Join us this Thursday for a guided discussion of the possibilities afforded by cooperatives and unionization in game development!
Our intrepid hosts for the evening, Carolyn Jong and Joachim Despland, be discussing the standard IP-based business models and organizational structures that dominate the game industry – from small, privately owned start-up studios to large multinational corporations – and will explore possible alternative models of game production and distribution. In particular, they will ruminate on the potential for worker cooperatives and unions to transform the industry, the history of labour organizing in general, and current attitudes towards unionization and cooperatives amongst game-makers. They will also consider the following questions:
1) What are some of the major problems within the industry and how might different types of organizations address them, or not?
2) What is the relationship between making different games and making games differently? How do different types of organizational structures impact the type of games that are made, and how might this in turn affect gaming culture?
3) How can we understand the phenomenon of software piracy and DRM (digital rights management), and what has been the role of the Open Source / Free Software movements in game development?
4) What are the barriers that have prevented game developers from organizing or taking collective action to address the problems in the industry?
5) What is the role played by existing organizations like the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) or the ESA (Entertainment Software Association)?
Everyone is welcome: you do not have to be currently employed in the game industry to participate, or even be interested in making games professionally – the more diversity we have, the better! This discussion is not just for students or academics, but is open to everyone that makes and cares about games.
What: Critical Conversation #2: Collectives, Unions, and Alternative Game-Making
When: Thursday, October 2nd, from 5-7pm
Where: Centre for Technoculture, Art, and Games – EV 11.655, 1515 St. Catherine W.
Who: Everyone is Welcome!