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https://kotaku.com/top-riot-executive-suspended-without-pay-...

Don't let bros make games.

Quote:
Throughout Kotaku’s interviews, one name kept cropping up: Scott Gelb, Riot Games’ COO, whom current and former employees allege participated in “ball-tapping” (flicking or slapping testicles), farting on employees or humping them for comedic effect. “It just became so normal,” said one employee who witnessed Gelb’s behavior. Another added, “The ball grabbing and things like that—that was absolutely well known across the board.”


Not that that means they're actually you know, gonna *fire* the guy. That would be crazy, bro!

Quote:
CEO Nicolo Laurent explained that, after an investigation led by law firm Seyfarth Shaw and overseen by a special committee from its Board of Directors, Gelb will remain at the company. He will, however, be put on two-month unpaid leave and receive training.


Given that riot's entire business case is some college dudes that stole all of the content from another game, this kind of behavior is probably not unexpected.
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Re: Riot COO suspended for absurdly inoffensive sexual harassment
I'm not sure if I'd call it absurdly inoffensive, grabbing people by the genitals is pretty high on the gross scale. :/
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Cal Macewan
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Re: Riot COO suspended for absurdly inoffensive sexual harassment
Astrella wrote:
I'm not sure if I'd call it absurdly inoffensive, grabbing people by the genitals is pretty high on the gross scale. :/

OP title is an example of ironic understatement.
 
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Re: Riot COO suspended for absurdly inoffensive sexual harassment
Gross and horrible. Their own statement makes it look as if they are severely punishing this individual when they are essentially doing nothing. This is someone who should have brought legal charges against him.
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Re: Riot COO suspended for absurdly inoffensive sexual harassment
We used to “cup check” other players on the football team... IN HIGHSCHOOL.
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Re: Riot COO suspended for absurdly inoffensive sexual harassment
Cal Mac wrote:
Astrella wrote:
I'm not sure if I'd call it absurdly inoffensive, grabbing people by the genitals is pretty high on the gross scale. :/

OP title is an example of ironic understatement.


It's actually an example of "Oh God, how did I let such a stupid typo through and not see it until today?" Title is fixed.
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Is it fair that I blame Halo, and later Call of Duty, for the "bro-ification" of the video gaming? I feel like those two titles really brought the whole "frat boy crowd" into what had been a pretty nerdy pastime.
 
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toku42 wrote:
Is it fair that I blame Halo, and later Call of Duty, for the "bro-ification" of the video gaming? I feel like those two titles really brought the whole "frat boy crowd" into what had been a pretty nerdy pastime.


I was young enough back then (junior high) my perspective might be skewed, but at least in my age category and area it was Counterstrike that did so, slightly before Halo.

That said, it's not like nerdy guys can't be huge sexists as well, or that when put in a position of power some of them might act like that.
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sajberhippien wrote:
I was young enough back then (junior high) my perspective might be skewed, but at least in my age category and area it was Counterstrike that did so, slightly before Halo.

That said, it's not like nerdy guys can't be huge sexists as well, or that when put in a position of power some of them might act like that.


Yeah, honestly I haven't found much difference in capacity to be sexist between nerdy guys and not nerdy guys, it just might be expressed differently.
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Astrella wrote:
sajberhippien wrote:
I was young enough back then (junior high) my perspective might be skewed, but at least in my age category and area it was Counterstrike that did so, slightly before Halo.

That said, it's not like nerdy guys can't be huge sexists as well, or that when put in a position of power some of them might act like that.


Yeah, honestly I haven't found much difference in capacity to be sexist between nerdy guys and not nerdy guys, it just might be expressed differently.


In fairness to nerdy guys they're much less likely to 'sack tap' (still can't believe that's a thing) or fart in somebody's face as a joke.

We're more whiny sexists than ass-grabbing sexists.
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This makes me sad. I was never into League of Legends but Mechs Vs Minions is my all time favourite board game and I especially liked Riot's approach to not selling out with endless expansions to it and adding all their additional mission/challenge content to it for free via their site, not to mention selling the game at such a great price to start with purely because they had more money than they knew what to do with, made the game as a side project and knew they could easily afford to sell it retail for less than it's worth. It's a shame to see a company with such a forward thinking approach to business practices having such a horrible employee sub-culture.

There is one thing that confuses me about the tone of that article though...

Kotaku wrote:
Throughout Kotaku’s interviews, one name kept cropping up: Scott Gelb, Riot Games’ COO, whom current and former employees allege participated in “ball-tapping” (flicking or slapping testicles), farting on employees or humping them for comedic effect. “It just became so normal,” said one employee who witnessed Gelb’s behavior. Another added, “The ball grabbing and things like that—that was absolutely well known across the board.” Other former employees who witnessed this believed that this style of bro comedy trickled down into the company’s lower ranks, where employees comfortably settled into a fraternity mindset that has, sources say, disadvantaged women.


Are the former employees who witnessed Gelb's behaviour claiming that the "style of bro comedy" disadvantaged women because they didn't have balls to tickle or slap?

 
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At what point/size is a "company" obligated to stop antics like this?

While it's not a place that I'd want to work, it's clear that some did, probably a throwback to high school and/or college when such antics were (usually) tolerated to an extent. So if some people are more comfortable in such an environment, it seems heavy-handed to ban it completely.

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that if a couple of guys had a business with no employees, no one would advocate that the government had a right to step in and force them to grow up? I also don't think that there are many that would say it's ok for government to step in when discrimination and/or harassment is occurring in a large corporation. My question is, "Where would you draw the line?"



