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Serge heartless

Blizzard Bans going to congress

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Yes, because more laws solve everything.  This whole thing is becoming a double edged sword.  So you have a company, a private entity that is providing a public service - where do you draw the line and call it public space even if it's private property?  Google: guilty.  Facebook: guilty.  Blizzard: really seems guilty.  

So, the net issue is: do you pass a law and say that you can't say and enforce certain things on your own private property?  Or do you risk showing that you endorse an agenda to some weird group of individuals that think non-action is consent/agreement by allowing freedom of speech?  Slippery slope.  Personally I think there are more important things to worry about in Congress, but...well...I'm not allowed to say more than that.

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Congresscritters do love their sound-bite producing hearings.  Actually doing something productive and useful, not so much.  (Unless of course there's money involved.)

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5 hours ago, The History Kid said:

Yes, because more laws solve everything.  This whole thing is becoming a double edged sword.  So you have a company, a private entity that is providing a public service - where do you draw the line and call it public space even if it's private property?  Google: guilty.  Facebook: guilty.  Blizzard: really seems guilty.  

So, the net issue is: do you pass a law and say that you can't say and enforce certain things on your own private property?  Or do you risk showing that you endorse an agenda to some weird group of individuals that think non-action is consent/agreement by allowing freedom of speech?  Slippery slope.  Personally I think there are more important things to worry about in Congress, but...well...I'm not allowed to say more than that.

The bans make sense. Their initial reaction to steal a player's hard earned money is when people rightfully lost their shit. I think they gave it back....so the rest of the matter is pretty meaningless.

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6 hours ago, BurnsyCEO said:

The bans make sense. Their initial reaction to steal a player's hard earned money is when people rightfully lost their shit. I think they gave it back....so the rest of the matter is pretty meaningless.

I hadn't heard anything about them retaining dues.  So this is a first for me.  That being said, does Blizzard have a terms of use, or a policy that the user agrees to prior to continuing to play?  Did the player violate that policy?  If so, it's a moot point.  You can spend money at a venue and break the rules, be kicked out, and not receive a refund.  That's just regular business.  Certainly not a job for Congress.

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Well its blizzards fault if a new law on video game bans get made. Ive seen a lot of other vids to that people are going to quit blizzard games. And other people are going to protest during blizzcon

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5 minutes ago, Serge heartless said:

Well its blizzards fault if a new law on video game bans get made. Ive seen a lot of other vids to that people are going to quit blizzard games. And other people are going to protest during blizzcon

Ehhh...I dunno if I'd say it's entirely Blizzard's fault.  At least not at the implementation level.  Congress really shouldn't be involved here, so I'd ultimately place the fault at the level of the government.  Again...they're good at making laws...and laws...and more laws.  Blizzard in that case is just the instigator.  Still, it's interesting to see where this goes.

I do recall being told that apparently it's possible to remove all Chinese players from the game by typing in "Tiananmen Square 1989" or something into the chat box.  The automatically get kicked by their ISP.  That tidbit - if true - is amusing.

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Thing is Americans believe in free speech. You think solving things just by banning everyone who disagrees with you is a good idea, its not.  The only reason Blizzard is doing this is cause they don't want to hurt the sells in China.  Though Blizzard is killing off their fanbase in other countries.  Just image being subbed to a blizzard game for like 10 years, and you don't agree with them, and you just get banned the next day. And thats the only reason, just cause you don't agree with them. 

Edited by Serge heartless
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For me this whole thing is honestly gotten out of hand. I do agree Blizzard is wrong, but it is being taken to far. I do agree with what was said above too that these companies either need to understand what being public is or be made public entirely, or operate properly as a provide organization. 

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1 hour ago, Serge heartless said:

Thing is Americans believe in free speech. You think solving things just by banning everyone who disagrees with you is a good idea, its not.  

