Unionizing the Games Industry in 2020: Voice Actors, Volunteers, and VOW!
In solidarity, this panel brings workers together from CODE-CWA, GWU LA, and SAG-AFTRA, to share their experiences and reflections on organizing the predominantly non-union video game industry. Panelists will discuss the organizing landscape (history, challenges, and strategies), building collective worker power (including recent victories!), and how YOU can get involved!
Danny Gardina is a worker-organizer turned staff organizer, and this is his first time at IndieCade. His experience comes from organizing with his coworkers at At&t to fight bad management, improve unfair working conditions, and striking for a better contract. Now he is a full time organizer working on the CODE-CWA campaign. CODE-CWA is the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, an initiative by the Communications Workers of America to support workers’ organizing efforts in the technology and game industries. Over the last year Danny has been working at CODE to help workers to build genuine power in the workplace. Danny is a lifelong avid gamer and is honored to help organize workers who make what he loves.
Devan Soyka is a freelance game writer and a member of VOW, the Voltage Organized Workers. After a childhood of video games she earned a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Spanish from James Madison University, and was afterward accepted by the JET Program to teach EFL in Japan. A contact there led her circuitously back to games after several years of editing for watchdog magazines and architectural firms. In 2017 she began to write for “Lovestruck,” an interactive romance app, and later helped form VOW along with the other Lovestruck writers. In the summer of 2020, with the help of CODE-CWA, VOW successfully struck for fair pay.
Sarah Elmaleh is an actor best known for her work in videogames – as the voice of the female Freelancer in Anthem and Raider in For Honor, as Lizzie Carmine in Gears 5, and for many indies, including Gone Home, Pyre, and Afterparty. Longtime director/co-host of the IndieCade Awards, in 2019 she also co-founded the free, multilingual online games conference gamedev.world. As a games performance consultant and labor advocate, she acts as a bridge between actors and developers to foster deeper collaboration and best practices. She is casting and voice director of the upcoming indie game Red Lantern (starring Ashly Burch), and is consulting voice producer on the recently revealed Goodbye Volcano High, from KO_OP.
- Timezone: America/Los_Angeles
- Date: Oct 16 2020
- Time: 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm