Remaking Game Work
Wed. July 17, 2019, 7-10pm
Toronto Media Arts Centre (Mezzanine)
32 Lisgar St
Studio closures, harassment, crunch time, rumblings of unionization – game labour issues currently have unprecedented public profile.
Join us at a public forum with game developers, media work researchers, and digital labour activists to discuss working conditions and social inequalities in the video games industry and strategies to improve conditions in digital media.
The forum will be moderated by Austin Walker, the Editor of VICE Games. Six speakers – game workers, union organizers, and researchers – will participate in a moderated conversation, followed by Q&A and refreshments.
This event launches “Contested Formations of Digital Game Labor,” a special issue of the journal Television & New Media, currently freely available as an open-access publication.
Dan Joseph, PhD, is an organizer with the Game Workers Unite Toronto chapter, a freelance writer, and researcher of game work, apps, and platform capitalism.
Katherine Lapointe is an organizer with CWA Canada/Canadian Media Guild, this country’s only all-media union, with members at VICE, BuzzFeed, CBC, Canadian Press and other outlets across the country.
Maggie McCaw is a documentary visual researcher and was the first Branch President of the VICE Canada Union from 2016-2019.
Austin Walker is the Editor of VICE Games and the host of the podcast Friends at the Table. Before his career as a critic, he studied the intersection of play and labour at the University of Western Ontario, where he was a Research Associate in the Digital Labour Group.
Johanna Weststar teaches at Western University. She researches working conditions in the video games industry and partners with the International Game Developers Association to conduct developer satisfaction surveys.
Jennifer R. Whitson teaches at the University of Waterloo. Her research centres on game developers, as well as digital media surveillance and social influences on software development.
Sagan Yee is an animator, experimental game designer, and Executive Director of the Hand Eye Society, a video game arts not-for-profit organization.
CWA Canada is the country’s only all-media union, with 6,000 members at media, news and entertainment outlets from coast to coast. Their largest local, the Canadian Media Guild, represents members at media outlets such as VICE Canada, BuzzFeed, CBC, TVO, APTN, The Canadian Press, and Thomson Reuters.
Cultural Workers Organize is a collaborative research project investigating labour conditions and collective organizing in the arts, media, and cultural industries, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Game Workers Unite Toronto is the local chapter of a broad-reaching organization that seeks to connect pro-union activists, exploited workers, and allies across disciplines, classes, and countries in the name of building a unionized game industry.
Toronto Media Arts Centre is a new permanent home for Toronto’s media arts organizations, and an accessible public space for art, creation and collaboration in the Queen West Triangle. TMAC integrates creation, production, presentation, education, conservation and dissemination practices and with a focus on community building and inclusivity.