Video gaming, as we all know by now, is a huge industry. It has grown by leaps and bounds since its very first iterations into what is now an industry that is reportedly richer than the global box office and the music industry combined. Most of us in this corner of the internet world are not unaware of all of that. However, there are many who don’t visit specialist websites like ours, likely never realizing how large the games industry is and how many firestorms have sprung from it, which is where Al Jazeera English’s latest report comes in.
For those who are perhaps unfamiliar, Al Jazeera is a news organization that is funded in part by the Qatari state government, though it maintains that it has no editorial bias imposed by the government. The Al Jazeera news network spans 80 bureaus around the globe, making it one of the larger news media organizations in the world on par with CNN or BBC in terms of size.
The news network’s Start Here video series, which describes itself as a show that tries to “contextualize, simplify and beautifully present the building blocks for both big and small stories from around the world – in around seven minutes,” has put together an episode all about the games industry. The video runs through the numbers of gaming’s growth in terms of both money and players, and briefs the headlines of various scandals specific to the industry such as GamerGate, crunch culture, the treatment of women and minority groups, and the slowly building calls for games workers to unionize.
Again, much of this program is old news to most of us here, but the video does a good job of compartmentalizing several years’ worth of headlines into a single piece for those who either want further context or want a briefing on what has happened recently, which could be particularly helpful for those who don’t follow every single story about gaming due to thinking it’s still “kid’s stuff.”