Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Remember Jimmy Hoffa

The video game industry
wants to unionize. Or, more specifically, some of the people in the industry.

That's not an issue I really want to discuss. Not yet, at least.

What I'd like to do is offer up my services to become president of any future videogame union.

I know, I know, I'm not "technically" a member of the industry, but that's just a matter of opinion. I consider myself on the "consumer side" of things, still a perfectly valid link in the business chain.

Once president of the union, I plan to implement a policy of racketeering. And maybe negotiate for a health care plan, I haven't decided yet.

I'll hire burly geeks to offer up protection to game companies. We'll make sure their code isn't "accidentally" pirated so long as they keep up payments. I'll threaten companies with strikes, force them to pay outrageous fees and then spend all the money on old Saturn and Dreamcast games.

I'll divert treasury funds to politicians in order to loosen up those damned restrictive video gaming laws. With the necessary legislative action I'll build a giant arcade in the middle of the desert. My Pac-Man palaces will run through the night, bringing in billions in quarters.

I'll embezzle retirement funds and divert them to developing stricter digital copyrighting methods, then force developers to pay for the mandatory copyrights. I'll work closely with the Mafia to keep a tight rein on my business dealings. My squads of lethal enforcers will seek out the open-sourcers and eliminate them.

I'll keep a stranglehold on the industry and play both sides, the union members and the companies, against each other.

First the video game industry, then the nation.

Oh, and on the serious side:

Video game voice actors currently make a minimum of $556.20 for a four-hour session. Which is about $140 an hour. They want it to be raised to $750 for a four-hour session. And they want profit-sharing on the back end.


Anonymous said...

I say their complaint is legitimate when it comes to the amount of money they earn for their work. I've got a suggestion as well. STOP USING FAMOUS ACTORS. This might help spread a little money around I'M LOOKING AT YOU EA. Of course for companies to stop using famous actors the voice actors have to do something too, a good job. Sorry, but most voice acting in games is actually worse than foreign film dubbing. I'd prefer it if more games had the ability to play with english subtitles and the voice actors spoke in chinese. THen I'd be less likely to feel the suck.
Oh, &

One day they'd find your body stuffed in a MAME.

ArC said...

"Remember Jimmy Hoffa"? Maybe, but let's not forget the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire either, or the days of child labour, no accountability for workplace injuries, robber barons, and 60 hour work weeks.

OK, so in the games industry we still have 60 hour weeks (and I don't just mean a crunch week here or there.) And robber barons, come to think of it.

But maybe that's why we'd better not concentrate on just remembering Hoffa, cause a lot of industries that did unionize at least cleaned up the labour situation, even if the robber barons came back.

BTW, please also see one actor's distinction between what the actors' union wanted vs what royalties are.

Deacon said...

Well, ArC, you're absolutely right. Or at least right in your estimation that I was being very one-sided. In my defense, however, I meant to be, since I was playing on one of the most common conceptions of unions nowadays - that they are solely mafia-run scams. Sure, corruption affects them just like any kind of organization. But they also do a lot of good things and have done some amazing things. I purposely didn't try to offer much of any kind of estimation or opinion because, well, I don't have much beyond "They can be good or bad. Sometimes both."

And the only work experience I've had in the last six years has been either non-union factories/fast food or federal government (which, naturally, doesn't allow unions).

Plus I was trying to be at least a little funny. I don't always pull that off as well as I hope.

My call to Remember Jimmy Hoffa was just supposed to be a simple warning to remember the lessons of what unions are and what they can do. And that every movement can get derailed by simple greed.

What would be really nice is some kind of Ultra-united workers association that could put pressure on corporations to actually pay decent wages and provide health insurance and not outsource all the jobs. *Sigh*

Thanks for the link clearing up the actors' demands. I still think that's a fuckton of money to make. I won't suggest they don't earn it, because it's a craft and that's what they feel is fair - but I look forward to the day when I can say I earned over 500 dollars for a four-hour session and I'm NOT working in the sex industry.

Maybe I should've titled my post "Remember Matewan"?