‘Halo Infinite’ devs take a bold stance against dehumanizing Texas legislation

Halo Infinite co-development Affinity is committed only to assisting employees who are looking to move out of their Austin, Texas headquarters because their human rights are at stake. Of course, Texas has suffered in recent months because of numerous attacks on residents and transgender women. At a time when so many game studios keep quiet on political issues – and major companies like Sony lean towards censorship – it’s a bold and important stance that will hopefully set a precedent. big.

What happened? CEO Max Hoberman shared a declare on Twitter in early May where he previously emailed employees:

“If the state or province in which you live restricts access to what most health professionals consider essential care, and this makes it inaccessible to you and your family,” he wrote. with pre-approved, documented, reasonable out-of-pocket costs for your relocation to another safer state or province in which we operate. ”

Texas has been at the forefront of the recent wave of anti-transgender and anti-abortion legislation that is spreading across the country. Earlier this year, Governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott, sent a letter to the Department of Family and Protective Services instructing them to investigate transgender children in the state and prosecute their parents for child abuse. . What options do transgender individuals and their families have other than resettlement?

Why is there a risk to certain relationships – Hoberman notes that a commitment to employee support could lead to future legal trouble for the company. “State governments may at some point decide that, by supporting vulnerable employees in a time of need, we are breaking the law,” he wrote. There is precedent for this because the state’s six-week ban on abortions includes a measure through which residents can sue anyone who helps someone have an abortion after the six-week period. It comes with a fee of at least $10,000.

So, legally, Hoberman and Most Affinity are putting themselves at risk to take a political stance and support their employees and speak out against human rights abuses in Texas. The company has yet to release specific policies on the matter, and Hoberman says it’s an issue they “have to navigate carefully.”

While LLC is headquartered in Austin, it also has offices in Toronto, Ontario in addition to allowing its employees to work remotely.

The common denominator among the most daring game developers is Halo.Bungie / Microsoft / Max Fleishman

Bigger picture – After the Supreme Court’s draft comments were leaked that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the game industry has struggled with how and if it should issue statements on the matter. Fate 2 Developer Bungie was the first studio to publicly speak out in support of abortion rights, tweeting, “Standing up for reproductive choice and freedom is not a difficult decision to make.” Even as disgruntled fans on Twitter criticized the company’s political statements, the company doubled down.

Bungie is owned by Sony, which has reportedly banned first-party studios from making any statements on the subject of reproductive rights. Insomniac Games has donated $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Support Project, which will be run by Sony – but neither of them officially acknowledge this. In response to Sony’s silence policy, Bungie’s Senior Community Manager Dylan Gafner says that Sony would never be able to “silence” Bungie.

What’s next – Hoberman points out that “the naked politicization of private health issues is hurting our business in tangible ways, including our ability to hire employees.” This policy is not just about transgender rights or abortion. It’s about human freedom in general and how its restriction is not only wrong but can negatively impact the economy.

As the push for more legislation that infringes on the human rights of women and transgender people continues, all industries need to stand up and make more statements like those from Other Affinity and Bungie to protect them. protect their employees. Game companies can and should do more, and they should see this precedent as a brave example to follow.

https://www.inverse.com/gaming/halo-infinite-codeveloper-certain-affinity ‘Halo Infinite’ devs take a bold stance against dehumanizing Texas legislation

Emma James

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