgender lesbian with one leg and dyslexia, that literally never was the point of gaming which used to be reserved for the dirty nerds coz it was too childish, but now everyone wants to have a pie of it coz its so fun. I also don't understand why they are obsessed with this notion that characters in games need to be a reflection of our real selves (that pushing for all inclusive disabled transgender female minority protagonists). Someone who has no legs probably appreciates that players in FIFA have a pair of healthy legs so they can run around because they can't in real life. And same goes for this "women and minority only" workshops. You can be dyslexic or missing both legs, but you maybe excel at composing music or doing texture designs. You don't need bloody special workshops. Studio will see your talent past your whatever disability if you prove yourself. And legs aren't mandatory for doing great music or textures or models...

Then again, Riot Games haven't released anything else notable other than LoL which makes it look like they got lucky at doing one thing. And then they'll fall into irrelevancy. This diversity nonsense won't help their case in the long run either...

Winter is coming, snowflakes are everywhere already...
The only thing I disagree with is this, attitude is a huge contributing factor when it comes to "the team", even then many people still talk down to people with disabilities. If there are more than 1 with a disability, it can make for an easier transition on to the team.
Posted on Reply
#6
ghazi
"DeathtoGnomes said:
I thought non-binary meant transgendered here.


The only thing I disagree with is this, attitude is a huge contributing factor when it comes to "the team", even then many people still talk down to people with disabilities. If there are more than 1 with a disability, it can make for an easier transition on to the team.
"Non-binary" refers to snowflakes so special they don't just identify as the other gender, they identify as a made-up alternate gender, or claim to have no gender at all. (Or, if you point out to them how stupid this all is, they'll claim it's for people with Klinefelter's and such.)
Posted on Reply
#7
Valantar
"RejZoR said:
Whoever brought this diversity garbage into gaming industry should be hanged by the balls assuming they even have them. No one cares if you're a minority black transgender lesbian with one leg and dyslexia, that literally never was the point of gaming which used to be reserved for the dirty nerds coz it was too childish, but now everyone wants to have a pie of it coz its so fun. I also don't understand why they are obsessed with this notion that characters in games need to be a reflection of our real selves (that pushing for all inclusive disabled transgender female minority protagonists). Someone who has no legs probably appreciates that players in FIFA have a pair of healthy legs so they can run around because they can't in real life. And same goes for this "women and minority only" workshops. You can be dyslexic or missing both legs, but you maybe excel at composing music or doing texture designs. You don't need bloody special workshops. Studio will see your talent past your whatever disability if you prove yourself. And legs aren't mandatory for doing great music or textures or models...

Then again, Riot Games haven't released anything else notable other than LoL which makes it look like they got lucky at doing one thing. And then they'll fall into irrelevancy. This diversity nonsense won't help their case in the long run either...

Winter is coming, snowflakes are everywhere already...
You have an incredible aptitude for arguing against yourself.

First off, if nobody cares about people's race or gender, how come everyone but straight white men are dramatically underrepresented in the industry?
Secondly, if games aren't supposed to represent reality, but some fantasy, why does that fantasy have to be dominated by white-looking characters, straight characters, binary-gendered characters and male characters? Last I looked, protagonists in AAA games were >90% male, and the vast majority of those were white. Practically none were openly non-heterosexual. Which is wildly different than the demographic makeup of "gamers", which is (and has always been) a very diverse group.
Thirdly, "whoever brought this diversity garbage" there? It's always been there. Women have been making games as long as games have been around. As have people of color and a vast swath of other minorities.
Fourth, "used to be reserved for the dirty nerds coz it was too childish, but now everyone wants to have a pie"? Wtf? Are you in kindergarten, and is someone stealing your toys? Last I checked, nobody was telling you what to play or how to enjoy it. They're just saying they also want the opportunity to enjoy things. Why don't they have that right? What does it take away from you if they gain access here? Honestly, you just come off as selfish and scared of change.
As for the "you don't need special treatment, this is a meritocracy" argument, that's been proven to be false time and time again. Hiring bias is real. Performance evaluation bias is real. White, straight men are systematically given preferential treatment in a large number of ways in this industry. Does this need to change? Obviously, unless you're actively advocating that we are somehow "better". If so, please bring some data to back up your ridiculous and offensive claims.