That's not what anyone is saying.  Anywhere.  At all.  At least not on these forums

The only reason Blizzard is doing this is cause they don't want to hurt the sells in China.  Though Blizzard is killing off their fanbase in other countries.  Just image being subbed to a blizzard game for like 10 years, and you don't agree with them, and you just get banned the next day. And thats the only reason, just cause you don't agree with them.

Yes, and as a private entity, that is their right as well.  You have a TOS/TOT that you agree to in order to play on their servers.  Thus why it's prickly.  Is Blizzard a private company?  If so, are they guaranteed the right to freedom of expression as well?  But, therein lies a demon as well - if you kabash their right to free expression are you also endorsing the limiting of free expression of other entities as well?

Again, it's an issue of what constitutes a company as being "private" and "public."  We know what that means economically, but where is the line that is drawn that a company stops being private and enters as a public forum.  Such a description has not previously been defined.

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I mean you can just ban everyone who disagrees with you, but you are going to kill off a lot of your fanbase. And a lot of people are going to stop playing blizzard games. And its already a  fact. People are already protesting blizzard, and going to protest at blizzcon.  I don't know why anyone thinks its ok for a company just to ban everyone just cause all cause they are trying to kiss up to China and you disagree with them .  Its ok though, cause I don't have any plans to get any blizzard games.  People are never going to look at Blizzard the same, a lot of people hate them now.   

They are acting like DSP from youtube. IRL people are always going to disagree with you, you just learn to grow up and move on. 

Edited by Serge heartless

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So if I get this right, a professional gamer introduced political content in his stream/interview and was then banned for one year and his prize money was revoked.

On the one side, generally, I think you should keep politics out of sports, videogames etc.. You hear about politics almost everywhere nowadays, so it would be great if there are areas that don't include it. But personally I find what Blizzard did rather harsh. I read their reasoning (violate the rule that the player did something to damage Blizzard's image), and find it a bit far-fetched, although I could see it hold up in court. Still, I assume the guy (at least partly) lives from esports, so banning him for a full year does seem harsh to me.

The Congress thing should be seen more generally, I think. The Blizzard case, as they write, is only one of a few recent cases where a foreign nation (China) influenced decisions in the US in a targeted way. I highly doubt Congress is particularly interested in that particular esport, but rather saw it as an opportunity to take a stance against that foreign influence.
I do think it's a bit 'unorthodox' for Congress to get mixed up in such a particular case, but can understand the general idea behind it.
At the end of the day, Blizzard is just a company like many others trying to maximize their income. Protesting against them might let them reconsider, but seeing how huge the Chinese market is, it might from a business side be more advantageous to stick to their banning the player.

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1 hour ago, Illusion of Terra said:

I highly doubt Congress is particularly interested in that particular esport, but rather saw it as an opportunity to take a stance against that foreign influence.

Bingo. 

Look, this is much more political in nature than people realise and I'm not one for discussion of that here in a space which is generally unfit for such a topic. But I want to just bring up why that is in this thread and what I believe is actually going on here. 

I agree with HK that passing legislation to handle the dealings of a private entity is about a slippery slope as it gets. However, it's not legislation that targets any one entity but rather targets trade itself. 

Remember a couple of months back we were hearing about League of Legends being banned in Iran and Syria? It wasn't that the game was targeted specifically-- it was any game from a US-based company which had microtransactions. This was because of severe sanctions on those countries by the US in attempt to stifle trade with them. Legally speaking, Riot couldn't allow their game to receive income from said countries without facing serious repercussion. 

Applying that logic here, the US congress is currently in the process of exploring the same type of sanctions against China as a whole, in part because of what has been going on in Hong Kong. Basically they see the gross scale of human rights atrocities being committed, first and foremost the concentration camps, and are attempting to impart harsh sanctions as a result. Unfortunately, this is where corporations are pushing back because many receive massive amounts of money in the Chinese market, have huge shareholders based in China, and even have the manufacturing end in China itself. Do I really need to point out the special interests that are held even in the oval office right now or can we all see where this is going? Yes? Alright. 

