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(Kotaku)   "The Cosby Crew" is not a good name for your WoW guild   (kotaku.com) divider line
    More: Creepy, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard, World of Warcraft, Cosby Suite, hands of male Blizzard employees, Alex Afrasiabi, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, company event  
•       •       •

962 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 28 Jul 2021 at 10:36 PM (19 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



40 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-07-28 9:17:24 PM  
Well, sure it is.

Quite apt.
 
2021-07-28 10:42:41 PM  
Now that's a story that gets progressively worse as you go.
 
2021-07-28 10:50:44 PM  
Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.
 
2021-07-28 10:56:22 PM  
a reference to the name of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby

Interesting modifier.
 
2021-07-28 10:57:31 PM  

skyotter: a reference to the name of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby

Interesting modifier.


well it IS technically correct...
 
2021-07-28 11:05:41 PM  
Code bros. The joint worst kind of bro

/position shared with every other kind of bro
 
2021-07-28 11:10:21 PM  
Dave Kosak? Damn. Ex Gamespy writer, read his stuff way back.

Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth was a great Internet comic strip back in WoW's early days and led to him getting a job designing quests and Hearthstone cards.

But yeah, not a good group of employees to be affiliated with, even if an accuser is saying he wasn't one of the bad guys.
 
2021-07-28 11:11:14 PM  
And I was actually really, really close to restarting WoW.

Guess not.
 
2021-07-28 11:19:57 PM  
Just look at these fine specimens of manliness:

i.kinja-img.comView Full Size


It's no wonder they admired a man such as Cosby.
 
2021-07-28 11:23:24 PM  

Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.


2013 was twenty years ago?
 
2021-07-28 11:35:22 PM  

UNC_Samurai: 2013 was twenty years ago?


To be fair, 2020 was a decade just by itself.
 
2021-07-28 11:43:41 PM  
WoW is an understatement.
 
2021-07-29 12:17:47 AM  
I thought "Cosby Suite" from the story was just going to be some kind of joke a couple of them made. And in my mind, it was a pretty horrible "joke" that really put into context just how badly women were treated. As an internal "joke", that's still really, really bad.

But Jeez, this is worse than I could have imagined. How did the company not have ANYONE in authority willing to say "hey, this isn't okay"?
 
2021-07-29 12:35:38 AM  
Throw 'em all in the Maw.

WITHOUT THEIR MOUNTS.
 
2021-07-29 1:15:20 AM  

UNC_Samurai: Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.

2013 was twenty years ago?


This shi@t didn't start in 2013.
 
2021-07-29 1:35:20 AM  

ox45tallboy: I thought "Cosby Suite" from the story was just going to be some kind of joke a couple of them made. And in my mind, it was a pretty horrible "joke" that really put into context just how badly women were treated. As an internal "joke", that's still really, really bad.

But Jeez, this is worse than I could have imagined. How did the company not have ANYONE in authority willing to say "hey, this isn't okay"?


This is what my roommate and I call 'nerd industry problems.' Mainstream comics also has a really toxic culture.

It seems to be a confluence of a bunch of things, especially tied to fields that were either really new (games) or very small (comics), so that they didn't have business models and business cultures that were stress-tested and refined over generations and a lot of different circumstances.

Roomie's biggest nerd industry red flag is the 'I need to be cool' drive. Instead of being a solid, reliable, supportive contributor to a team, people want other people to think they're cool. That results in all kinds of pointlessly vain, self-involved shiattiness, because you need your coworkers to think you can, for example, bang whoever you want, and they need to see you do it -- so now some junior employee has to put up with your clueless bullshiat in front of their colleagues, but you don't care if they find it humiliating, this is about proving yourself to people who matter. It also means shiatting on your colleagues that you're jealous of and making sure they don't outshine you, sabotaging them, shiat-talking them, and engaging in disruptive bullshiat in the office. You're so baller, you do meetings in strip clubs. You can outdrink them on business trips, who cares if you puke on someone, that's hilarious.

You're so great, everyone should just listen to you, and if they disagree then they should just put up with you screaming at them in meetings, or cussing them out in emails, demanding all kinds of shiat because you know it's going to be hard on them, because fark them, don't they know who you are? They better laugh at your shiatty jokes.

Then, on the off chance you actually do get some success, you're the golden boy and people put up with your crap because you make them money. They're less inclined to tell you to fark off. You get more leeway on things that are beyond the red line for someone else. So you start thinking you're the most special of special boys.

