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GDQ Fans Debate Whether Activision Blizzard Games Should Be Banned From Events




Last week, we spotted that speedrun marathon event Games Done Quick (GDQ) won't be accepting runs from any Harry Potter Games, including the recently released Hogwarts Legacy. While an explanation was not provided, it is largely assumed that this is due to organisers either wishing to keep discussions on JK Rowling's bigotry out of their events, or they themselves do not wish to platform her work anymore.

Since then, fans have been reacting to the news on Reddit, with opinions divided. Some agree with the decision, feeling that allowing Harry Potter speedruns would indicate that organisers don't care about the effect of JK Rowling's transphobia. Others, however, state that she had little involvement with the Games, and that they should be separated from her work. Yet both sides seem to think that there are other Games that could be included in the ban - including every Activision Blizzard title.

Related: Atomic Heart And The Problem With Keeping Politics Out Of Gaming

Some, no doubt, only bring up Activision Blizzard's workplace abuse controversies as a "gotcha" to those calling on the speedrunning community to take the fight against transphobia seriously. Yet others are earnestly sharing their arguments as to why Activision Blizzard games like Call of Duty and Diablo shouldn't be included in GDQ events.

"Personally, I would support GDQ banning Blizzard games on the basis of their poor workplace conditions," says Xirema, responding to a user who takes issue with the Harry Potter ban.

soldiers battling call of duty modern warfare 2
via Activision

They are far from alone, with NoirVII agreeing that "if any Games are to be banned, Blizzard should be included," having faced various accusations of sexual abuse.

However, others also in favour of the Harry Potter ban feel that the Activision Blizzard situation is different than Hogwarts Legacy's controversy.

"With Blizzard, while not all bad eggs are all gone or fully removed, enough of Blizzard's staff collectively have demonstrated active efforts in removing the bad eggs," says Sc4r4byte.

via Activision

Others point out that Activision Blizzard is now under heavy scrutiny to improve, whereas Rowling's continued financial success appears to have emboldened her bigotry even further.

"The fundamental difference is that no one at Blizzard sees the success of Diablo or Overwatch as validating their abusive practices," says CheffeBigNoNo. "In fact, the moment stories about these practices came out, the company immediately went into PR mode, firing some of the worst offenders."

They continue, "Not only is Harry Potter JKR's claim to fame and the reason why she has such a powerful voice, she views the money she still makes from the IP as validating her transphobia."

Hogwarts Legacy

Of course, it's worth mentioning that the CEO who oversaw all of Activision Blizzard's abuse scandals - and was even implicated in at least one incident himself - still has his job. In fact, Bobby Kotick doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, and is still benefiting from Activision Blizzard's success.

GDQ is yet to comment on the Harry Potter ban at its next event. However, it's worth noting that its last two events didn't include Harry Potter runs either, so it's likely that not much will change at all.

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