As for this situation, it just comes off as miscommunication and bad heaping on top of bad. The initiative seems good, and limiting attendance to underrepresented groups is a good idea, given that white, straight men have many advantages to begin with. This is leveling the playing field, not giving preferential treatment. But of course, to people blind to their own privilege, this is impossible to understand.
Posted on Reply
#8
lexluthermiester
"xkm1948 said:
Hey where is the choice of being a helicopter? This is offensive!
Helicopter?
Posted on Reply
#9
ghazi
"Valantar said:
First off, if nobody cares about people's race or gender, how come everyone but straight white men are dramatically underrepresented in the industry?
I don't care to address the rest of your post but you know damn well this is a ridiculous question. Did you perhaps consider that women don't attempt to enter the industry at the same rate as men?
Posted on Reply
#10
atomicus
"lexluthermiester said:
Helicopter?
I sexually identify as an Attack Helicopter. Ever since I was a boy I dreamed of soaring over the oil fields dropping hot sticky loads on disgusting foreigners. People say to me that a person being a helicopter is impossible and I'm f**king retarded but I don't care, I'm beautiful! I'm having a plastic surgeon install rotary blades, 30mm cannons and AMG-114 Hellfire missiles on my body. From now on I want to be called "Apache" and everyone must respect my right to kill from above and kill needlessly. If you can't accept me you're a heliphobe and need to check your vehicle privilege. Thank you for being so understanding.
Posted on Reply
#11
Valantar
"ghazi said:
I don't care to address the rest of your post but you know damn well this is a ridiculous question. Did you perhaps consider that women don't attempt to enter the industry at the same rate as men?
... And how much of that can be attributed to the industry and related fields of study systematically excluding women for decades? Computer science was nearly all-female in the early days, until men realized software was as interesting as hardware (instead of boring "secretarial work" which it had been seen as until then), shut them out of schools and jobs (again: hiring bias is very real, and was far worse 20-30+ years ago, but even today men tend to overwhelmingly hire men, while hiring done by women is statistically far more evenly distributed), and started a decades-long push to give programming a masculine image. Interest isn't something you're born with, and the current demographic distribution among programmers isn't some spontaneous, "natural" happening. Nor is it "planned" in the sense that one person or a single group of people conspired to make it happen, but there has been exerted considerable effort and power by many, many people over these past decades towards promoting computer science and programming as a "male" activity.
Posted on Reply
#12
Joss
"Valantar said:
how come everyone but straight white men are dramatically underrepresented in the industry?
Because straight white men do it better, and you can put almost anything in "it". The day of reckoning is coming :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#13
Valantar
"ghazi said:
"Non-binary" refers to snowflakes so special they don't just identify as the other gender, they identify as a made-up alternate gender, or claim to have no gender at all. (Or, if you point out to them how stupid this all is, they'll claim it's for people with Klinefelter's and such.)
How is not identifying with either of the two classic genders stupid? You know the difference between gender and sex, right? One is social, the other is biological. There is not a 1:1 relationship between the two, and there has never been so. Heck, about 1 in 1000 babies born are of "indeterminate" sex, and are given a gender label by doctors based on... well, what they feel like calling them, essentially. And you're portraying this as a system not worth adding some nuance to?
Posted on Reply
#14
MrGenius
"ghazi said:
Did you perhaps consider that women don't attempt to enter the industry at the same rate as men?
No. Because that would imply that there's no bigotry or discrimination going on. And we can't have that. We all have to be the victim of something, all day, every day, for the rest of our lives. There must be victimization. This, above all else, is imperative.
Posted on Reply
#15
Valantar
"Joss said:
Because straight white men do it better, and you can put almost anything in "it". The day of reckoning is coming :rolleyes:
Oh man. You should do some reading. When factoring in upbringing and socioeconomic background there's essentially zero difference between the performance of any group (gender, ethnic or otherwise) across most jobs. There are some outliers, but they are rare, and mostly have heavy links to current social understandings of who "should" be doing that job.Also, what's up with the pseudo-spooky wannabe genocidal rhetoric?

"MrGenius said:
No. Because that would imply that there's no bigotry or discrimination going on. And we can't have that. We all have to be the victim of something, all day, every day, for the rest of our lives. There must be victimization. This, above all else, is imperative.
Actually, no. The point is pointing out bias and how people are treated differently due to factors entirely out of their control. Would you enjoy being given worse performance reviews because... you had the wrong hair color? Or being passed over for a raise or promotion? Nah, I don't think so. Just because you haven't lived through systematic discrimination doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Posted on Reply
#16
oxidized
"Valantar said:
How is not identifying with either of the two classic genders stupid? You know the difference between gender and sex, right? One is social, the other is biological. There is not a 1:1 relationship between the two, and there has never been so. Heck, about 1 in 1000 babies born are of "indeterminate" sex, and are given a gender label by doctors based on... well, what they feel like calling them, essentially. And you're portraying this as a system not worth adding some nuance to?
This sounds so much like BS
Posted on Reply
#17
ghazi
"Valantar said:
... And how much of that can be attributed to the industry and related fields of study systematically excluding women for decades? Computer science was nearly all-female in the early days, until men realized software was as interesting as hardware (instead of boring "secretarial work" which it had been seen as until then), shut them out of schools and jobs (again: hiring bias is very real, and was far worse 20-30+ years ago, but even today men tend to overwhelmingly hire men, while hiring done by women is statistically far more evenly distributed), and started a decades-long push to give programming a masculine image. Interest isn't something you're born with, and the current demographic distribution among programmers isn't some spontaneous, "natural" happening. Nor is it "planned" in the sense that one person or a single group of people conspired to make it happen, but there has been exerted considerable effort and power by many, many people over these past decades towards promoting computer science and programming as a "male" activity.
At what point is there concrete, actual discrimination occurring? Your argument seems to be against public perceptions, which women (and men) voluntarily buy into.

