For one thing, we overestimated academe’s interest in the humanistic study of video games. True, colleges and universities across the country are rushing pell-mell to grab a piece of the game pie, but that rush seems to be more about pipelining students into industry jobs than helping them develop critical-thinking skills.
Ensuring that young people secure employment is a noble goal — and in many ways the primary objective of contemporary higher education — yet game-industry workers are among the most exploited high-tech laborers in the world. Call us crazy, but there’s something disingenuous about channeling students into an industry without first teaching them to be critical of that industry’s labor practices — especially when those practices all too commonly include outsourcing game development and asset creation to cheap foreign markets, and exercising early-20th-century techniques of union-busting. —Ruggill and McAllister —Game Over (Chronicle)
Thanks for the nudge, Mike. I’d been meaning to blog this for a while.
The authors seem a bit too clever — just slightly too amused with themselves. But I still welcome the attention they are putting on the humanistic study of computer games.