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The Fat Bear Vote Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

The Takeaway: For those still trying to work out what the White House letter actually meant in real-world terms, this is a good breakdown of the facts.

The Blizzard Boycott

What Happened: The latest front in the ongoing culture wars? A digital card game, seemingly.

What Really Happened: It’s been a big week full of unexpected responses to China’s reaction to the Hong Kong protests. Firstly, there was a face-off between China and the NBA after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey supported the protests on Twitter. (His tweet has been since been deleted.) And then, there was … this.

“What’s Hearthstone?” you ask? It’s a digital card game from the same company that makes World of Warcraft and Overwatch. The player in question who spoke out is Chung Ng Wai, a grandmaster and professional Hearthstone player who lives in Hong Kong, so it only stands to reason that he’d have something to say about the ongoing pro-democracy protests. Apparently, it wasn’t something that Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind Hearthstone, wanted him to say.

Condemnation of the move was swift across social media.

Indeed, before too long, #BoycottBlizzard was trending as the story started to break into the mainstream media in a big way.

The impact went wider than Blizzard had likely expected, as players, employees, and commentators stepped away in support of Chung Ng Wai. Meanwhile, things didn’t exactly go better on the livestream.

Still, at least it was a sound business move on Blizzard’s part in the grand scheme of things, right? I mean, a little outrage is one thing, but that would just drive publicity and engagement, wouldn’t it? Business would be … booming?

As of this writing, Chung’s suspension hasn’t been lifted, but surely it’s only a matter of time.

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