Bungie has responded to the recent terrorist attack in Buffalo that resulted in the deaths of ten people and the injury of three others by announcing a new charity initiative and pledging to bolster its ongoing efforts “to maintain safe and anti-racist spaces” within its community.
“On Saturday, 14th May, a young white man drove hours from his home to a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and opened fire in a crowded supermarket, killing ten people and maiming three others,” Bungie said in a statement. “It has since been confirmed that this was an act of terror aimed at Black Americans and is being investigated as a hate crime. Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy, and anyone impacted by this act of violence.”
The studio, in collaboration with its Black at Bungie inclusion club, has announced a number of initiatives in response to the attack. It will, for instance, donate all profits made through the sale of its Be Heard collectable pin over the next 12 months to the Southern Poverty Law Center – a charity whose work includes “monitoring hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposing their activities to the public, the media, and law enforcement.”
Additionally, Bungie says it will partner with its Player Support and Community teams to see how it can it can help “bolster [its] ongoing efforts to maintain safe and anti-racist spaces in which our players and fans can come together.”
“Far too often, these racist attacks begin within online communities that are used to recruit and radicalise individuals,” it explained in its statement. “It is time we begin to examine our practices and see what part we can play in preventing these tragedies… We hope our colleagues in game development and gaming communities continue to examine their own platforms and invest in practices to combat bigotry in all its manifestations. We believe games and their communities should be a force for good and we are committed to that.”
Bungie’s statement comes days after the studio said “there will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to stop [it] from standing up for what’s right”, following reports that Sony – which announced it would acquire the Destiny 2 developer for $3.6bn back in February – is refusing to authorise any public statements its PlayStation studios might want to make around the issue of reproductive rights.
Bungie was one of the first studios to speak out in support of Roe v Wade, a key judgement which legalised abortion across the US, following recent reports the US Supreme Court was trying to overturn the ruling. At the time, the developer called the move a “direct attack on human rights”, adding that “standing up for reproductive choice and liberty is not a difficult decision to make, and Bungie remains dedicated to upholding these values”.
Today, New York’s district attorney has said both Twitch and Discord would be investigated for the parts both played in the Buffalo attack.
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