Electronic Arts (EA) have announced their “Positive Play Charter,” and that over 3,500 “player-generated assets” have been removed from their games over the past weeks.
Protests and subsequent riots across the US over the death of George Floyd. This has also resulted in delays and postponements by PlayStation, IGN, Guerrilla Collective, along with Activision and Infinity Ward with the Call of Duty franchise [1, 2].
Take-Two Interactive, closed the servers for Red Dead Online, Grand Theft Auto Online, and NBA 2K20 for two hours to “honor the legacy of George Floyd.” NBA 2K20 also added free Black Lives Matter t-shirts to the game.
Other video game companies have also took part in Blackout Tuesday (changing their profile pictures to a solid black image, along with only posting a solid black image on social media that day), and have offered donations or organized fund-raisers.
A Riot Games executive had reportedly resigned, after an internal investigation due to a Facebook post he made highlighting George Floyd’s criminal history. Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez (also known as FChamp) had also been banned from all Capcom fighting game tournaments globally, after he made a joke about “Watermelon Lives Matter.”
Earlier this month, EA also announced they took numerous other actions against racial injustice.
First they Donated $1 million USD “to organizations dedicated to the fight for racial justice in the U.S. and against discrimination around the world.”
The Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund were mentioned by name. EA also stated they would “double match any funds that you donate to these and any other local organizations through our YourCause program during the month of June.”
They also stated they were giving everyone at the company an additional pay day every year for volunteering in their community. Around the world and with all employees, this means 75,000 hours of volunteer work. There will also be a company-wide volunteering day on June 19th.
On June 9th, the company also held a “Community Conversation” across the entire company to discuss the above issues, and where EA “must focus our efforts to make an impact fighting bias, discrimination and injustice in today’s world.”
Now, EA have announced “The Positive Player Charter.” In short, these are updated community guidelines against offensive and abusive acts- especially those based around racism, sexism, homophobia, or bigotry.
EA states that in recent weeks, more than 3,500 “player-generated assets” (“inappropriate and hurtful names and language”) had been removed from their games.
“The last few weeks have been a stark reminder that we have a responsibility to stay vigilant in this effort. We won’t tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, harassment or any form of abuse. We can build better, healthier communities inside – and outside – our games, and that’s what we are here to do. Last week we included important anti-racism messaging in many of our games, reaching millions of players. Every step towards a healthier community is a positive one.
This isn’t a quick fix, but it is a long-term commitment that we intend to continue to act on. We will constantly question and evaluate how we’re doing – and what more we can do. Meaningful change in our industry means a step towards meaningful change in the world we all share. We all have a role to play. Let’s make it positive.”
You can view the Positive Play Charter here.
Image: EA official website