Kaser Focus: Snow vs Spade

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Oh yeah, the woman at GamesBeat has some fucking thoughts about the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I’m sure there are several of you who will not be pleased to hear them. You’re at perfect liberty to click away. Me? I am not at perfect liberty . . . in any sense of the word.

Still, I encourage you to pay attention because this affects you too. This is going to affect the gaming industry, because it is staffed by humans — some of whom possess uteruses. And like it or not, you don’t have an industry without those individuals, and they aren’t safe. I’m not safe. Granted, that’s been the case long before Roe v. Wade was overturned — I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the games industry has an itty-bitty problem with being hostile towards its female workforce.

I want to highlight the games companies that are speaking out in support of their employees’ reproductive rights. Perhaps this is just lip service — it’s a bit too early to say. But I notice that Sony is no longer encouraging demure silence from its partner studios. Indeed, Sony subsidiaries were some of the first to react. Here’s a list of the reactions I’ve seen so far, including pledges by the companies to help their employees pursue abortions in legal states, even if they have to travel:

  • IGDA: “We believe bodily autonomy and choice over one’s own reproductive and healthcare matters are pertinent to achieving [the IGDA’s] mission. One must be in control of their own health matters in order to successfully manage their career and life.
  • Insomniac Games: “We are human beings who make games. Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights.”
  • Sony San Diego: “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights.”
  • Guerrilla Games: “Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights.”
  • Naughty Dog: “We will continue to uphold those values and actively support all our employees in receiving the care they need and want.”
  • Bungie: “…we will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live. We remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and liberty.”
  • Ubisoft: “Today and every day, we believe that reproductive rights are human rights, women’s rights are human rights, trans rights are human rights, and equal rights for all are essential to a world where everyone can be their authentic selves and thrive.”
  • Innersloth: “The ending of the constitutional right to abortion is a gender, racial, economic, and human rights disaster for both present and future generations…We stand with everyone affected.”

I notice few of them are eager to use the word “abortion,” but the bar is already so low — I’ll take even the show of support, at this point. I’m also putting this here because I want it on record that these companies have spoken in support of reproductive rights. I hope more of the studios take after Bungie in supporting the rights of employees to travel to receive medical care. That’s a good benefit to have regardless of whether the healthcare in question is reproductive in nature.

There are those of you who don’t care, who are ideologically opposed to what I’m saying. I can’t make you care. Though again, if you think this doesn’t affect you, you’re dead wrong, because data privacy is also a factor in all of this. If you have even a shred of compassion for me or women in the U.S., then I encourage you to help us. Donate to Abortion Funds, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Brigid Alliance, In Our Own Voice, Indigenous Women Rising, and/or NARAL Pro-Choice America.

So what do you do if you’re like me: Angry, upset and frustrated? Hell with it, let’s spend at least a little time escaping into games. I don’t recommend escapism in lieu of action, but I do recognize that one’s mental health can only take so much. My mental health can only take so much. So this weekend, I’m going to run back to Fodlan in Fire Emblem Warriors, run into the sewers in Shredder’s Revenge, and just plain run in Neon White. Don’t get me wrong: We’re in the trenches for the foreseeable future. But if you, like me, need a temporary reprieve, then take it.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
  • Sonic Origins
  • Capcom Fighting Collection
  • AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative
  • Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition

New to subscription services:

  • Naraka Bladepoint (Xbox Game Pass)
  • FIFA 22 (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Shadowrun Trilogy (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Pokémon Snap (Nintendo Switch)
  • Genshin Impact (GeForce Now)
  • Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 (GeForce Now)
  • Airborne Kingdom (GeForce Now)
  • Fishing: North Atlantic (GeForce Now)
  • Immortal Life (GeForce Now)
  • King Arthur: Knight’s Tale (GeForce Now)
  • SimAirport (GeForce Now)
  • Skeleton Crew (GeForce Now)

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