CALL of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players have spotted a small change to an in-game cosmetic that has some big connotations.
As the Activision Blizzard sexual harassment lawsuit rages on, Cold War developers have tweaked a particular calling card that displays sexual harassment in the workplace.
Call of Duty Scope it Out calling cardCredit: Reddit u/ThePeterMissile
Call of Duty amended Scope it Out calling cardCredit: Reddit u/EinsteinNeverWoreSox
Utterly tone deaf and gross at the best of times, the Scope it Out calling card is awarded to players for getting 1,000 eliminations using a weapon with a magnified scope.
The graphic shows two men at a watercooler in a workplace ogling a female co-worker’s butt.
Activision Blizzard is currently embroiled in a lawsuit that alleges some heinous behaviour by male employees, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The company initially rebuffed the accusations, labelling them as “distorted” and “inaccurate” when speaking to CNN.
Its workplace has been described in the lawsuit as fostering a “frat boy” culture.
The calling card image is a shockingly brazen example of that – and the fact it made it into the game at all boggles the mind.
In spite of some redditors grasping at straws to justify it otherwise, the calling card’s graphic is gross.
It illustrates a huge blind spot when it comes to basic human decency and treating people with respect.
A BlizzCon panel video from a decade ago (via Kotaku) recently resurfaced showing how flippant the men at the studio apparently are when it comes to female representation in games.
It also highlights the dismissive and condescending attitude they had at being questioned about it, attempting to humiliate a young woman who dared broach the subject.
In the context of the ongoing lawsuit, the calling card is even more disturbing.
A second post made by redditor u/EinsteinNeverWoreSox points out that “The change to the Scope It Out calling card was clearly done in a rush, considering they broke the preview image in the calling cards list.”
You can see the broken preview in the second ‘fixed’ calling card image above.
It’s pretty disgusting that we’d see a display of sexual harassment in the workplace glorified for an in-game reward from a studio where this type of behaviour and worse is allegedly rampant.
And the hasty amendment isn’t a sign of growth – it’s an attempt at damage control.
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