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The Other Side Of Diversity

raccoon-logic

This is a new game studio, Raccoon Logic, co-founded by Alex Hutchinson, ex creative director at Ubisoft for Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed III. You don’t need to look too closely to see that the group is made up entirely of men, or as Kotaku describes them in its article yesterday, ‘veteran white dudes’. This picture alone has caused a furor in social media, with Hutchinson immediately being labelled as a misogynist, a term with very powerful connotations and a view openly supported by Kotaku, a publication well known for its crusades for social justice warriors. One should choose one’s words with care nowadays, especially since misogynists kill, as happened last week in Plymouth, UK, where six people were shot dead by a known woman-hater.

Misogyny: a hatred of women

Looking For Controversy Intentionally

There is in fact one female employee at Raccoon Logic, namely Noemie L’Ecuyer as a producer, but I’m simply using this video games studio as an example of a current-day culture which I can only describe as similar to walking over eggshells, or razor blades, depending on your point of view. The recent news coming from Ubisoft, Blizzard Entertainment, and Riot Games concerning sexual harassment of women by men cannot be taken lightly. Conversely, the current climate has now developed into a one size fits all situation where an entrepreneur who once worked for a company that is now embroiled in sexual harassment cases has to defend his position pre-emptively lest he gets tarred with the same brush. This is exactly what has happened to Hutchinson in the article by Kotaku when he was asked if he had witnessed anything untoward (during his time at Ubisoft) and, rather patronisingly, whether he had learned anything from it. Quite rightly he answered the question with an ever so subtle message signalling that he wasn’t going to be held answerable to a so-called journalist who was simply looking for something non-existent.

“There’s nothing specific on my side,” he said. “And as someone who wasn’t involved, luckily, in any of the nasty stuff there so it doesn’t feel useful to have my opinion on it.”

In all the woke noise surrounding a new game studio launch, what seems to have been lost is the admirable spirit of opportunism in starting a new venture, instead being hijacked by a poisonous culture intent on dictating its own set of rules on everyone else. In most developed countries, including Canada where Raccoon is based, there exist laws against gender discrimination, but I’m not aware of any laws that specify quotas on how many male/female/non-binary/LGBTQ+ (or any other gender labels I haven’t heard of) a company should employ. But is it naïve of me to suggest that most companies hire employees on merit and experience?

The Gaming Industry Is Predominantly Male, Apparently

Perhaps it’s in our DNA, but men and boys have long been attracted to both gaming and the making of those games. It’s an indisputable fact, just as bullying of girls in gaming, mainly online, is also indisputable and it’s only in recent years that this kind of anti-social behaviour is being tackled, albeit half-heartedly. On the other hand…

I work for a large and very well known game studio, and we recently put out a job description for a new position with my department.

There were no female applicants…

That quote is from a Eurogamer article which states that 70% of the people who work in the UK game industry are men, which is a statistic I wouldn’t argue with, albeit with the article having been based on a report issued in October 2019. Of course, there are arguments that women are put off from applying for jobs in certain industries because of the perceived macho atmosphere that may or may not exist, which could explain the figures I just quoted. But this opinion piece isn’t about statistics, but about diversity and inclusion for their own sakes.

It’s impossible to deny that the workplace has historically been a place of discrimination in all its forms, but should Anycompany Inc in Anytown USA, or some other places around the world be dictated to by journalists and the woke community at large? Is it right that a company should be singled out for not having its ‘fair’ quota of women, lesbians, transsexuals, BIPOC, and non-binaries as employees and then being labelled misogynist? If you read the above Kotaku article I linked to and scroll down to the keyboard warriors (comments) section you’ll spot a few choice descriptions of one of the co-founders of Raccoon Logic, one of which reads:

Hutchinson has always been, and will always be, an ass**le.

So there you have it, all summed up in one tidy little word. But then Steve Jobs was also an ass**le employer, but he is now held up as some kind of deity, prophet, and visionary.

2 thoughts on “The Other Side Of Diversity”

  1. It certainly is an interesting debate that I feel those protesting about equality don’t want to talk about but it needs to happen.

    I remember reading about someone here in the UK who wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the police and he went through exams and stuff and apparently got the top marks and everything but didn’t get the job and was suing because it appeared he only didn’t get it due to being a white male and not what they where looking for. I belive he was trying to sue the police.

    It’s awkward because I get the whole point of diversity quotas and we should definitely encourage a variety of people to take on roles e.g. females in the gaming industry and tech industry in general. However there comes a point when this might go too far. If there is a quota and 2 people apply e.g. to a gaming company and it is clear one is a white male with far more experience and what is needed, should the company not be able to pick the person who is the best fit.

    Like I said it’s something that needs to be spoken about.

  2. Well, there’s the gamers, the ones who play and enjoy video games, and then there’s a self-entitled crowd of blue checkmarks and pronouns on Twitter writing about them. The kind of people who hate their own lives, and care more about finding something anyone did wrong instead of what they did good. Hell, even doing not right (in their opinions) is sufficient for a shitstorm. And these people call themselves “tolerant” of course, becasue after all they do tolerate everyone who goes along with their narrow corridor of opinions. Remember when they even went for one of their own (J.K. Rowling).
    I, for one, remember when Kotaku was a nice place to read video games news. I visited on the daily. That must have been like pre 2010 I guess.
    Now back to playing Quake. I am so detached from the world of popular online opinion right now. The only way to keep sane in this digital world.

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