"Valantar said:
How is not identifying with either of the two classic genders stupid? You know the difference between gender and sex, right? One is social, the other is biological. There is not a 1:1 relationship between the two, and there has never been so. Heck, about 1 in 1000 babies born are of "indeterminate" sex, and are given a gender label by doctors based on... well, what they feel like calling them, essentially. And you're portraying this as a system not worth adding some nuance to?
People with birth defects, genetic disorders are one thing... if you're born a man you're a man, if you're born a woman you're a woman. You can be an effeminate man or a masculine woman, you can be gay, you can't change what you are.
Posted on Reply
#18
ShurikN
"Valantar said:
You know the difference between gender and sex, right? One is social, the other is biological.
One is biological, and the other is a mental disorder.
Posted on Reply
#19
EzioAs
I don't see a problem here. If they want to have a session only for women, let them have it. I'm sure it's their right to do so.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
"ghazi said:
"Non-binary" refers to snowflakes so special they don't just identify as the other gender, they identify as a made-up alternate gender, or claim to have no gender at all. (Or, if you point out to them how stupid this all is, they'll claim it's for people with Klinefelter's and such.)
Jesus.

And you all find it cute I identify as a frog...

Need to start my "Society for the appreciation of Snow Flakes" sooner than later at this rate. The parts of identity that people decide are offensive seem to be completely and utterly random/trivial, and without any sensible foundation other than irrational hate.

"lexluthermiester said:
Helicopter?
He's trying to trivialize a legitimate point with a crazy-ass complaint. No one is asking to be a helicopter, and even if they were, so what?

"ShurikN said:
One is biological, and the other is a mental disorder.
Not according to the APA no. He's using the proper definitions here. Try again.

"oxidized said:
This sounds so much like BS
I suggest you do some homework. It's fact.

"Joss said:
Because straight white men do it better, and you can put almost anything in "it". The day of reckoning is coming :rolleyes:
No. Just no. You basically just discraced the intelligence of white heterosexual men everywhere with such a stupid comment.

White heterosexual frogs like me will oppose you to the bitter end. You are not in the majority with nutty views like that, thank god. Your day of reckoning won't happen.
Posted on Reply
#21
lexluthermiester
"atomicus said:
and I'm f**king retarded
If you're serious, then yes, completely.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I don't really know what to make of this. I can see Riot Games' corporate culture trying to recruit more women and minorities but an event at PAX? They should have made it "all welcome" and if they were really looking to recruit specific demographics at the event, pull the aside and ask them if they're interested in an interview. You won't see indie studios pulling a stunt like this because it's about personality and how well people work together over checking diversity boxes.

That picture that's attached announcing the event...it just strikes me as bait for hate. "Non-binary?" What the hell does that even mean? "Badass women?" Why? "Advanced Cosplay?" Really? "Meditation / quiet space hours?" That has always gone over well. "Ask a Rito?" Who, what, and why? Sure it says "chat with a Rioter" but seriously making up words? Again, really?

It may have been well intentioned but someone didn't give it a reality check.
Posted on Reply
#23
EntropyZ
I knew visiting this thread was a bad idea. Oh well, life goes on, and hopefully I will do something more productive today.

They say, ignorance is bliss.

And all those angry people should get some happy pills I think. :D
Posted on Reply
#24
Basard
HAHAHAHAH..... Helicopter.... I was hoping somebody would say "Helicopter?"

Everybody complaining about how men are the most over-represented class of humans......... A set of testicles is more powerful than gravity, more powerful than even electromagnetism. If you've gotta set of balls, there is only one thing in the world that can tame them, and it drives every action you set out to accomplish. My suggestion to all of you single men is to just have a quick fap in the morning and go on about your day. Maybe have another fap in the afternoon as well.

If I weren't basically married for the last 15 years you could all bet that I would carve Mount Rushmore with my teeth to get laid.

Edit: And all the strait men crying because they can't get in to hang out with a bunch of people that aren't comfortable around them..... Yeah, they are manbabies. Just let the women and non-binaries have their meeting and be done with it. What does Riot even make anyways? Oh, LoL.... And nothing else worth a damn. To hell with them. I played LoL for like 2 minutes and decided it sucked ass.

And another edit: It's pretty lame that the women and non-binaries are too scared to sit in a room with strait men. OMG the big scary strait guy is gonna look down on me with his testicles!!!!
Posted on Reply
#25
GorbazTheDragon
@DeathtoGnomes I guess you have 0 experience surrounding the league community... Riot has a history of insanely hypocritical employees and this is just a continuing trend of their unprofessional, unproductive work environment. The game itself has degraded in quality significantly in the last 2 years, the state of the pro scene has also degraded a lot, many of these issues began and were brought to the surface years ago, those who pointed out the problems and wanted them fixed were literally gunned down by riot and the community was at best divided. At this point all of the internal problems have reached a breaking point.

I definitely agree the league community is toxic, however the riot still managed to one up both r/lol and themselves with this one.

Here are some more posts for your enjoyment:




Some internal messages:


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