It feels like, in a post-Telltale layoffs world, the conversation around labour in games, at least online, is starting to shift. It may be too early to tell if this is just a temporary bend in the river or if this may be a moment of change, but I read through my Twitter timeline and see more discussion today than I did last month and its hard to overlook that as a positive step.
One item of this discussion has been the hashtag #AsAGamesWorker that I’ve seen floating around today, with contributions from many folks I hadn’t been familiar with talking about what they want to see in their industry. I’ll quote a few here before continuing (quotation is, as ever, not endorsement, although the sentiments below are hard to disagree with):
I think it can be easy to read these and think of them as simply, well, talk. However, Scheurle’s last tweet does do good in drawing together the fact that this year has seen, across the sector, a number of stories that impact on the labour of game workers, which underlie the weakness and precarity of conditions that people are working in.
Many of us would agree with the podcast title of last week’s Waypoint Radio –it’s time to radically remake the games industry. Perhaps a useful, and constructive, first step is discussion like this that helps us to put into language what we want this space to look like. Once that is done, we can start looking into how we can construct that, which (as I’ve seen elsewhere in the forums) is not an issue with a clear and obvious solution, although many of us have our feelings about what that solution might look like.
Based on that, I turn to you and ask: are there any stories you find particularly insightful? Do you have any experiences of your own, as a games worker, you might want to share? What do our next steps look like once we know what we’re aiming for?