[Long Discussion] Is Riot Using Player Money to Run a Sweatshop in The Philippines?

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Fk It Bayleef

Senior Member

12-04-2012

0/10 would not read again.


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Roneld3444

Senior Member

12-04-2012

I beat Phreak works the Steam Whistle
+1


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SqueezeMeGently

Member

12-04-2012

But... but... they banned a vitrolic pro player!

One!

Look! They care about people!

...one?


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SperoAeternum

Member

12-04-2012

One might say that the way to increase the living conditions of a country would be to put money into the country, i.e., if riot were not employing these people who supposedly are working these hours, they would not be working at all, and could be starving while trying to look for a job.

America isn't the only place that needs money to survive, other people require food to live too.

Even that aside, I think Riot has been remarkably transparent about the whole thing, and I think that you can put a "positive" or "negative" spin on it, but in the end, Riot acknowledged a thread that could be terrible for their PR, answered as best they could, and are now having their worst fears realized because you are manipulating their transparency (albeit most likely not intentionally) in such a manner as to make matters worse.


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Mr Richard101

Senior Member

12-04-2012

It would be upsetting to say the least if this were true. I really hope someone from RIOT invests a fraction of thier time to put this to rest by giving us the information we need to know.


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Mr Richard101

Senior Member

12-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by SperoAeternum View Post
Even that aside, I think Riot has been remarkably transparent about the whole thing, and I think that you can put a "positive" or "negative" spin on it, but in the end, Riot acknowledged a thread that could be terrible for their PR, answered as best they could, and are now having their worst fears realized because you are manipulating their transparency (albeit most likely not intentionally) in such a manner as to make matters worse.
Because it would be seriously wrong for this poster to manipulate Riot for fueling a sweat shop in the phillipines...


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RogueRev

Junior Member

12-04-2012

Honestly, if you cared so much about living conditions in other countries, you'd check every good and service that you buy and make sure that it's not outsourced (and that includes components of goods, such as your car's tires). Capitalism favors labor mobility - it wants companies to have the ability to choose what kind of labor it wants (highly paid, highly skilled labor vs. lower paid, low skilled labor).

Again, whether or not it's right or wrong is up to you - but do make sure that you are logically consistent. If you oppose Riot's outsourcing of its player support services, you'd also have to oppose any kind of outsourcing to a country that may have different labor regulations than the ones in the United States. Generally, that'd mean that you'd only support labor mobility if it also allowed for the same working conditions. However, it's generally impossible for that to happen with lower developed countries because living conditions across the board in that country would be lower as well.

To be fair, I'm oversimplifying an extremly complex subject, one which has been debated by people who are more intelligent and more involved than I am. However, I believe that you've done the same. Whether or not there's a sweatshop in the Phillipines that Riot has contracted with is not the only issue - if there is one, then is it Riot's job to police the companies it does work with? Should they refuse to increase their profit margin based on what Americans perceive as fair and unfair working conditions? Is it the workers' choice to work in those call centers, and if it is, why is it unfair to them? Who benefits from Riot not contracting with those companies in the Phillippines? Do the workers suddenly get better pay, less working hours, or a less stressful environment? Are you willing to sacrifice certain privileges in order to revert the contract back to Austin (such as the fact that all champions are potentially free and it's possible to play the game without buying anything to name a few examples)? These are only a few of the questions that can be discussed and evaluated. I do think that the issue of the global inequality of wealth is one that should be addressed, but I don't think that it's clear that Riot has done anything ethically wrong here, considering the variety of opinions regarding the ethics of labor outsourcing in general.


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Mjaxon

Senior Member

12-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raumschiff View Post
If this is true, then why haven't they started selling Champion hoodies?!?!??!?! I want my Kennen hoodie! :FirstWorldProblems:
Don't be ridiculous. Riot hasn't expanded into Bangladesh yet.


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Eserine

Senior Member

12-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letkhar View Post
Good post, though I wouldn't call a player support center a "sweatshop". There's not much evidence to suggest that there are very many human rights issues here. Just domestic employment.
Computer-centers are now used as sweatshops in many parts of the world, Chinese prisoners forced to gold-farm for World of Warcraft or be beaten with plastic pipes comes to mind as a good example:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...et-gaming-scam

such things have also been quite common in The Philippines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Honestly, if you cared so much about living conditions in other countries, you'd check every good and service that you buy and make sure that it's not outsourced (and that includes components of goods, such as your car's tires). Capitalism favors labor mobility - it wants companies to have the ability to choose what kind of labor it wants (highly paid, highly skilled labor vs. lower paid, low skilled labor).