Then when you start getting feedback from outside your circle that people think you're an irredeemable piece of shiat asshole of debatable competence, boo hoo, why didn't anyone say anything, you're a cool guy, this could have been handled quietly, you're the one who's unprofessional, wah wah wah, they don't understand you.

If you actually crunched the numbers on how much money these dudes bring in versus the costs to the company in loss of experienced personnel who leave because they hate the environment, lost work in sick days and stress leave because it's hard to actually deal with all the bullshiat on top of the workload, lost efficiency bringing green employees in and getting them up and running in the system, etc, it probably wouldn't be favourable to the douche bro. But you have to give a shiat to do that work.

Apparently in earlier business generations, these people were targeted for removal when a company was acquired, because they were identified as drains. Roomie calls the guys who sniffed the frat bros out corporate inquisitors, because they're looking for people who won't come to Jesus.

You see this pattern over and over again. Sometimes it's just the biatchy sabotage and verbal abuse. But when people talk about frat bro culture, that seems to be what it boils down to. There was the frat bro shiat in meetings at Riot, there was the insane screaming matches at Telltale, the sabotage at BioWare, and so on, and so on. Comics had a major problem with sexual harassment, abusive behaviour toward talent mixed with favouritism, frat bro bullshiat, and more, and some still do.

I knew a guy who did some art direction in comics, and he related this story at a con. He was on a gig where he was going to be the one approving artists for a comic project, based on submitted portfolios. One of them was exactly the style they wanted, but the others on the team got weird and refused him. It took the guy a while to get it out of them why he would work -- turns out the guy was a crazy asshole, and would bark at people in hallways. And so his portfolio went to the bottom of the pile. But he shouldn't have been tolerated enough to have his portfolio in consideration in the first place.

You don't want a cool boss. You want a good boss.
 
2021-07-29 2:06:37 AM  

rue_in_winter: This is what my roommate and I call 'nerd industry problems.'


Sometimes culture suffers when a young and spry company intent on "going fast" and "breaking things" sells out and "goes corporate" and people have to account for money and stuff. But that's also when things like this should ne stopped immediately.

rue_in_winter: Apparently in earlier business generations, these people were targeted for removal when a company was acquired, because they were identified as drains. Roomie calls the guys who sniffed the frat bros out corporate inquisitors, because they're looking for people who won't come to Jesus.


Activision and Vivendi merged way back in 2009, creating Activision Blizzard. At this point, both companies had already "went corporate" even before the merger. World of Warcraft was 9 years old when the events from this article happened, This wasn't some young upstart company, this was a corporate behemoth on par with Valve, EA, Rockstar, or Ubisoft.

Did those companies have similar cultural problems at this time?

rue_in_winter: Apparently in earlier business generations, these people were targeted for removal when a company was acquired, because they were identified as drains. Roomie calls the guys who sniffed the frat bros out corporate inquisitors, because they're looking for people who won't come to Jesus.


Why wasn't Afrasiabi targeted in this way? Who should have targeted him, and why didn't they do so?
 
2021-07-29 2:15:27 AM  
Who at Blizzard thought it was cool to create various "kill protected animals" (like bald eagles) quests?
Who at Blizzard thought it as cool to have "torture the prisoner until he talks" quests (of which there are several)?
 
2021-07-29 2:28:10 AM  

Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.


The state investigation and the resulting lawsuit would seem to suggest otherwise.
 
2021-07-29 2:40:10 AM  

ox45tallboy: Sometimes culture suffers when a young and spry company intent on "going fast" and "breaking things" sells out and "goes corporate" and people have to account for money and stuff. But that's also when things like this should ne stopped immediately.


Yeah, that's a specific situation that can happen in a bunch of circumstances. Nerd industry in this case tends to be 'fans into creators' -- most comics makers were comics fans, and it's why their particular take on a character can take over and invalidate better developments. Spiderman's One More Day would be an example -- the people with editorial control favoured Spiderman from decades earlier and pitched out a bunch of stuff that current fans actually liked, so there was all kinds of backlash. It will tend to cause a specific kind of tunnel vision and select for certain motives you won't necessarily see in another industry. There aren't a lot of baby food or home washing appliance nerds, certainly not in the 'everything I hate is bad, change course now' way.

Activision and Vivendi merged way back in 2009, creating Activision Blizzard. At this point, both companies had already "went corporate" even before the merger. World of Warcraft was 9 years old when the events from this article happened, This wasn't some young upstart company, this was a corporate behemoth on par with Valve, EA, Rockstar, or Ubisoft.

