Hello everyone! It’s me again, back from a bit of a hiatus after a few big life events: I got married, I went on my honeymoon to Canada, and I’ve picked Celeste back up to collect everything I missed on the first playthrough. I’ve gotten all the crystal hearts and B-sides, and soon I’ll get every last strawberry. I have yet to tackle most of the B-sides themselves… and I’m currently chipping my way through The Cave… but I’ll 100% the game someday, mark my words. Anyway, here’s this week’s gaming news! Let’s start off a bang: the Riot Games settlement.
Riot Games Settlement: Riot to Pay Out $10M Collectively to Every Female Employee Since 2014
In the exciting conclusion to the infamous Riot Games lawsuit saga, Riot Games will pay out a $10 million proposed settlement collectively to every woman who has been employed by the company at any time since 2014. Women at Riot have been systematically disadvantaged working at the giant gaming company, as revealed in a detailed 2018 Kotaku investigation. The settlement is one of the largest in California history for a gender discrimination suit, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, and marks a significant victory for the plaintiffs, despite being forced to arbitrate privately rather than taking the lawsuit all the way to court.
Uno Removes Red and Blue Cards Because They’re “Too Political”
In a move that to me is completely baffling—because as we all know, games aren’t political—simple family card game Uno has decided that the colors “red” and “blue” are too inextricably embroiled in political controversy to remain nonpartisan. So, to avoid American families’ inevitable political confrontations at the card table, Mattel has released the new Uno Nonpartisan completely devoid of the colors red and blue, opting instead for the politically benign purple and orange. I guess.
Wizards of the Coast Apologizes for Queer Erasure in Magic: the Gathering Book
In the newest Magic: the Gathering tie-in novel, War of the Spark: Forsaken, the until-now heavily hinted-at queer relationship between characters Nissa and Chandra was dashed. Chandra is a Planeswalker who wields flame and, in earlier novels, is portrayed as developing feelings for the Elven Planeswalker Nissa. The newest tie-in novel, however, explicitly reveals that Chandra isn’t queer at all in prose which fans have described as “biphobic” and “queerbaiting.”
Fan outcry at the blatant queer erasure prompted publisher Wizards of the Coast, and eventually also the (cishet white male) author of the novel, to make public apologies. WotC’s apology reaffirmed Chandra’s queer identity and stated, “We didn’t live up to the expectations we created for Chandra and what she means to our fans.”
Lil BUB Travels Home to the Stars
In very important and tragic internet news: the world’s (or at least my) favorite internet cat Lil BUB passed away on December 1. The star of 2019 video game HELLO EARTH and countless incredible internet videos, Lil BUB was the sweetest and (imo) most beloved genetically mutated perma-kitten that ever stumbled the earth. Goodbye, sweet space alien, our planet will dearly miss you.
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This is my first photo with BUB next our last photo together. On the morning of Sunday, December 1st 2019 we lost the purest, kindest and most magical living force on our planet. BUB was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep.. I have always been fully transparent about BUB's health, and it was no secret that she was battling a persistent and aggressive bone infection. Even knowing this, we weren't expecting her to pass so soon or so abruptly without warning. I truly believe that she willingly made the decision to leave her failing body so that our family would not have to make that difficult decision ourselves. It is impossible to put into words the profound effect that BUB has had on my life, on the lives of thousands of homeless pets, and on the lives of those of you that have cared for her as if she were your own family. She taught me everything that I know about unconditional love, she brought my wife Stacy and I together, she's the reason we have our beautiful children Rosco and Lula, and she has been a constant source of warmth and love in our lives for the past 8 years. To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement. But most importantly, BUB has made a huge difference in the world of animal welfare, and in the lives of millions of people worldwide. She has literally saved thousands of lives (both pets and humans), she started the first national fund for special needs pets, she was the subject of groundbreaking genetic and biological research, she's helped raise over $700,000 for animals in need, and has spread a message of determination, positivity, and perseverance to people all over the world. And even though my heart is absolutely crushed by her graceful departure from planet Earth, I know that her sprit, magic, and overwhelming energy are still with us, reminding us every day to be better. Dearest BUB, I will never forget your generosity, your limitless supply of love, or your uncanny ability to bring so much magic and joy to the world. I am forever honored and humbled that you chose me as your caretaker. Please visit all of us in our dreams o
In Other News…
- Valve removed 1,000 games from Steam because publishers were “abusing” Steamworks
- 2K Games is “sunsetting” Gearbox Software’s online multiplayer game Battleborn
- Red Dead Redemption 2 comes to Steam December 5
- Big Fish gaming community pulls together to tackle breast cancer
Emily Durham is a science writer by day and a Sidequest copyeditor by night. When they’re not writing or editing, you can find them playing Celeste or Hollow Knight, sewing korok cosplays, or taking unflattering pictures of their two perfect cats. They tweet sporadically at @EmilyRoseDurham.