Activision Blizzard is far from the only company this latest political drama could affect. Tencent only owns a 5% stake in shares with AB. They just happen to be the ones under the fire right now, in the same way as the NBA. Compare that to say, Riot Games, whose shares were recently bought up entirely by Tencent and suddenly you can zoom out and begin to see the scope of this political mess. The way I see it, these lawmakers are really just struggling with choosing between two evils- with corporate lobbies breathing down their necks with business interests and the general public doing the same demanding justice be done on behalf of the millions of people who are getting their organs harvested. 

It sounds good and easy to say keep politics out of e/sports but the kind of league sports we're talking about are also corporate entities--and with that comes corporate interests. Naturally, like almost everything else, politics snakes its way in via the money. It's inconvenient, but if you don't see the forest for the trees and have the adult conversation then you're fighting what is essentially a losers' argument. 

I'm not here for a political debate, so that's all I'm going to say on the matter. I just keep seeing this issue mischaracterised. If anyone wants to continue this one with me, send it in a private message. I'm no longer responding here. 

Edited by Wedgy
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2 hours ago, Wedgy said:

Unfortunately, this is where corporations are pushing back because many receive massive amounts of money in the Chinese market, have huge shareholders based in China, and even have the manufacturing end in China itself. Do I really need to point out the special interests that are held even in the oval office right now or can we all see where this is going? Yes? Alright.

So granting them most-favored-nation status turns out to be a Bad Idea?  Who knew?

Seriously, anyone who didn't see this coming was.. naive.  This has always been about corporate profits.  China is/was one of the last big worldwide markets, not to mention cheap labor, and companies wanted to get in there to set up factories and make money selling stuff.  The argument was that having the option to take the factories and jobs away from China if they behaved badly would be the leverage that would keep them in line and improve the human rights situation.  Of course in practice we've never even talked about using that lever, and at this point the companies with assets over there would never allow it.  Congress will talk of course, but they'll never use that big stick, and China knows it.

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2 hours ago, Wedgy said:

However, it's not legislation that targets any one entity but rather targets trade itself. 

Exactly, and if I wasn't being clear about this before - this is what I'm trying to say as well. 

The nature of legislative query has been taking a bigger interest these days in business transactions and practice than before.  Why?  Well, because business has been getting more explicitly intertwined with government affairs.   The only thing that I'll say that I hope does not happen, is that every small "odd" transaction that occurs gets examined.  We don't need federal oversight for that kind of thing.  If you can tie it into your GDP or political inquisition, fine - but don't MAKE something out of an anthill - which this runs the risk of setting precedent for.

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21 hours ago, The History Kid said:

Again, it's an issue of what constitutes a company as being "private" and "public."  We know what that means economically, but where is the line that is drawn that a company stops being private and enters as a public forum.  Such a description has not previously been defined.

This raises a really good point about private vs public company responsibilities. Reddit, for instance, bans a lot of subreddits of things like anti-women and anti-black sentiment. (Not agreeing or disagreeing, only stating the facts) I also play quite a few online video games, and I know that certain people being banned is absolutely in the right.

I'm here to play video games. If I'm watching a Hearthstone stream, I expect gameplay of Hearthstone. Blizzard admonishing players for derailing gameplay to push their political agenda doesn't sound wrong. However, Blizzard does allow - hell, even support - LGBT pride at their public games though, especially at their Overwatch events.

On a closely-related note, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey had a similar sentiment, saying "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fetitta denounced this, saying that Morey's statement does not speak for the Houston Rockets. The difference is, Morey didn't interject this at an event; he tweeted it from his personal Twitter.

It's a sticky situation for sure. I'm 100% in favor of free speech, but I also understand the sentiment that you don't want to detract from the service you're providing. At what point should companies be taking action? Even though Morey tweeted this statement from a personal perspective and Fetitta denounced it, NBA merchandise had taken down from all China markets. From an financial standpoint, it doesn't take a genius to think:

5 hours ago, Illusion of Terra said:

On the one side, generally, I think you should keep politics out of sports, videogames etc.. You hear about politics almost everywhere nowadays, so it would be great if there are areas that don't include it.