Did those companies have similar cultural problems at this time?


The 'inquisitors' were prior to the 80s. The 1980s changed a whole lot about business culture, specifically corporate values. The education you got when studying business was also different before the 80s. So I would guess they probably did have those problems, it's a generational issue.

A company with shiat values taking over a company with shiat values will tend not to result in less shiattiness, especially if the shiattiness is shared. Entertainment is a shiatshow, which is why I decided against a career in it. Saw too many people burn out from similar shiatty work conditions, especially animation.

Why wasn't Afrasiabi targeted in this way? Who should have targeted him, and why didn't they do so?

*shrug* If watching this pattern has taught me anything, it's that groups with a tendency to insularity become progressively more extreme until an outside shock establishes a hard boundary. This is just a consequence of the insularity -- you use Polaris to navigate because it doesn't change and you always know what it means, so you can tell when you're turned around and heading the wrong way. If you can't see the sky, well, you better have a compass. If everyone above and below you that you reasonably have a chance to interact with is also a bro dude, then there's no internal force of correction -- effectively, it's easy to interpret a lack of pushback as endorsement and appropriateness, and calibrate expectations accordingly. I mean, this is nothing new -- this has been a part of discourse in the military about command culture for actual centuries.

There was some interesting analysis of the Enron story, how the incremental nature of the change and the reinforcement from colleagues led to progressively worse behaviour, until people confronted about their lapses really had no answer for what they did. It was 'okay', until it wasn't. There are times when having outsiders and fringes are very, very useful, and those times are why dissent is very important. But one of the corporate values in play a lot now is 'team focus' that is basically just being a self-sacrificing yes-man. "BioWare magic."
 
2021-07-29 2:58:21 AM  
Matt Mercer must really be laying low right now. One of the Devs is directly named after one of these pigs (Jesse McCree).
 
2021-07-29 3:45:39 AM  

Sgygus: Who at Blizzard thought it was cool to create various "kill protected animals" (like bald eagles) quests?
Who at Blizzard thought it as cool to have "torture the prisoner until he talks" quests (of which there are several)?


It's not a nice world, Azeroth. Literally every political leader has been a complete moron for the sake of moving the "plot" along.
 
2021-07-29 3:49:20 AM  

skyotter: a reference to the name of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby

Interesting modifier.


It's shorter than "recently released on a technicality even though he admitted that he did it"
 
2021-07-29 3:52:32 AM  

Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.


The same thing that happened to the world of finance in the 80s happened to tech at the turn of the millennium. Finance used to be a nerd profession, you'd make a good living but wouldn't get filthy stinking rich. Then come the 80s and every sociopath wanted to be a Gordon Gecko, and the world of finance became run by sociopaths because they saw it as a glamorous way to make an obscene amount of money by being completely ruthless and unburdened by normal human emotions and morals.

The tech boom of the 90s did the same thing. Attracted sociopaths to the tech industry and gave us "bro-grammers". Now the higher ranks of the tech industry are mostly filled with straight up sociopaths.
 
2021-07-29 3:53:35 AM  

Ghastly: Sgygus: Who at Blizzard thought it was cool to create various "kill protected animals" (like bald eagles) quests?
Who at Blizzard thought it as cool to have "torture the prisoner until he talks" quests (of which there are several)?

It's not a nice world, Azeroth. Literally every political leader has been a complete moron for the sake of moving the "plot" along.


Granted, if it turns out we're living in a simulation then the beings playing our simulated reality are probably making the same complaint.
 
2021-07-29 4:50:38 AM  
Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell? ... now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.

LordJiro:The state investigation and the resulting lawsuit would seem to suggest otherwise.

Absolutely talk about sexual harassment in court.  What I don't want to do is confess my own experiences here on the pages of fark.  In my own defense, when a young 'code-bro', I was an equal opportunity a-hole to both male and female peers.
 
2021-07-29 5:14:50 AM  

ox45tallboy: I thought "Cosby Suite" from the story was just going to be some kind of joke a couple of them made. And in my mind, it was a pretty horrible "joke" that really put into context just how badly women were treated. As an internal "joke", that's still really, really bad.

But Jeez, this is worse than I could have imagined. How did the company not have ANYONE in authority willing to say "hey, this isn't okay"?


They all approved?
 
