Riot Games says it’s proud of workshops designed for women and non-binary prospective devs

    
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Well, points for effort.

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.

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.”

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xhieron
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xhieron

Who and where are the 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?

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squid

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.

Yeah, so the problem isn’t trying to recruit outside your norm, it’s that they turned what should have been a standard procedure (recruiting developers who aren’t part of your existing echo chamber) into a PR stunt by creating specific workshops at a major event restricted to specific types of people and doing it immediately after a big scandal. This wasn’t “We want to diversify our workforce” as much as it was “We want people to see that we (maybe) want to diversify our workforce.”

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Keida Sotiri

One of the biggest issues I have with all of this is that now a days you can take any subject, and flip it into a “gender issue”. Riot’s horrible workplace attitude does have a negative impact on both men and women, it wasn’t an issue of sexism, it was an issue of certain individuals choosing to act like children at work. Both men and women engage in this behavior, and to say only men do is silly. Anytime employees misbehave it all comes down to terrible management, and honestly, American workplaces have a history of terrible management. Back when people assumed Americans were just lazy, it was quickly shown to be a lie and all the problems had been due to how terrible American managers were. Even starting early before LoL got big, you would have seen certain Rioters trolling on forums, a few individuals with a rather aggressive stance, etc. It should have been no one’s surprise to find out the behavior continued to this day.

With proper management, clear rules, and actual enforcement the workplace could have been friendlier all around, swapping everyone’s gender from male to female doesn’t make these issues go away. Females have a history of being very hostile towards one another, even at work, and without changing how the company manages its employees the bad behavior will always be present.

As for the issues with men mostly dominating the industry, it all comes down to the fact that we are all not the same. We as an individuals have our own interests and desires, and simply put the average man and the average women gravitated towards different career paths. The tech world sees mostly men, meanwhile you have the mental health world that sees mostly women for certain positions. It’s not because women can’t develop games, or that men can’t help others, it’s a matter of interests. If you want more women in one, and men in others, then you need to get them to be interested in it. Otherwise, you end up with terrible service, and unhappy people.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

I find this whole situation incredibly amusing… Riot are (as a people who are responsible for such company-wide decisions) either incredibly stupid (which I highly doubt) or are just trying to troll everyone (by doing the intentionally exaggerated “here, LOOK HOW MUCH WE CARE ABOUT FEMALE WORKERS NOW!!!” thing) with their exclusionist workshops…

Either way, the ONLY thing such action will achieve is make even more people pissed off at each other and make women feel more alienated at the workplace (since the company itself is now trying to show that employees must be treated differently simply based on their gender with these “female/non-binary-only” events). Like other people have said, any form of gender exclusivity is BAD.

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Utakata

While I disagree with them doing this, I can see why they did it. They likely didn’t want Sargon of Akkad types crashing their workshops and hijacking it. Something they couldn’t guarantee if they opened it up for all. I mean sure, more security detail to remove the trolls and hecklers. But it’s less messier, outside of the bad publicity, just to invite the target audience.

Though I am curious, would there been as much fuss if they held their workshops in the women’s washroom? Outside of transphobic politicians, we don’t seem to take much issues about our gender exclusive bathrooms. (Or sports teams for that matter.) So this is more likely raging bigots raising this issue for their advantage, when most of the time they are dead silent about it. They are soooo transparent sometimes, lol. o.O

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starbuck1771

Yes but the why doesn’t excuse the way. When SOE did these thing’s they were wise and did it on their own and not at a convention. The way Riot did it made everyone in that panel a target for hate crimes and gave everyone a reason to keep the status quo. When you claim to be all inclusive as well as trying to diversify you basically screwed yourself when people are not included based on gender, race, religion, or sexual preferences.

In the end these practices will end up getting people hurt or killed as we have seen all too much lately. The stunt Riot pulled was extremely idiotic to say the least. If when the event door was opened and someone opens fire like at the Madden tournament. Would Riot take responsibility for their choices? I doubt it they would just try to spin it. In the end there is no defense for what they did.

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Utakata

But this is done all the time though in the examples I have already mentioned. Yet very few times a fuss like this is raised. As it also hard to claim it is actually sexist if the intent of the workshop hosts wanted a focus group with a particular demographic. (Something that’s also done quite a bit in advertising and marketing, actually.)

Yes, it sucks if you came to the workshop with the wrong genitalia and/or gender identity and where shown the door. But this screening process happens all through walks of life. So if it’s sexist, then so is the NFL and your local public washrooms.

Personally, I would like to be in world where there is less artificial gender barriers put up. It would be the ultimate way to bring sexism to a close by being comfortable with ourselves no matter what we are, what’s hanging between out legs and what we identify ourselves as. And instead focus on screening out ignorant fucks, willful or otherwise.

*Left pigtail drops a quarter in Mr. Schlag’s swear jar for that*

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starbuck1771

If the power’s that be @riotgames have any brain’s they will fire Klein. All hell has broken loose on the LoL forum’s and they need to nip this issue in the bud.

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Utakata

“…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.”

How we never should cross those who are more equal than others when addressing inequality. /le sigh

arimer
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arimer

So basically the people who benefited have now decided to pull the ladder up behind them. If they feel so strongly why not quit. Or better yet, train a female replacement then quit for her to takeover. Instead of this half assed idea that’s just sexism.

The problem with stupid ideas like this is you are trying to solve a problem of yourself. People that have yet to benefit like you did will never see the “fairness” in it because there is none. You should not be excluding males. You should be reaching out to females. If the interest is there they’ll show up. If not they won’t . Don’t try and force your sexist rules to satisfy your own guilt.

Simple solution is to game the system now. Be whatever they are asking for. Why yes i’m nonbinary.

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Sally Bowls

/Aside
I found something interesting to me in this. One of the combatants in this supposedly used a service that blocked people from his twitter account, not based upon their tweets/responses to their account, but based upon what other accounts the blockee was subscribed to.

I guess you have to allow this, but I just find it disquieting – talk about a filter bubble!

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Sally Bowls

In my brief, but too long, foray into this I did not find any heroes. Riot was making and effort to address a problem, so good on them for that. And then some players reacted badly no shock. But then some Riot employee(s) reacted badly and said some inappropriate things.

The Riot tweet above was a good way to remain firm in a good cause. OTOH, I can’t see any benefit to insulting customers and you are never going to win an argument on reddit. Staying silent is better, and a simple reiteration of support is better still.

Once again, I fail to see the benefit to the companies of their unchaperoned employees going ballistic on social media.

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BDJ

Riot made zero effort. All they did was make the problem worse. Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on, they excluded a group… which they have been in hot water for doing for the last few weeks (keeping women out of upper management, all the harassment articles).

They need to change their policies. Actually change them. Not try to bandaid or mask changes. They need to actually change their culture. All they did with this is show that they are willing to do more of the same.

Could you imagine if someone like blizzard did a “Binary men only” event? There would be riots in the streets lol.

Riot just needs to quit being sexist fucks and actually be inclusive. The end.

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J

The twitter thread you posted above is pretty painful to read. I am surprised RIOT is not all over his ass to stay he hell off social media. Riot and Daniel both, seem to be flailing in the water a bit on these topics.

The community is also running with it full steam ahead.