Episode 187 - Lovestrike
Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by two veterans of arguably the first successful video game worker strike in history, writer Krissy Perez and returning guest Emma Kinema. Krissy is the most senior writer for Lovestruck, a mobile visual romance novel game distributed by the US subsidiary of Japanese developer Voltage Inc. and played by millions worldwide, and a member of Voltage Organized Workers (VOW). Emma Kinema is a former game developer, one of the founders of Game Workers Unite, and currently serves as Campaign Lead for the CODE-CWA, the Communications Workers of America's initiative to organize unions in the North American tech industry.
Krissy gives listeners a lay of the land at Voltage USA, explaining how the Lovestruck writers’ famously prolific output has come at the cost of brutally tight deadlines and industry-low pay. The gang walks through a timeline of the VOW strike, which lasted 3 weeks and ended in a decisive win, securing the workers substantial pay raises among other concessions. Krissy and Emma reflect on the Voltage workers’ messaging making it clear that they are all members of marginalized genders and/or sexualities, and what worker power means to Lovestruck’s heavily female and queer fanbase.
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