2020 has been a year of chaos, heartbreak, and disappointment. In times like these, the actions of people both large and small are recorded in the archives of history. With the current unrest in the United States and beyond over the death of George Floyd and countless others, Sony has decided to postpone its digital event surrounding the PlayStation 5.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/ZAY8StN0EU">pic.twitter.com/ZAY8StN0EU</a></p>— PlayStation (@PlayStation) <a href="https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/1267525525825900549?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
In a tweet on June 1st, Sony announced the postponement of its digital PlayStation event scheduled for June 4th. The event was meant to show off new titles that would be available for the PlayStation 5 after launch. Many were excited about the event when it was announced, with over 72,000 retweets on their official PlayStation announcement. Sony seemed to be very excited about the event, claiming the “lack of physical events has given us an amazing opportunity to think differently.” The PlayStation event was going to take the form of a live stream on Twitch and Youtube, both popular platforms for game-related content. Fans were excited to forget about the horrors of the world for a moment and enjoy all that Sony and the PlayStation 5 had to offer.
However, tragedy struck on May 25th, 2020. African-American man George Floyd was murdered while in police custody. Since the incident, protesters, activists, and political leaders have come together to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Many celebrities, businesses, and companies have used their platform to help amplify the voices of those in the movement.
Like many others, Sony made the decision to move its PlayStation event to a different date, now confirmed to be June 11th at 4 pm ET. The move was done in an attempt to allow more important voices to be heard, such as civil rights activists and protesters.
PlayStation fans had many things to say about this. Most were supportive of Sony and understanding of the decision to reschedule the PlayStation event (myself included). Others were cynical, saying this wasn’t a move to amplify black voices like Sony claimed it was. Instead, many felt PlayStation was trying to avoid a PR and marketing meltdown. Others were upset at the idea that Sony was “punishing” them for something they didn’t do.
While I sincerely hope that the teams at Sony and PlayStation made this decision without money in mind, I would be hard-pressed to believe it didn’t have some weight in the decision to postpone the event. It will be up to Sony and the PlayStation brand to follow their words with actions in the coming weeks. At the time of writing, Sony and PlayStation have retweeted many great resources for activists and have begun recognizing 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd every Friday.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SonyElectronics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SonyElectronics</a> is observing 8:46sec of silence NOW & on Fridays for George Floyd & those who've suffered death, discrimination & inequality. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackLivesMatter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SonyCares?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SonyCares</a> <a href="https://t.co/aaOlJqWTOL">pic.twitter.com/aaOlJqWTOL</a></p>— Mike Fasulo (@MikeFasulo) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeFasulo/status/1268931996278980611?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 5, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
I’m just glad that giants in the gaming community like Sony and the PlayStation brand are taking a hard stance against racial inequality. Those that have a platform, whether big or small, have a responsibility to amplify voices that aren’t being heard. Tragedies such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor should never happen again. Thanks to companies like Sony and the PlayStation brand, the issue is getting the attention it deserves.
I believe PlayStation said it best: “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration.” Stay safe, stay informed, and do your part.
If you are interested in supporting the movement but aren’t sure where to start, this is a great resource. Now is the time to amplify the voices of the oppressed and learn from them. Now is the time to be kind to your neighbor and listen with an open heart and mind.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the new Sony PlayStation 5 event date.