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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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The End of the Garage Studio as a Technomasculine Space

The End of the Garage Studio as a Technomasculine Space

Financial Security, Streamlined Creativity, and Signs of Friction

Chapter:
(p.54) 2 The End of the Garage Studio as a Technomasculine Space
Source:
A Precarious Game
Author(s):

Ergin Bulut

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501746529.003.0003

This chapter examines how Studio Desire's workers were managed after acquisition by Digital Creatives in the 2000s. It documents the dynamics of what the game developers called “the trade-off” between financial security and autonomy. This trade-off reveals the interactions and struggle between the residual and the emergent cultures, where frictions occurred since the market survival of Digital Creatives depended on its abilities to streamline creative production. Overall, Studio Desire's workers did not fundamentally see a problem with it as they had wanted to be acquired by a major publisher in the first place. Yet the introduction of new organizational structures led to the advent of a more impersonal culture and inequalities, all mediated within a gendered context. By looking at how game developers deploy passion in their descriptions of work, the chapter provides a distinct focus by gendering labor practices and reframing the “garage” as a gendered space.

Keywords:   Studio Desire, acquisition, Digital Creatives, game developers, financial security, autonomy, creative production, inequalities, labor practices, gendered space

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