Best things to happen in gaming
1. Unionization advocacy and efforts
Video game workers are often exploited. They're forced to crunch on games for weeks, sometimes months, without overtime pay, can be laid off or fired from jobs without severance, and are often not eligible for benefits from their employers. These aren't just reports from one company. It's an industry-wide problem, so workers are looking to do something about it.
Over the past couple of years, unionization efforts, like Game Workers Unite, have been ramping up. Public conversations and internet campaigns have become much more common as workers look to fix the issues plaguing the industry. There hasn't been anything concrete yet, but seeing so many people attempting to fix a systemic issue or looking to openly talk about them is a huge step in the right direction. If we love games (and we do) we must treat the people that make them fairly. A union is one way to make sure they're protected. -Carli Velocci
2. Push for greater inclusion
We're nowhere near a point where the games industry can pat itself on the back for greater inclusion and representation, but we're slowly getting there. It takes time. The last decade has seen an increase in the amount of minority representation across several communities. We're seeing more LGBTQ+ characters; we're seeing more women; we're seeing more disabled characters; we're seeing more people of color. For any pitfalls that some studios may stumble into in their efforts for diversity, I'm happy to see (some of) them truly trying. -Jennifer Locke
3. Push for more disability/accessibility features
Games are for everyone — or at least, they should be. Unfortunately, they're not always designed that way. That's why we're glad this last decade has been marked by an uptick in accessibility features so that no one is left out. You have in-game settings like colorblind modes or the ability to remap buttons on your controller. Subtitles are becoming the norm. The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a thing that exists, and I wouldn't have expected it years ago. This is another area where we still have a long way to go, but with organizations like The AbleGamers Charity (founded in 2004), the future looks bright. -Jennifer Locke
4. Extra Life really takes off
Extra Life may have been founded in 2008, but it's really taken off over the last 10 years. Extra Life is a fundraising event that anyone can participate in that raises money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), which provides 32 million treatments to children each year. The event has raised over $50 million in donations since its inception, with all proceeds going directly to the hospitals, by having people team up and play games for a 24-hour period every year. It's become a tradition to get people from across the gaming world together for a good cause and it works. -Jennifer Locke
5. Games Done Quick raises money for charity
Games Done Quick started off the decade by hosting its first charity marathon on January 1, 2010. Since then the semiannual speedrunning event has raised over $22.5 million, much of which went towards the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. Special speedrunning marathons have also been held to raise money for relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. A community banding together can do a lot of good. -Jennifer Locke
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