The Labor Tech Research Network is delighted to announce Ergin Bulut’s A Precarious Game: The Illusion of Dream Jobs in the Video Game Industry as winner of the inaugural LTRN Book Award. The book, published by Cornell University Press analyzes labor in the video game industry from a political economy perspective. The author provides an ethnographic account of the politics of labor and play in a video game company, Desire, where work is racialized, gendered and stratified despite the prevailing imaginary of meritocracy. Bulut adroitly weaves feminist perspectives and critical race theory into study of an environment synonymous with technomasculinity. Through references to the broader economic climate during the research, the book further highlights a rather stark dependence of creative work on corporate financial structures that introduce another layer of precarity in an already complicated industry. Bulut’s work also combines perspectives in media studies, sociology and history of labor, and while it is situated in an American company, the book speaks to how the pleasure of a few privileged workers in companies like Desire is built around the exploitation of others located even as far as the global south.
Turkish edition of the book was published by Koç University Press.