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  • Let's talk about the gaming industry.

  • Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be unboxing

  • video games and downloading new updates this week

  • adding billions of dollars to an industry that's already richer

  • than both the global box office and the music business combined.

  • But the huge success of video games

  • has come at a cost to many people who make them.

  • So what's happening to the workers behind the screen?

  • It's pretty incredible, really, just how massive this industry is

  • and how much it's evolved over the decades.

  • This was Nimatron, the very first game machine

  • that debuted in New York in 1940.

  • Fast forward to the archade games of the 70s

  • home gaming consoles, computer games in the 80s and 90s

  • online gaming at the turn of the century

  • and now mobile gaming and e-sports

  • where full-time, professional gamers fill stadiums

  • and earn millions, yes, millions of dollars.

  • Let's wrap our heads around some numbers.

  • In 2016, a third of the world's population were video gaming

  • that's two and a half billion people.

  • In 2017, more than 660 million people watched other people play video games

  • on platforms like Twitch and Youtube.

  • In 2018, the gaming industry made at least 130 billion dollars.

  • And this is a business that's still growing by about 10 percent a year.

  • That's a pretty exciting industry for aspiring animators, developers

  • and coders to want to be part of.

  • And staff salaries for developers are a lot higher than your average job.

  • In the US, a developer can earn around $100,000 a year.

  • In India it's about 500,000 rupees or $6.000 a year

  • a lot higher than the average person's $2.000 yearly salary.

  • You know I am so glad I got into game design

  • it's cool to be able to create the kind of games that we play.

  • And 2019 was the year we found out just how big a price

  • people pay to be part of the world's biggest entertainment industry.

  • Crunch culture is still a huge issue in the industry.

  • It's when workers are put under enormous pressure to work

  • overtime in order to meet game launch deadlines.

  • Before the studio Treyarch releasedCall of Duty: Black Ops 4” last year

  • some testers said thatcrunch timeinvolved working

  • 70-hours a week for weeks on end.

  • The gaming website Kotaku, says some of those guys

  • earned only 13 dollars an hour, while Black Ops

  • made about 500 million dollars in just a few days.

  • This multiplayer mode is super fun, dude.”

  • Some testers working on Fortnite, another massive

  • and free online game, also reported 70-hour working weeks.

  • And what happens a lot is that after a launch

  • many workers are laid off.

  • Kevin just mentioned women

  • and they have major concerns about the gaming work culture.

  • As many as a billion gamers are thought to be women

  • and only 19% of the industry's staff are female

  • Ever since the #MeToo movement, more and more women

  • are coming forward with allegations of rape and harassment.

  • We spoke to one designer who even made a game

  • about what it was like to be a woman in the industry.

  • In 2014 a scandal known as 'Gamergate' consumed the gaming world.

  • It was a huge online culture war about a lot of things but at the heart of it

  • was the treatment of women in a male-dominated industry.

  • At the time, a developer named Zoe Quinn

  • and others received rape and death threats.

  • So much so that even the FBI was called in to investigate.

  • People like feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian

  • came under pretty heavy fire for posting this:

  • came under pretty heavy fire for posting this:

  • extremely toxic, patronising, and paternalistic attitudes about women.

  • Workers have been trying to unionise to demand things

  • like better pay, and fair treatment by gaming studios.

  • But it's not been easy.

  • That conference triggered an online movement called #GameWorkersUnite

  • and it's now an international organisation

  • whose mission even has the backing of US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

  • So is the industry doing anything right?

  • So is the industry doing anything right?

  • Gaming studios, including Treyarch, which we spoke about earlier

  • say they are trying to reduce the crunch culture.

  • The GameWorkersUnite movement has formally been accepted

  • into the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain.

  • And some companies like Blizzard Entertainment and EA

  • also made Glassdoor's 100 best US companies to work for in 2018

  • although EA fell off that list in 2019.

  • For consumers and developers, there's a lot to look forward to

  • and the hope is that as this industry grows and rakes in billions more

  • gaming workers will reap the benefits of a business that

  • at the heart of it, is meant to be about fun.

Let's talk about the gaming industry.

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The Gaming Industry | Start Here

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    joey joey posted on 2021/10/14
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