Blizzard bans Hearthstone player, casters for HK Support

Correct. I’m not defending China or Blizzard. I think them taking away the guy’s winnings and victory as well as apparently firing the two people covering the event is insanely bad.

You eff with the bull (China), you’re gonna get the horns eventually.

Obviously they don’t. But, while someone canceling an unused account, or a game they don’t really care about sends a message, it’s not the same as that well-known Heathstone player bowing out. To me, that weighs more. It feels like the difference between giving a protester on the street corner a honk and a thumbs-up, and the person actually standing there with the sign all day. Someone who plays WoW a lot every week, and decided to walk away, that means more to me.

I am getting dangerously into P&R territory, but a friend is working on voting with his dollars from Amazon. We had a good chat about how damned hard that is.

Sure they’re not the same weight but the two are linked.

The person who risks his livelihood, his life, and something I presume he loves to do is making that stand to bring attention to the cause he cares about. None of that matters if he doesn’t actually get a reaction in favor of his cause, and in this case that reaction can vary from silent deletion of accounts, arguments about what is going on in Hong Kong, legal attempts to defend his writers… as a whole, all of that matters, no matter how small. It’s all keeping HK as a topic of discussion and action.

We are in agreement on this.

As has been mentioned, it’s a little different because political signs of any kind aren’t allowed at NBA games (same as any other major US sports league, AFAIK). They’d similarly confiscate a MAGA sign or an Elizabeth Warren sign.

The NBA’s initial reaction was as bad as Blizzard: forced apology from Morey, condemnation, etc. They changed course the following morning, though, and instead stood by the freedom of speech rights of people associated with the league, which is what led China to retaliate. The league is looking at losing a lot of money, but so far they’re sticking to their guns, unlike Blizzard.

I’ve never paid to see a game, so I can’t technically boycott. However, it is deeply amusing to see them exposed as a bunch of poseurs when it comes to taking a stand on an issue that might cost them some of their sweet sweet money. Safe activism FTW.

Imagine you had to give up 40% of your salary, you personally, you will make 40% less money next month and from then on until you die. But you get the moral high ground. Would you do it?

Depends. If I couldn’t look myself in the mirror and feel good about who I am and what I do, yes, I would do it.

I can cite an example of something that touches on this: I have had to terminate/fire/layoff people I personally like. I lose sleep and wince when it happens, but it’s part of conducting business and being a manager/leader. What kind of man would I be if it didn’t bother or impact me?

That choice would never occur, since modifying a product for organ harvesting tyrants should be inconceivable.

If nobody considered abiding by obscene, immoral, demands, then China would just be forced to choose whether to make this content (NBA, Marvel movies, etc) available to its people or not. It’s not as if they could go elsewhere to find an NBA competitor, and as their population gains wealth they’re also inevitably going to be more demanding to have access to content so the risks of censorship increase.

Remember when Radio Free Europe made sure not to say anything bad about the Russian leadership?

There’s a way to be a force for freedom and prosperity in the world, and it’s not by appeasing totalitarian regimes to “deliver business value in critical markets.”

If my income was 2.5 billion, like Activisions, sure.

Your income is your current income. You just get 40% less of it.

It would take a lot for me to give up 40% of my income.

Having been in that situation 500+ times, I don’t see the equivalence in this example at all, unless you’re removing them for illegitimate reasons, which is inconceivable to me.

It’s not as if Hollywood and the NBA didn’t survive just fine before China became more of a purchaser. If anything, Blizzard’s situation is more complex, since the Asian market has always been core to their business.

You’re right, it’s not equivalent in terms of China and atrocities, but it is an example of something that makes me feel bad and sometimes raises the question “Is this worth it?” as I could take a lesser paying, non-managerial role that doesn’t involve laying people off.

My current income is 0, but i take your point, and I agree.

I don’t think all political action has to be excruciatingly difficult to be worthwhile. Heroes are rare and usually when heroes are required things have already gone farther than they might have. And sometimes when heroes do show up, there’s damn little they can do anyway (perennial example: Sophie Scholl. One of the most heroic individuals who ever lived, for all the damn good it did).

I will say that to the extent to which it hurts to stop playing a game, and that is damn small, it hurts me to stop playing WoW Classic. I was really digging it!

I totally agree there are degrees of resistance. That’s why I said earlier, if China walked up to Blizzard and said “slap this guy down hard or we’re done”, I could emphasize with their decision. It’s just too much money at stake. But if Blizzard slapped him down for risk avoidance, that is truly shameful.

It’s like an ISP requiring a court order to hand info on their customers to the cops versus AT&T allowing the NSA to clandestinally spy on everybody by tapping their fiber. If they come with a court order you really must comply. But you don’t give it up without that piece of paper.

I think having caring, empathetic people like you in that role is very important. Businesses and jobs, by necessity, are more dynamic these days. While people are nostalgic for the days when their grandfathers or fathers worked one job at one place for 35 years (and got pensions), in many ways today’s economic world offers far more opportunities, at least for people under 50.

Assuming I took a job that depended on doing exactly what China told me to do at all times, I’d keep the cash, because I’d made a knowing choice to be in that situation. Which is exactly what the NBA is doing.

The real question is whether I’d take that job in the first place, and the answer is no. Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they were more heavy-handed than that. They aren’t even subtle anymore - Chinese companies pull out of business deals and openly say it’s because the Chinese government doesn’t approve of some action from the nation their business “partner” is from - even when the “infringing action” is something as necessary as “enforcing criminal bribery laws”.

It’s unbelievable to me that anyone gives into China and compromises laws and freedoms- it’s not even the correct financial decision, as chipping away at the rule of law and modifying behavior for bad actors inevitably has egregious financial consequences long-term.

Doing business in China is often a decision that is ultimately regretted. Should you have the money & time, these books are very insightful. Written by a fellow who’s been negotiating business arrangements in China for many years:

One of the points he makes is that the Chinese simply do not have the same moral framework as the West, and basically regard us as chumps.