2021-07-29 7:11:50 AM  
Jeez I remember when Blizzard's biggest problem was a Maine coon cat and a disease from Zul Gurub (sp?)

Yikes man, just yikes.
 
2021-07-29 7:39:42 AM  
What's wrong with videogame culture is seemingly everything.
 
2021-07-29 7:57:22 AM  

Summoner101: Just look at these fine specimens of manliness:

[i.kinja-img.com image 850x478]

It's no wonder they admired a man such as Cosby.


looks like a slightly younger Fark meetup
 
2021-07-29 8:28:19 AM  

rue_in_winter: ox45tallboy: I thought "Cosby Suite" from the story was just going to be some kind of joke a couple of them made. And in my mind, it was a pretty horrible "joke" that really put into context just how badly women were treated. As an internal "joke", that's still really, really bad.

But Jeez, this is worse than I could have imagined. How did the company not have ANYONE in authority willing to say "hey, this isn't okay"?

This is what my roommate and I call 'nerd industry problems.' Mainstream comics also has a really toxic culture.

It seems to be a confluence of a bunch of things, especially tied to fields that were either really new (games) or very small (comics), so that they didn't have business models and business cultures that were stress-tested and refined over generations and a lot of different circumstances.

Roomie's biggest nerd industry red flag is the 'I need to be cool' drive. Instead of being a solid, reliable, supportive contributor to a team, people want other people to think they're cool. That results in all kinds of pointlessly vain, self-involved shiattiness, because you need your coworkers to think you can, for example, bang whoever you want, and they need to see you do it -- so now some junior employee has to put up with your clueless bullshiat in front of their colleagues, but you don't care if they find it humiliating, this is about proving yourself to people who matter. It also means shiatting on your colleagues that you're jealous of and making sure they don't outshine you, sabotaging them, shiat-talking them, and engaging in disruptive bullshiat in the office. You're so baller, you do meetings in strip clubs. You can outdrink them on business trips, who cares if you puke on someone, that's hilarious.

You're so great, everyone should just listen to you, and if they disagree then they should just put up with you screaming at them in meetings, or cussing them out in emails, demanding all kinds of shiat because you know it's going to be hard on them, because fark them, don't they know who you are? They better laugh at your shiatty jokes.

Then, on the off chance you actually do get some success, you're the golden boy and people put up with your crap because you make them money. They're less inclined to tell you to fark off. You get more leeway on things that are beyond the red line for someone else. So you start thinking you're the most special of special boys.

Then when you start getting feedback from outside your circle that people think you're an irredeemable piece of shiat asshole of debatable competence, boo hoo, why didn't anyone say anything, you're a cool guy, this could have been handled quietly, you're the one who's unprofessional, wah wah wah, they don't understand you.

If you actually crunched the numbers on how much money these dudes bring in versus the costs to the company in loss of experienced personnel who leave because they hate the environment, lost work in sick days and stress leave because it's hard to actually deal with all the bullshiat on top of the workload, lost efficiency bringing green employees in and getting them up and running in the system, etc, it probably wouldn't be favourable to the douche bro. But you have to give a shiat to do that work.

Apparently in earlier business generations, these people were targeted for removal when a company was acquired, because they were identified as drains. Roomie calls the guys who sniffed the frat bros out corporate inquisitors, because they're looking for people who won't come to Jesus.

You see this pattern over and over again. Sometimes it's just the biatchy sabotage and verbal abuse. But when people talk about frat bro culture, that seems to be what it boils down to. There was the frat bro shiat in meetings at Riot, there was the insane screaming matches at Telltale, the sabotage at BioWare, and so on, and so on. Comics had a major problem with sexual harassment, abusive behaviour toward talent mixed with favouritism, frat bro bullshiat, and more, and some still do.

I knew a guy who did some art direction in comics, and he related this story at a con. He was on a gig where he was going to be the one approving artists for a comic project, based on submitted portfolios. One of them was exactly the style they wanted, but the others on the team got weird and refused him. It took the guy a while to get it out of them why he would work -- turns out the guy was a crazy asshole, and would bark at people in hallways. And so his portfolio went to the bottom of the pile. But he shouldn't have been tolerated enough to have his portfolio in consideration in the first place.

You don't want a cool boss. You want a good boss.


Post of the year for me so far. Your analysis and real world examples are spot on and delivered perfectly.
Rarely have I seen a synopsis of comparing corporate culture and bro culture dovetailed and form a story we can all relate to.
 
2021-07-29 9:59:15 AM  

Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.


