I’m a very infrequent podcast listener but even I can remember the ethical consumption question specifically coming up multiple times before lol. With largely the same conclusion each time: no, ofc giving your money to a large multinational corporation is never going to be 100% ethically clean, but also narrowing your practical concerns to whatever company happens to be in the headlines at this specific moment for bad workplace behavior or being associated with an artist who said something offensive on Twitter is just a tad naive. Personally I’d prioritize things like environmental impact, state ties, human rights, and exploitation of genuinely proletarian labor over the stories that more commonly generate Kotaku takedowns and social media fervor, e.g. highly educated skilled workers being treated insensitively by management or Harry Potter lady becoming slightly more or less rich on account of a game she was barely involved in. But there’s a clear difference in which stories generate Sustained User Engagement (clicks), the hard currency of Web 2.0 journalism, particularly from the video-game-playing demographic of people. I guess I’m a cynic!
Honestly though, I do find it a little warped that you will get massive, exhausting discourse and grandstanding on the ethics of purchasing a product that might profit an individual who has expressed offensive views (and ofc we all have different barometers about which views are offensive and how much) but far less talk about lining the pockets of an institution that is doing active, material harm in the world. Like, the efficacy of privately boycotting governments and corporations is sort of questionable anyway, but I can sympathize much more with the moral seriousness of refusing to purchase an SNK game due to the very well documented ethical abuses of the Saudi government, a large system that requires capital to operate and materially hurts and kills people in the process of its operations, versus a game tangentially connected to JK Rowling, a private individual who will continue to hold and express the same social views irrespective of the number of figures in her bank account.
I know that this is just downstream of an ordinary human bias toward seeing the world in individual/emotional rather than systemic/material terms, but it’s irritating when it warps media coverage and public priorities. idk