The Times podcast: Trying to smash sexism in the video game world

People hold signs that say "believe women" and "play fair"
Activision Blizzard employees protest outside the company’s headquarters in Irvine, criticizing company leaders’ response to the state’s lawsuit.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sounds like a bureaucratic borefest, but it’s actually pretty important. It files lawsuits against companies and landlords accused of discrimination.


Now it’s tackling sexism in the world of video games.

Today we talk about California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The Santa Monica company made $8 billion last year on the strength of classic video game titles like “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft.” But the state argues the company let fester a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” that led to sexual harassment against women. The move comes during a years-long debate in video games about equity in a culture long dominated by white men.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times video game critic Todd Martens and two members of the ABK Workers Alliance

More reading:

Activision Blizzard lashed out when accused of sexism. Workers don’t like that response

This may be one of the most important entertainment lawsuits ever filed — and no one seems to care

Blizzard president out in wake of discrimination lawsuit and employee walkout

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña and Melissa Kaplan. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.