Blizzard Entertainment Incident Raises Question: Should Video Game Companies Be Able To Censor People?

Photo Credit: Reddit

Photo Credit: Reddit

Liam Mickulas-Mesco, Contributor

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Blizzard Entertainment is in hot water for banning a Hearthstone player named Blitzchung after he voiced his support for the Hong Kong protesters during an interview. This has inevitably created a huge controversy. In fact, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have condemned the company. People have started boycotting Blizzard and some of the company’s employees have staged walkouts. The whole debacle has led many to ask the following question: Is it okay for video game companies to censor their consumers? My answer may surprise you.

Yes. Blizzard needs its players and viewers to focus on the game. Blitzchung actions took away from this; he injected politics into a discussion that didn’t need it. However, the way in which Blizzard handled the situation was completely wrong. Blizzard is an American company, yet they punished someone for advocating in favor of democracy. They also took away his money (temporarily) and fired the people who interviewed him. 

All of this is unacceptable. What Blizzard should have done is what companies need to do in the future if a scenario like this should arise again. Blizzard needs to have rules clearly stating what is and is not permitted. If the company had rules in place that prohibited political discussion during one one of its streams, then people would be able to understand why Blizzard did what it did. But the thing is, Blizzard has made political moves itself. The company is a staunch ally of the LGBT community and LGBT social movements. Although this is great, it is also hypocritical, since gender and sexual orientation can be classified as “political topics.”

Blizzard didn’t have guidelines and that’s what everyone perceived to be the problem. Because of Blizzard’s previous stance on issues and the lies it’s told the public, it makes sense for the company to be getting the backlash it is. By the time you’ve read this article, Blizzard should have apologized for what it did to Blitzchung and its fans. To be honest, it really is the only thing the company can do if it hopes to regain its customers.