I've actually got the impression that sexism in the CS field got worse since I graduated in 98.
Am I the only one?
 
2021-07-29 10:16:49 AM  

Summoner101: Just look at these fine specimens of manliness:

[i.kinja-img.com image 850x478]

It's no wonder they admired a man such as Cosby.


Being in an industry that relies heavily on graphics, you'd think they'd have a better grasp on optics.
 
2021-07-29 10:52:19 AM  

Sgygus: Who at Blizzard thought it was cool to create various "kill protected animals" (like bald eagles) quests?
Who at Blizzard thought it as cool to have "torture the prisoner until he talks" quests (of which there are several)?


/rolls eyes
 
2021-07-29 11:16:25 AM  

Ghastly: Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.

The same thing that happened to the world of finance in the 80s happened to tech at the turn of the millennium. Finance used to be a nerd profession, you'd make a good living but wouldn't get filthy stinking rich. Then come the 80s and every sociopath wanted to be a Gordon Gecko, and the world of finance became run by sociopaths because they saw it as a glamorous way to make an obscene amount of money by being completely ruthless and unburdened by normal human emotions and morals.

The tech boom of the 90s did the same thing. Attracted sociopaths to the tech industry and gave us "bro-grammers". Now the higher ranks of the tech industry are mostly filled with straight up sociopaths.


Fark user imageView Full Size
There is a cure for these sociopathic  people....
 
2021-07-29 12:22:17 PM  
According to one source with knowledge of the hotel room, the "Cosby Suite" name was a play on the comedian's iconic ugly sweaters, and didn't have any sexual connotation.

Uh huh... And I totally believe Kavanope when he said that a Devil's Triangle was a drinking game.
 
2021-07-29 12:53:59 PM  

padraig: I've actually got the impression that sexism in the CS field got worse since I graduated in 98.
Am I the only one?


I graduated only a couple of years before you in CS as well. It was not unusual for my CS and tech classes, and even the CS Student Club, to be about 30-40% girls.  By the time I rejoined academia as a staff member in the mid-2000s, that ratio was down to less than 20%, a good amount due to a "You're a *girl*, what could you know about programming?" attitude that at some point grew tremendously beyond the few morons that always believed that. (hen before, the prevailing attitude was "Oh, cool, girls like this stuff too!")
 
2021-07-29 4:00:44 PM  

cocozilla: Ghastly: Sgygus: Young male developers, twenty some years ago, were sexist as hell?  They still are, they have (mostly) learned to keep it on the down-low.

/now would be a good time to not discuss the whys and wherefores.

The same thing that happened to the world of finance in the 80s happened to tech at the turn of the millennium. Finance used to be a nerd profession, you'd make a good living but wouldn't get filthy stinking rich. Then come the 80s and every sociopath wanted to be a Gordon Gecko, and the world of finance became run by sociopaths because they saw it as a glamorous way to make an obscene amount of money by being completely ruthless and unburdened by normal human emotions and morals.

The tech boom of the 90s did the same thing. Attracted sociopaths to the tech industry and gave us "bro-grammers". Now the higher ranks of the tech industry are mostly filled with straight up sociopaths.

[Fark user image image 768x512]There is a cure for these sociopathic  people....


Circumsicion?
 
2021-07-30 12:18:25 AM  
As typical for the internets, all of the posts overcomplicate the issue. This isn't a "nerd industry" thing - it's a douche thing. There are normal guys and there are douchebags. When the douchebags coalesce, these things happen.

Case in point, former coworker had a bunch of friends who acted just like this. To my coworker's credit, he became more and more alienated by how much of a bunch of douchebags they were. It culminated when he declined to go with them to the DR where, and I saw the literal text chains on his phone, he wouldn't "come fark everything in sight" with them. Literally all of them had girlfriends/fiances they would be cheating on.

I would put solid money there was some Cosby memeing in other groups of douchebags around the country - you just never heard about it and you most definitely won't now. This whole thing transcends industries.
 
2021-07-30 1:10:08 AM  
I have heard people say:

"So, the dooshbags at blizzard are rapists and rape enablers.  There's a shock.  They come down on people who have mildly suggestive names, but will drug women so that they can rape them.

I wonder what they do with their daughters, sisters and mothers, given that they are f*cking rapists and all."

Not that I would ever say that myself.  I'm sure none have them have raped more women than some multiple of rapes done by trump.  Zero is a multiple as is 100.
 
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