 
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qzhdad wrote:
At what point/size is a "company" obligated to stop antics like this?


You can have antics like this if everybody in the company is OK with it, and you somehow manage to avoid discrimination laws while hiring. So your best bet is probably to never have open position ads, grow really slowly, and hire people that share your cultural beliefs first. You probably can get to the 100 employees, very slowly, to those levels. The dampening in growth is going to be hard though.
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qzhdad wrote:
At what point/size is a "company" obligated to stop antics like this?

While it's not a place that I'd want to work, it's clear that some did, probably a throwback to high school and/or college when such antics were (usually) tolerated to an extent. So if some people are more comfortable in such an environment, it seems heavy-handed to ban it completely.

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that if a couple of guys had a business with no employees, no one would advocate that the government had a right to step in and force them to grow up? I also don't think that there are many that would say it's ok for government to step in when discrimination and/or harassment is occurring in a large corporation. My question is, "Where would you draw the line?"


I think you'd probably draw the line at the point where someone is made to feel uncomfortable within reason. I suppose it's a burden of responsibility on a CEO to determine what is and isn't reasonable and how to reasonably respond to it. I work in a company where there's a "jock culture" in that a lot of my male colleagues talk non-stop about football (or soccer to anyone in the US). As I'm not into football or sports in general, it makes me uncomfortable in that I feel bored, annoyed, frustrated and excluded by it -however- I know it's not reasonable for me to complain in any official capacity about it since it's completely harmless and my problem with it comes from my own subjective preferences.

If some asshole was going around grabbing or hitting my junk though then I'm pretty damn sure I'd be 100% justified in complaining about it.
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qzhdad wrote:
At what point/size is a "company" obligated to stop antics like this?



I would say the point that you employee someone else. If the start up founders want to do it that's fine. As soon as you are paying someone else then there is a power imbalance problem.
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Just another name to add to my "do not purchase from" list.
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penfy wrote:
This makes me sad. I was never into League of Legends but Mechs Vs Minions is my all time favourite board game and I especially liked Riot's approach to not selling out with endless expansions to it and adding all their additional mission/challenge content to it for free via their site, not to mention selling the game at such a great price to start with purely because they had more money than they knew what to do with, made the game as a side project and knew they could easily afford to sell it retail for less than it's worth. It's a shame to see a company with such a forward thinking approach to business practices having such a horrible employee sub-culture.

There is one thing that confuses me about the tone of that article though...

Kotaku wrote:
Throughout Kotaku’s interviews, one name kept cropping up: Scott Gelb, Riot Games’ COO, whom current and former employees allege participated in “ball-tapping” (flicking or slapping testicles), farting on employees or humping them for comedic effect. “It just became so normal,” said one employee who witnessed Gelb’s behavior. Another added, “The ball grabbing and things like that—that was absolutely well known across the board.” Other former employees who witnessed this believed that this style of bro comedy trickled down into the company’s lower ranks, where employees comfortably settled into a fraternity mindset that has, sources say, disadvantaged women.


Are the former employees who witnessed Gelb's behaviour claiming that the "style of bro comedy" disadvantaged women because they didn't have balls to tickle or slap? :what:



Mechs and minions was a toy/ego stroke to them, not a serious money-making project (LoL makes them all the money they'll ever need).
 
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The thing to remember with riot, especially re: "Jock Culture" is that they're a bunch of college guys whose only skill was realizing they could convert other peoples (free) work and content into a profitable commercial product.

They never ever ever had to learn to act as reasonable adults, they stumbled into wealth much before that point.
 
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penfy wrote:
not to mention selling the game at such a great price to start with purely because they had more money than they knew what to do with, made the game as a side project and knew they could easily afford to sell it retail for less than it's worth.


windsagio wrote:
Mechs and minions was a toy/ego stroke to them, not a serious money-making project (LoL makes them all the money they'll ever need).


Yes, thank you for saying the same thing as me in a different way.
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Jon_1066 wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
At what point/size is a "company" obligated to stop antics like this?



I would say the point that you employee someone else. If the start up founders want to do it that's fine. As soon as you are paying someone else then there is a power imbalance problem.


This seems very reasonable. There would still be some ambiguity if there were senior/junior partners, but seems like a good rule of thumb, at least.
 
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windsagio wrote:
The thing to remember with riot, especially re: "Jock Culture" is that they're a bunch of college guys whose only skill was realizing they could convert other peoples (free) work and content into a profitable commercial product.

They never ever ever had to learn to act as reasonable adults, they stumbled into wealth much before that point.



Sounds very much like almost every big exec I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Even some people that at one point in their careers did actual work get converted by that culture in my experience.
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edgarthewoebringer wrote:
windsagio wrote:
The thing to remember with riot, especially re: "Jock Culture" is that they're a bunch of college guys whose only skill was realizing they could convert other peoples (free) work and content into a profitable commercial product.

They never ever ever had to learn to act as reasonable adults, they stumbled into wealth much before that point.



Sounds very much like almost every big exec I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Even some people that at one point in their careers did actual work get converted by that culture in my experience.


Oh totally, just trying to parse the more,,, egregious elements of the story. My theory is that in most cases you need to at least be socialized enough to schmooze, and you get far enough that you realize "Fart in peoples faces" is only going to hurt you in the long run.

The the challenge to me is figuring out how these guys could be so *unsavvy* in their success. The 'fell into wealth out of college with no challenges, let alone need to learn social skills' is my candidate ><
 
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