In response to the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, streamers, game developers, and brands that appeal to millions of young people expressed frustration and disappointment.
A Twitch personality Ali “Myth” Kabbani, turned to face the camera from his desk in Los Angeles shortly after starting his live stream on Friday.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade’s nearly 50-year precedent on Friday morning. Key figures in the gaming industry expressed their shock at the decision, which gives states complete freedom to outlaw abortion, as the news spread online.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, about half of the states in the nation are prepared to outright ban or severely restrict access to abortion care. 13 states, including Texas, have already enacted “trigger laws” that forbid abortion and are meant to go into effect 30 days after the court’s decision.
Professional gamers who streams their gameplay to audiences of tens of thousands of viewers on Friday struggled to express themselves. Video game designers and developers are incensed. In states where abortion will continue to be a protected right, some game publishers and esports organizations expressed their willingness to pay for employee travel.
According to a recent report released by the Entertainment Software Association, a trade association for the video game industry, two thirds of Americans play video games, and the average age of a player is 33. Some of the youngest potential voters in America can be reached directly by the industry’s streamers, developers, and publishers with hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Twitch.
To reach young, impressionable viewers, some politicians have streamed on Twitch in the past, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That same audience saw prominent public figures in the video game industry express their annoyance and disappointment with the Supreme Court’s abortion decision on social media on Friday.
Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, a streamer with more than 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube and co-owner of the lifestyle and esports brand 100 Thieves, tweeted that he is not currently proud to be an American and that women no longer have body autonomy. Due to outdated gun laws and a lack of mental health support, children are killed in schools. It is disgusting that millions of Americans cannot afford basic medical care and medication due to outrageous costs.
The creator of the well-known Halo franchise, Bungie, revealed Friday that the business had established a travel reimbursement program for staff who needed to travel to another state in order to access an abortion.
With a few notable exceptions, the industry’s response to the decision is largely similar to its response in May when a draft of the Supreme Court opinion leaked. Jim Ryan, president of PlayStation, asked staff members to respect differences of opinion regarding the right to abortion in an email to the company last month.
Insomniac, the PlayStation studio that created “Ratchet and Clank,” gave $50,000 to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Program in response to Ryan’s email. However, the CEO of Insomniac at the time claimed that the business had been prohibited from publicly speaking about reproductive rights or its donation.
At least five PlayStation studios, including Insomniac, tweeted in favor of access to abortion care on Friday, signaling a significant shift in Sony’s affiliates’ stance.
The co-president and public face of Sony-owned Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann, gave $10,000 to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and shared a screenshot on Twitter. He also expressed his gratitude to PlayStation for matching 50% of his donation.
Requests for comment from a Sony spokesperson went unanswered.
Friday saw the public release of statements in support of access to abortion care from a number of other gaming studios and developers, including Bethesda, Innersloth, Microsoft, Niantic, and Ubisoft. Microsoft stated that regardless of where its employees reside in the United States, the company will do everything within its legal power to assist them in obtaining essential health care, including services like abortion and gender-affirming care.
With tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers, a large number of streamers, casters, and professional players started their days by tweeting their opinions on the court’s decision.
According to Pokimane, who has 9.2 million followers on the streaming service that they are not pro-life, they are pro-minimizing women’s rights, They would have more effective gun control, universal healthcare, and better assistance for the homeless and those in need if they were pro-life. Don’t let their jargon mislead you.
Also Asmongold, a well-known Twitch streamer with 3.2 million subscribers says that women cannot truly experience freedom if they lack autonomy over their own bodies.