Again, whether or not it's right or wrong is up to you - but do make sure that you are logically consistent. If you oppose Riot's outsourcing of its player support services, you'd also have to oppose any kind of outsourcing to a country that may have different labor regulations than the ones in the United States. Generally, that'd mean that you'd only support labor mobility if it also allowed for the same working conditions. However, it's generally impossible for that to happen with lower developed countries because living conditions across the board in that country would be lower as well.

To be fair, I'm oversimplifying an extremly complex subject, one which has been debated by people who are more intelligent and more involved than I am. However, I believe that you've done the same.
I do attempt to check-out every good and service that I buy, for instance I have not bought Nestle chocolate products for nine years due to their issues with child labor among a wide list of other brands, I support microfinancing and fair-trade movements, and I suffer through hundreds of Change.org petitions in my inbox each year on the tiniest minutiae of sociopolitical activism.

Riot is not "just another company" in terms of its operations however. Riot claims to want unparalleled customer interactivity and feedback, and "the best" player support. This gives individuals a unique opportunity to speak out (unlike people attempting to purchase diamond engagement-rings for instance without the taint of blood-diamond market manipulations by the DeBeers corporation, where there is no online user forum to hosted by employees to complain about such things).

I also see a distinction between "slightly worse labor conditions" and "totally unpoliced labor conditions where people could conceivably chain malnourished orphans to a desk and have them wipe the blood off their keyboards between monitored QA sessions"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Whether or not there's a sweatshop in the Phillipines that Riot has contracted with is not the only issue - if there is one, then is it Riot's job to police the companies it does work with?
... Yes, obviously?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Should they refuse to increase their profit margin based on what Americans perceive as fair and unfair working conditions?
Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Is it the workers' choice to work in those call centers, and if it is, why is it unfair to them?
Much like in human trafficking, sweatshop workers are often initially misled about the nature of the job they are getting into:

...
2. Workers in sweatshops can be fined on a daily basis. In some sweatshops workers are fined for arriving late, taking too long in the toilet, forgetting to turn lights off and making mistakes. A fine can cost up to two months’ pay: if workers cannot afford to pay fines they are unable to quit their job and are effectively enslaved.

3. At one Mexican sweatshop, workers are expected to meet a quota of 1,000 pieces a day. That could mean creating 1,000 jeans, 1,000 shoes or 1,000 rugby balls a day, depending on the product a factory produces. For the Mexican workers to meet this quota they would need to create MORE than one piece a minute. This quota is so high that the workers are unable to have a drink or go to the toilet all day.
...


Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Who benefits from Riot not contracting with those companies in the Phillippines? Do the workers suddenly get better pay, less working hours, or a less stressful environment?
Potentially the workers suddenly get better pay, less working hours, or a less stressful environment by instead finding or starting another job that is not in a sweatshop, Riot benefits by not having giant newspaper headlines internationally shaming them for contracting with a sweatshop, and players benefit from healthier economic practices and not being affiliated with scum who use sweatshops.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
Are you willing to sacrifice certain privileges in order to revert the contract back to Austin (such as the fact that all champions are potentially free and it's possible to play the game without buying anything to name a few examples)?
Odd that even though Riot has not been using these contractors for very long that suddenly, according to you, the entire F2P business model has collapsed (though I'm sure this won't effect the excesses of a multimillion-dollar seasonal E-sports prize pool or the construction further life-scale models of game characters though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
These are only a few of the questions that can be discussed and evaluated.
I evaluate your questions as being psychotic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRev View Post
I do think that the issue of the global inequality of wealth is one that should be addressed, but I don't think that it's clear that Riot has done anything ethically wrong here, considering the variety of opinions regarding the ethics of labor outsourcing in general.
There were a "variety of opinions" about every historical incidence of genocide as well, yet I believe that most normal people frowned upon these occurences.


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BBC Hiddenkho

Junior Member

12-06-2012

Hey! guys. Stop being dumbasses! As long as they are doing their job well, I don't think that there's a problem about that.