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A Precarious GameThe Illusion of Dream Jobs in the Video Game Industry$
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Ergin Bulut

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501746529

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501746529.001.0001

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For Whom the Love Works in Video Game Production?

For Whom the Love Works in Video Game Production?

(p.1) Introduction For Whom the Love Works in Video Game Production?
A Precarious Game

Ergin Bulut

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of precarious labor in the video game industry. The emergence of video games as a medium goes back to a moment of “refusal of work” when Pentagon scientists, tasked with beating the USSR during the Cold War, ended up creating ludic experiences on their work computers during times of boredom. Today, contemporary video game production is a serious, lucrative business. Tracing Studio Desire's transition from its early days as an independent studio to a financialized structure after its acquisition by Digital Creatives in the 2000s, this book examines the inequalities that structure the lives of game developers in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. It unpacks Studio Desire's story as it unfolds through four interlinked processes: rationalization upon acquisition, spatialization, financialization, and precarization. Among these, precarization anchors the whole story.

Keywords:   precarious labor, video game industry, video games, video game production, Studio Desire, Digital Creatives, game developers, 2008 financial crisis, precarization, financialization

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