If you weren’t reading Twitter this weekend, I spent a great deal of time on Saturday thinking about how we’ve had a rise of incidents around some of the major gaming conventions with women and them being harassed or assaulted in some way. Lhivera brought up a good point about the stuff that the author John Scalzi has been working on with regards to not visiting conventions that don’t have harassment policies on the books, so I went looking for one for Blizzcon.
It should have one, right?
Unless it’s hidden in some obscure place that only an employee would know about, there seems to not be ANY conduct, safety or harassment policies for Blizzcon. This made me rather concerned as I know I’ve attended Blizzcon with the threat of being stalked hanging over my head, and I know of at least one person who was made to feel unsafe at Blizzcon for similar reasons. This seems like a place where a call to action is necessary! I meandered over to the official Blizzcon forums and made a thread detailing why a policy is very much needed.
Blizzcon attendees (all of them!) need to be able to attend the convention and feel safe – not just from assault, but from hateful language as well and I’m hoping Blizzard gets wind of the thread. So far it’s had some good, positive responses and I’m hoping it picks up steam as the week goes on. If you want to add your voice to it, or even just thumbs up my post, it’d be super appreciated. I feel this is a big issue – not only for us as attendees, but for Blizzard. Having a standard operating procedure for handling these sorts of events may be internal, but having it openly posted externally would go a long way to making con-goers feel that they are protected and have channels to go through if something happens to them.
I’m really hoping nothing EVER happens to anyone, but the reality of the situation is that things can and do happen and we need to make sure that Blizzard and their fans are on the same page: healthy, happy and respected.
I will also be writing up a guide about how to survive Blizzcon in the coming months so keep your eye out for that as well.