Activision Blizzard’s Diversity Space Tool is weird

confused meme with Activision Blizzard

To say that Activision Blizzard is a garbage fire is probably an insult towards actual garbage fires at this point. For the foreseeable future, the establishment of the company is an immediate reminder of Terrible CEOsAnd strikesAnd The way too many sexual harassment/discrimination/action lawsuits to keep upAnd Attempts to change the brand It counts down how long the person has lived because the previous person stepped down after only a few months.

it’s the Rebranding The part I would like to draw your attention to Blog on the Activision Blizzard website She revealed an attempt to be more inclusive in video games, which is…definitely something, like, kind of something This sounds like it’s in a science fiction novel involving men in lab coats trying to study a new species, except the “species” are just…marginalized people…yes that’s really weird.

WTF is a diversity space tool?

This story first came to me via this Tweet from Fanbyte that calls the tool, quote, “silly weird.”

Fanbit Imran Khan writes (After a reminder of Activision Blizzard’s track record), “When a company desperately needs to make fundamental changes in how it recruits and treats diverse employees and audience-facing personalities, I would argue that the solution is not to make and deploy a tool that boils down to designing diversity in pre-set metrics.”

predefined metrics? I know this company is in the “burn it all and start from scratch” phase of its life cycle, but it’s definitely not Really Provide some kind of program for… assessing the diversity of characters, right?

However, that’s kind of what King does According to a blog posted yesterday On the Activision-Blizzard website. The motivation is that the employees at King – through their own admission, and working outside of business hours – have created a tool that breaks down personality traits and ranks them on their diversity. The idea, the post argues, is to protect against unconscious bias and exclusion when it comes to creating their own games and characters.

These included scales are culture, ethnicity, age, cognitive ability, physical ability, body type, facial/beauty features, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.

So they are not being paid to do this? they volunteered? And this is supposed to be seen as… a good thing? I had to check again and yes, There is a right to blog postAccording to King Globalization Project Director Jacqueline Chomatas, once MIT handed over the core software, the team at King spent the past few years refining and developing it, mostly as a volunteer effort. People were spending their spare time working on the tool, simply because they believed in its potential so much. “.

Coming back to the mentioned blog post, it starts in the right direction. “We want to see ourselves represented in games, we want to reduce barriers to access, and we want games to be a welcoming environment for everyone.” This is all true. We want more representation in games. However, the question that remains is this: How do we transform this feedback from the collective desire into reality?“Well, you can start by creating a space where marginalized people feel safe enough to be in your presence given the fact that numerous lawsuits indicate a frightening amount of discrimination and harassment and-

“The Diversity Space Tool is a measurement tool, to help determine how diverse a set of personality traits is and thus how diverse that personality and tempo are when compared to the ‘norm,’ explains Chomatas. Once he bases the typical personality traits (which is done by the creative team working closely with With development and interior design experts), it can then weigh new character designs against them to gauge their diversity. During the process, the tool can also detect unconscious bias, such as why certain traits are viewed as “male” versus “female”, or why characters are given a Certain ethnic backgrounds have similar personalities or behaviors.

No seriously, WTF is this?

On top of the fact that the company is going through the trouble of making a diversity detector, said company believes that it can, subsequently, be incorporated into other forms of media. “The traits and metrics are applicable to the broader entertainment sectors including television, film, and literature. The only change needed if used in these sectors would be the core traits, which must be calibrated to be relevant to the genre and universe in which each character is.”

Chomatas admits that the app is still in development – in fact, it is designed to constantly evolve as “standards” change and platforms change. In the end, you get out of it what you put into it, and what you choose to take away from it.

“Like anything else, this is just a tool that provides insights,” Chomatas says. “It’s up to the teams who make the characters and the games to implement them.”

“It’s up to the teams who make the characters and the games to apply them,” You say? Cool, I had no idea studios should want to be inclusive in order to have more variety. If only there were vocal groups of marginalized people within the gaming community to point this out over and over again. As Khan said in Fanbyte, “Diversity and inclusion is not a vending machine that keeps popping up until a badge pops up that says ‘You can’t yell at me anymore.’ It is a sustainable process that requires people at all levels to listen to the people trying to be heard.”

An additional note was added to the Activision Blizzard post after people online responded to their tool like:

The blog post is now opened with the following statement. “There has been a conversation online regarding the Diversity Space Tool, particularly regarding its intent and our commitment to diversity. We have edited this blog post to make it clear that this prototype is not being used in active game development.”

Here is the rest of their statement.

Launched in 2016, the Diversity Space tool – currently in beta – is designed as an optional supplement to the hard work and our teams already focus on telling diverse stories with diverse characters, but decisions about in-game content have always been and will always be led by the development team. Developed at King, the tool has been beta tested by several developers across the company, all of whom have provided valuable input.

The goal of using the tool is to reveal unconscious bias by identifying current norms in representation and recognizing opportunities for growth in inclusion. It is not a substitute for any other essential effort by our teams in this regard, and it will not alter our company’s diverse recruitment goals. Over the past several years, the tool has been developed with the support of all of our DE&I networks of employees, and we’ve collaborated with external partners to create an even more powerful tool.

The tool is not intended to be used in isolation; Teams will sit with DE&I employees to define current standards and then discuss, educate, consult, and collaborate on how to express character representation beyond those standards. This process aims to create a conversation where our developers, with the help of the tool, challenge assumptions, evaluate options and create opportunities for authentic representation to be enhanced in our games.

Activision Blizzard is committed to reflecting the diversity of its millions of players around the world through representation and inclusion in its games as well as its employees. Our goal in introducing this blog was to share an in progress part of our journey in this endeavour. We recognize and respect that all people can be a unique point in their journey with DE&I. The Diversity Space Tool is not a definitive assessment of the diversity in game content; Instead, it’s a bridge in opening previously unspoken conversations about how thoughtful inclusion — and prosperity — in games can happen.

I should point out that the blog post has been edited, like According to an update from Andrea Shearon of FanbyteThe company stated that it has been tested on games such as Call of Duty: Vanguard even Monitor 2. These games were mentioned in the “Share and Attention” section of the blog post, which originally said:

Alayna Cole, director of DE&I at Sledgehammer Games, says the tool has been tested by the developer teams working on Call of Duty: Vanguard, and it made a great impression. ‘We were [the Diversity Space Tool] To see what “more variety” looks like across all of our characters in both the multiplayer seasons and the live campaign,” Cole says. “Now we’ll use that data to move forward with the next games we’re working on.” The Overwatch 2 team at Blizzard also had a chance Tool experience, with equally enthusiastic first impressions.”

So it’s not like people online assumed it was used out of thin air, we’re told Call of Duty: Vanguard And Monitor 2 I used it. Except, it seems, Monitor 2 Did the team use this tool at all? according to Monitor 2 a team???

So it’s not enough to develop this kind of tool (voluntarily, because again they “believe in it a lot”), but you… you lied about the developers getting excited about it? For example, not only did you post misinformation about some of the games you use, you said that the entire development team had “enthusiastic first impressions”, and the team…didn’t even know the tool existed!

Ah, Activision Blizzard, the company I work for with a story in mind only to find out it’s a lot worse than I thought.

(Featured image: Using a meme Senhora do Destino)

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