Television and New Media
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Studies of digital game labor have tended to document problems in the working lives of developers while devoting relatively limited attention to solutions, or to collective representation as a step toward solutions. An increasing number of game developers are dissatisfied with their working conditions, and dissatisfaction is a necessary condition for workers to engage in collective action to gain the representational power needed to achieve change in the workplace. Noting that the landscape of collective mobilization in the game industry has not yet been systematically mapped, this article documents collective actions over the past five decades, and asks, “Are the collective actions of developers building momentum toward a viable, sustained mobilization?” The article presents a thematic survey of such actions, including the Quality of Life Movement, exposés of working conditions, gender equity struggles, and unionization efforts. In conclusion, the authors revisit John Kelly’s mobilization theory to assess developers’ capacity to engage in collective mobilization.