Is Activision Ditching Activism?

The social justice movement may have just lost an ally in the huge game company, Activision. The company has announced that it will be ending a program in its hiring process that considers at least one person from a group traditionally considered oppressed for each position posted.

Diversity is something that usually naturally occurs when one doesn’t consider race, class, gender, or what-have-you as part of the hiring process, but instead focus on merit.

However, there are businesses that certain groups generally find more appealing. As Kotaku points out in their article (linked to above), the game industry has long been dominated by white men. There is plenty of potential in that observation for the assumption that discrimination plays a huge role in their representation, but that would overlook the possibility that there are fewer qualified women and minorities that are interested in making games. There are many nuanced reasons for this, but people with different ethnic backgrounds tend to appreciate different trades differently. What’s more, women don’t seem as interested in game design, generally speaking, even though their interest in games is comparable to that of men.

While companies have long virtue-signaled on social justice issues, Activision was among the few to implement a policy to expedite diverse hiring. But now, they’ve decided to end the policy on the reasoning that it limits their ability to run their business.

Another point to consider is that the coronavirus lockdowns are making it far more difficult to run a business. Because of this, there’s far more at stake to hire strictly based on merit, to the likely expense of diversity hires. And if a person actually is an underqualified diversity hire, they’re likely sweating bullets now, knowing that their department may be downsizing, and they might actually be the least qualified among their peers!

Considering how bad the lockdowns are for diversity hires, the left might want to rethink their passion for lockdowns. Assuming, of course, that they actually gave a care for minorities.

When it comes down to it, diversity-hiring is an expensive form of virtue-signaling which appeals to the premise that diversity is properly expressed by a room of people who look different. An overemphasis on diversity-hires is symptomatic of a certain toxicity in corporate culture that assumes bad intentions in the event that certain diversity quotas are not met.

Most companies in the western world don’t really care what race or sex you are, but mainly consider whether you’re the best fit for the job. The reason for the diversity hires is because those companies are being put under a lot of pressure. Mainly by people who don’t actually know how a business is run, or understand that few people who run a business are wealthy.

Having said all this, it’s hard to ignore that there is an under-representation of blacks in game development. I know of blacks that are highly interested in games, and have a high degree of creative ability. I’d like to see more of them get into game development, because I’m interested in seeing what they come up with.

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