During his keynote speech at the Consumer Entertainment Show last night, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel intends to invest $300 million into “workplace diversity” for their U.S. workforce, noting the low percentages of (non-Asian) minorites and women in the current Intel workforce. Intel also intends to partner with a number of groups to accomplish this, including Feminist Frequency and the International Game Developers Association.
Note that this is the same Intel who removed their ads from Gamasutra (temporarily, as it later turned out) in response to an e-mail campaign driven by #GamerGate.
As stated above, $300 million will be spent by Intel over the next five years to promote diversity. The plans currently include creating a pipeline for female and non-Asian minorities, changing their hiring practices toward female and non-Asian minorities, and through retention.
That last one got my attention. What some of you may not know is that Intel currently employs above-population percentages of Asian and Indian males. These men are actually over-represented when examined against the U.S. population, so this initiative could actively hurt minorities who are not the right minorities. White men stand to lose as well, but that’s typical of any “diversity” program.
In addition to spending hundreds of millions so they can end up with a less-qualified workforce, Intel will be partnering with the following groups to ensure diversity:
—The National Center for Women and Information Technology, home to many programs for women to create just terrible games that no one will buy but Polygon and Kotaku will write about.
—The CyberSmile Foundation, who legitimately believes that the cyberbullying threat is real, much to the chagrin of people who have actually been bullied in real life.
—Feminist Frequency, because people who make poorly-researched, politically-motivated YouTube videos will somehow help.
The “press” reaction
The gaming press, in desperate need for a victory against #GamerGate and eager to push the narrative that #GamerGate is a movement against women and minorities in gaming, was quick to frame Intel’s announcement as a loss for #GamerGate. This despite the fact Mr. Krzanich never said the word “GamerGate” during the announcement, and despite the fact there is a whole different hashtag (#NotYourShield) for the numerous women and minorites who ALSO do not want corruption in gaming journalism.
The Verge comes out strongest in their language, with their headline “Intel opposes Gamergate as part of $300 million effort to fix diversity in tech.” A number of never–heard–of-em blogs echoed the common refrain. Polygon also strongly words their article headline, “Intel pledges $300M to bolster women, minority workforce in wake of GamerGate.” I like this headline because “in the wake of GamerGate” implies that #GamerGate is somehow over. Of course, the San Fran blogger scene has been declaring #GamerGate over since November, so this is nothing new.
Of course, a cursory search reveals what those who support #GamerGate actually believe:
Basic research—it’s what these so-called journalists are lacking.
The next stepA lot of the common reaction includes switching to AMD products. Considering the overlap in Venn diagrams between people who build their own rigs and people who care about #GamerGate, Intel could be setting themselves up for a massive loss. Couple that with the full release of Star Citizen (currently scheduled for 2016), a game which is almost certain to simultaneously melt CPUs and erode souls, and Intel could just have announced their way out of significant processor sales. There’s no mistaking the effect that Crysis had on the physical side of the market—at the time of release, you pretty much had no choice but to buy a new PC, and even today Crysis is used as a benchmark, which is impressive considering it was released in 2007. Announcing something which is guaranteed to piss off PC building hobbyists right before what will likely be the next big benchmark arrives is about as smart as… well, spending $300 million to have a less qualified workforce. These kinds of announcements really smack of hubris. The same hubris Sony exhibited launching the PS3 and Microsoft exhibited launching the Xbox One. If you think you are in a dominant enough market position to enact measures which actively work against capitalism, start marking the days until you are no longer the dominant company in your market. This kind of leadership decision typically results in only one thing—failure. Here’s hoping Intel reverses course. Again. Read More: TotalBiscuit Receives Death Wish By Anti #GamerGate For Promoting Charity