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.
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 freelance writer by day and a Sidequest copyeditor by… also day. When they’re not editing or playing with cats, you can find them playing Celeste or Hollow Knight, sewing korok cosplays, or… playing with cats. You can find their tweets at @sedimentalvalue.