Books for changing the world

The Work of Videogames: Reflections on Game Worker Organizing

Since the beginning of 2018 there has been a wave of worker organizing in the videogames industry. While there is a longer history of resistance and struggle among game workers, the last two years have been the most visible and connected examples so far, with active campaigns stretched across several contingents.

This interactive discussion will bring together key participants from the US and UK and ask them to reflect on the experience of organizing through worker networks, assess the efforts of their new trade union formations, and generalize the lessons of these important workplace struggles—all while collectively playing through Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. The chaos, vibrancy, and frenetic antics of this multiplayer battle royale should provide an excellent backdrop for the conversation, and may even offer unexpected insights into the work that goes into the videogames industry. If nothing else it makes for a more entertaining than usual panel discussion.



Dr Jamie Woodcock is a senior lecturer at the Open University and a researcher based in London. He is the author of The Gig Economy (Polity, 2019), Marx at the Arcade (Haymarket, 2019), and Working The Phones (Pluto, 2017). His research is inspired by the workers' inquiry and focuses on labour, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organizing, and videogames. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism.

Emma Kinema is a co-founder of Game Workers Unite (GWU), and an organizer with the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

Austin Kelmore is the former chair of Game Workers Unite UK, a game programmer, tech lead, DEI advocate, and tea drinker.