#BoycottBlizzard, Former World of Warcraft Dev Disavows Company for Bowing to China

NewsBusters | 10/9/2019 | Staff
maddyb7 (Posted by) Level 3
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Video game industry legend Mark Kern disavowed Blizzard for kowtowing to Chinese censorship, encouraging gamers to “rise up” and “#BoycottBlizzard.”

Kern, who grew up in Asia, was involved in some of Blizzard Entertainment’s most famous games. He worked as a producer for demon-slaying epic “Diablo 2” and as a team lead on “World of Warcraft.” He took what he described as a “huge risk” and damned American dependency on Chinese markets, saying in a tweet thread, “[W]e are in a situation where unlimited Communist money dictates our American values. We censor our games for China, we censor our movies for China.”

Game - Companies - Voices - Freedom - Democracy

He added, “Now, game companies are silencing voices for freedom and democracy. China is dictating that the world be authoritarian.”

His Oct. 8 Twitter thread blasted his former workplace for bending the knee to Chinese censorship. This was over Blizzard announcing a one-year suspension and withholding prize money from professional video game player Chung Ng-wai, better known as “Blitzchung.” His crime had been shouting a Hong Kong protest slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times!” during a post-game interview broadcast live from Taipei on Oct. 6.

Kern - U - Blizzard - Decision - BlitzchungHS

Kern declared: “[U]ntil Blizzard reverses their decision on @blitzchungHS I am giving up playing Classic WoW,” which, as he notes, “I helped make and helped convince Blizzard to relaunch.”

He endorsed the #BoycottBlizzard hashtag when he then said, “Let me explain why I am #BoycottBlizzard.”

Kern - Taiwan - Hong - Kong - Business

Kern explained how he is “ethnically Chinese,” was born in Taiwan, and lived in Hong Kong. He also said that he has done business with China “for many years, with serveral [sic] gaming companies there.”

He went into detail on how Western countries have underestimated the power of video games as entertainment while he “watched China slowly take over as the dominant investing force in gaming and movies over the years.”

Kern - China

Kern claimed that China...
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