Online gaming watchers will recall that League of Legends studio Riot Games has sustained heavy fire this summer over sexism and misogyny allegations from both current and former male and female employees. Last week Riot broke its silence on the allegation with a public letter vowing sweeping reforms for its corporate culture to “become a leader on diversity, inclusion, and culture.”
But given the modern gaming scene, Riot was bound to face pushback from male gamers who believe that the reality of men controlling nearly an 80% share of gaming dev jobs isn’t something anyone should be doing anything about. Consequently, when Riot hosted dev workshops at PAX this weekend aimed at recruiting, with a few of the sessions open only to women and non-binary people, the usual suspects erupted, claiming that Riot is now sexist for excluding men from said workshops. (The rest of the workshops were for everyone.)
Riot’s official response doesn’t back down from its decision.
To help recruit women into gaming, we held PAX workshops for women and non-binary people. We’re proud of that and stand with Rioters at PAX. Regarding conversations about this, we need to emphasize that no matter how heated a discussion, we expect Rioters to act with respect.
— Riot Games (@riotgames) September 2, 2018
Riot Systems Designer Daniel Klein took to Twitter with a more detailed argument defending Riot’s decision, rebutting the “reverse sexism” claims, pointing out the extreme harassment women are subject to, arguing that justice requires active work, and pulling no punches by characterizing agitators as “absolute overgrown toddlers” who were “throw[ing] hissy fits.”