The Corruption/Drama of the Day makes it really easy to think, “Eh, what does my writing matter? The world’s burning, I don’t know how this does something about it.” But the reality of the matter is that our voices count for something, perhaps more than ever.
I have more despondent moments than I’d like to admit… maybe you do, too. Heaven forbid that the first thing I do in the morning is roll over, grab my phone, and open Twitter…for me, that’s usually a recipe for disaster. The Corruption/Drama of the Day makes it really easy to think, “Eh, what does my writing matter? The world’s burning, I don’t know how this does something about it.” But the reality of the matter is that our voices count for something, perhaps more than ever.
Voices, for better and worse
I recently went to TwitchCon in San Jose, California, a gathering point for thousands of streamers and fans on Amazon’s livestreaming platform to gather and network, and also come front-and-center to a labor dispute: workers at the San Jose Marriott protested around the hotel, demanding wage increases. This hotel was one of TwitchCon’s partnered hotels, bringing the dispute front-and-center for the weekend.
Though the protest had been going on for weeks, I didn’t hear about it until the day of my arrival in San Jose. Those workers using their voice out front motivated many people to take action, to talk about the strike, or to even join the protests themselves. I cancelled Intelligame’s reservation there the day of check-in, and others have changed their plans in response to the strike as well.
Unfortunately, voices can be used to sling vitriol, too. BlizzCon took place this past weekend, Blizzard’s two-day conference for games like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. Fans, expecting news about Diablo IV, were instead introduced to Diablo Immortal, a mobile game developed in partnership with Chinese studio NetEase. People were…upset. And they took to the internet to let people know.
Of course, there’s no correlation between outrage and actual sales here (the game’s not out, but something tells it’ll do just fine on launch), but I doubt many people can look at the reveal’s response and say, “Hey, maybe I should get into gaming! Maybe I should try Diablo!” Like I said, voices are powerful…but power doesn’t come with a good/bad alignment by default.
Speaking out, making change
Thankfully, I think we all have chances to use our powers for good. Here in the US, we’ve got a direct chance to try and make a difference in politics by voting on Tuesday. A whole lot’s changed in the last two years, and I expect that any results that come by Wednesday morning will only be the beginning of something instead of the end. Still, the act of voting is just one method of voicing power (an act under fire in many places across the country), and I’ve been so inspired by the ways I’ve seen friends and loved ones stand up for positive change.
Just a couple days ago, Marriott strikers reached deals in Detroit and Oakland. My friend Lucy Bellwood (you may remember her from an episode of Intelligame Radio) and her roommate corralled tons of friends to fold zines and distribute posters to encourage people to vote this weekend. Though I certainly don’t trust political polls, early voter turnout is up, which means people are getting involved in the process.
As for Diablo Immortal…well, I still hope a silver lining shows up somewhere there. I’m just gonna go back to playing Diablo III and enjoy the game and friends.
VOTE. You’re the best. 🙂
This post was originally posted in A Note from Josh, a segment of the Intelligame weekly newsletter! Subscribe to Intelligame Recap to get these letters, as well as highlights from the week, direct to your email.