But personally, I cannot disagree with this anymore than I already do. (Sorry Terra, nothing against you.) There is quite literally thousands of beautiful masterpieces created in media that are enhanced because of the political themes associated with them.

  • Metal Gear Solid is a beautiful series built upon the foundation of "Nukes are bad".
  • Bioshock has various themes such as "Unchecked genetic enhancements can lead to catastrophic events". 
  • Fallout also has various themes, critiquing capitalism, communism, imperialism, etc.
  • Joker (2019) criticizes a broken system of mental health, government aid, and wealthy elites.

The idea that all politics should stay out of media is just... no. Not only is it impossible; it will surely lead to us having worse media as a whole. The other choice is to silence political agendas you don't agree with, which... also no.

We need to allow all ideas to be spoken, then keep refuting them as they're brought up again. If you can't refute an idea you don't agree with, then you need to rethink about why you believe in your ideas.

If Blizzard and NBA want to say they're not related to these statements, that's fine. They might not want to associate their brand with certain topics. (Look how that turned out...) But silencing people on their own free time? Man, that's tough.

Edited by Musuko
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@Musuko No worries, I don't mind disagreement since it's part of my job and it's what I do most of the time 😂 Also I don't take any of it personally.

I might have expressed myself a bit too vague when I said 'politics'. I have nothing against the examples you mentioned. In fact, I would find it great if you make a game that centers around the theme of 'unchecked genetic enhancement' as this plays directly into what I work on (I have only played Bioshock for like 10 minutes once). I also think it's interesting if a game talks about themes such as capitalism, communism etc.. In fact, I find it adds to a game/anime/movie if there is an underlying theme with more depth.

Maybe the term 'party politics' would be closer to what I mean with 'politics'. For example, I personally would not like this My Hero Academia season directly promoting something for/against the border wall in the US. If it were an anime about immigration and why border walls should/should not be build, that would be a different thing. I haven't watched the whole interview in the case above, but find it a bit difficult to relate a card game about Warcraft to current political protests in Hong Kong. So I don't have anything about anime/games touching upon political themes generally, but I do not think they should be used to promote current party politics when the anime/game doesn't really have anything to do with it in the first place.

Another thing which I might have to say a bit more explicitly is that just because I think this should not be the case, doesn't mean I think it should be illegal. I am not making any claim about whether the esports gamer should have a legal right to make the comments he did in that context. I personally think you should keep politics like in that case out of videogames, but I am not saying it should be illegal to do otherwise. Kinda like I might think you should not waste 90% of your money on betting on horse races, but I wouldn't necessarily make it illegal.

Edited by Illusion of Terra
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Blizzard closed their Q and A at blizzcon lol.  To me it doesn't matter that much, cause I really want something else from blizzard, over the years they have been doing nothing but multiplayer games, and other games that are kind of dead now. Like Overwatch, hearthstone, and diablo 3.   Overwatch has become nothing but a toxic game, with people just hating everyone for losing.  I cant stand card games, so hearthstone is meh. And diablo 3 pretty much killed PvP.  It would be nice if they made some single player games. Or games that had some what ok PvP.

Though I also think politics shouldn't be in video games, Blizzard just doesn't want the sells in China to go down.  Though I believe that doesn't give them right to just ban anyone who disagrees with  them.   Theres lots of people who don't agree with what Nintendo does, theres a lot of people who don't like what Capcom or SquarEnix does, people hate konami. And these companies don't care, they are not out to get their own fanbase, and hate their own fanbase like blizzard is doing.

Edited by Serge heartless

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In light of recent events, reddit is of course doing what reddit does best. 

20191030_171448.thumb.jpg.f7c1fc72ab67309ec318d10a0ec21060.jpg

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I reacted with a laugh, but I'm also furious at the same time.  Is it possible to be angrily entertained?

2 hours ago, Wedgy said:

In light of recent events, reddit is of course doing what reddit does best. 

 

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