Game Labor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


Video game products and services are the results of game labor. Historically, amateur game labor came before professional game labor. Today, amateur game labor can often be regarded as both an alternative to and even a rejection of professional game labor. The chapter historicizes how professional game labor evolved in tandem with the global emergence and spread of cultural and creative industries (CCI) policy, particularly since the late 1990s. Conceptually, both game labor and the CCI rely on several binaries (including labor/leisure, labor/play, and culture/industry), which the chapter attempts to unpack with special attention to the hierarchical organization of game labor according to pay and to the amount of creative independence afforded by various phases of creative work. Creatively independent cultural expression is currently best achieved through amateur game labor, which only exists in close economic, cultural, and technical proximity of professional game labor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies
EditorsMark J. P. Wolf, Bernard Perron
ISBN (Electronic)9781003214977
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023


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