The Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)
In just 2 days the campaign fund to cover legal fees for Marrisa Alexander will close. For those who don’t know, Marrisa is a woman from Florida who was imprisoned for firing a warning shot into the wall to stop her husband from beating her. The court tried her for a life term, which was thankfully overturned, but the state is still seeking to put her away for 20 years. Keep in mind that this is the same state who let George Zimmerman, the criminal who shot an innocent teenager to death, walk free with all charges dismissed because the jury said he had a right to stand his ground against the young man armed with skittles. This is the state where Michael Dunn, the criminal who shot 3 teenagers at a gas station because their music was too loud, received a hung jury who would not convict him of first degree murder in the death of one of those teens. In these cases, it was a white man killing young black men. This is important, because Marrisa is a black woman and she’s facing 20 years for a WARNING SHOT.
The campaign to help with her legal fees is sooooo close to the goal. Please, if you care at all about justice show your support by contributing to her Indie GoGo campaign. Gamers love justice. We love supporting good causes. This is not only a good cause, but its critical to saving an innocent woman’s life. Don’t sleep on this. Tell everyone you know and CONTRIBUTE TO THE FUND!
Justice for Labor
Gamasutra author Alan Wilson wrote a passionate article about hiring policy within the gaming industry. In it, he starts a community discussion around the way labor is treated by companies, namely that people have no value to them; they are simply a line on the expense sheet, disposable. He criticizes why this isn’t just morally corrupt, but a poor business practice as well.
The thing about justice is that it can’t be dispensed by courts, cops and senators. It’s something citizens have to live and constantly engage. When we delegate justice to those with badges or those we vote for, we simultaneously withdraw and surrender our power to change things. Marrisa will not get justice without active support from an active citizenry. It’s not about individuals taking on the world, but about not withdrawing just because you feel your one little action insignificant. Every action, insofar as it contributes to the aggregate, is all that matters. We can’t get a critical mass to push for justice without adding our tiny contribution to that mass.
Pushback against corrupt labor policies. Re-examine your own beliefs about labor laws, unions and hiring practices. I remember when I wasn’t an active supporter of unions (granted, I’ve never been against them), but as I grow older I understand their necessity in a capitalistic economy. At the same time, I don’t think one must be a union supporter to rally against exploitative labor policy. I wish game developers would actually unionize. It’s funny how concerned we get only when things affect us, but these horrible hiring practices have always been around. And when we were younger, most of us thought this was fine. Once you’re on the receiving end of the discrimination, though that naivety comes back to haunt us.
Organizing to improve the way we think about business and labor would be nothing but great news for all. The threat of job outsourcing if we organize is all the more reason to do so; companies are already doing that and they will continue to as long as people are seen as expenses instead of assets. But this also happens to be an example of why injustice anywhere inevitably leads to injustice everywhere. For decades we haven’t fought on a large national scale against the exploitation of cheap labor in other countries; against the workers in India (and elsewhere) getting severely underpaid because of their desperate poverty. Now we’re the next generation of sweat shop workers, underpaid, unable to quit and unable to latch on to stable, steady employment. Maybe it’s a good thing that Americans are experiencing — more and more each year — the consequences of our economic beliefs. Maybe now we’ll become more and more proactive about changing things, or else there’ll be no future for my children or anyone else’s.
To end on a lighter note, Klepsacovic is starving his citizens in Banished. Perhaps not intentional, but it’s still WRONG. You should totally organize and protest against it, after you’re done contributing to Marrisa.
Scree Tags: #Justice #Labor #therepeater