Game Developers and Actors Rally for Unionization at The Game Awards


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  • Game developers and actors rallied at the Game Awards, demanding industry unionization amid AI job concerns and layoffs.
  • SAG-AFTRA and Game Workers of SoCal distributed leaflets, emphasizing the need for union protection and “meaningful wage increases.”
  • Critics accused The Game Awards host, Geoff Keighley, of disregarding industry layoffs, prompting promises of future speech time improvements.

Los Angeles, A coalition of game developers and actors gathered outside the Game Awards venue last night, advocating for industry unionization in response to a year marked by widespread layoffs and growing concerns about job displacement due to artificial intelligence (AI). The demonstration, organized by the acting union SAG-AFTRA in collaboration with Game Workers of SoCal, aimed to address the pressing issues faced by workers in the gaming industry.

Calls for unionization and protections against AI

As attendees arrived at The Game Awards, members of SAG-AFTRA and Game Workers of SoCal distributed leaflets detailing the need for unionization and the challenges posed by AI in the industry. The primary focus was on obtaining safeguards against the potential impact of AI on jobs and advocating for “meaningful wage increases.” The leaflets served as a tangible reminder of the collective efforts to address the workforce’s concerns and foster a more secure and equitable working environment.

Picketing for Job security and union representation

Simultaneously, a group of game workers picketed outside the venue, drawing attention to the substantial number of layoffs experienced throughout the gaming sector. The protesters urged their colleagues to consider unionizing, emphasizing the importance of having a greater say in workplace decisions. The high-profile nature of the Game Awards provided an opportune moment for the demonstrators to amplify their message and garner industry-wide support.

Lack of industry acknowledgment at the game awards

Despite the concerted efforts to shed light on the challenges faced by game workers, some criticized the host and producer of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley, for not using the platform to address the issue of mass layoffs. Furthermore, accusations were leveled against Keighley for allegedly disrespecting developers by curtailing acceptance speeches. Developers were reportedly given a mere 30 to 40 seconds to express their gratitude before being prompted to conclude their remarks, adding fuel to the discontent.

In response to the backlash, Geoff Keighley has acknowledged the concerns raised about acceptance speech interruptions, assuring the public that the matter will be addressed in future editions of The Game Awards. However, he firmly denies cutting off any speeches and has yet to respond to the broader criticism for not acknowledging the significant job losses within the industry throughout the year.

A call for unity and industry reform

The events at the Game Awards underscore a growing sentiment within the gaming community, with developers and actors advocating for unionization as a means to address job security concerns and navigate the potential challenges posed by AI. The collective call for “meaningful wage increases” and protections against AI reflects a broader desire for fair and sustainable working conditions in an industry that has witnessed remarkable growth but also faced its share of workforce-related challenges.

As the industry grapples with these pressing issues, the call for unity becomes increasingly crucial. Game developers, actors, and industry stakeholders must engage in constructive dialogue to shape a future that prioritizes the well-being of its workforce. The demonstration at The Game Awards serves as a potent reminder that the gaming industry is at a pivotal juncture and that collaborative efforts are necessary to address the evolving landscape and ensure a more equitable and secure future for all involved.

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Derrick Clinton

Derrick is a freelance writer with an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. He works mostly on crypto projects' problems and solutions, offering a market outlook for investments. He applies his analytical talents to theses.

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