Jumping in about video game unions:
The US NLRB recently issued a revised framework, stating that after a majority of employees put in writing that they want a union, the company has to acknowledge the union or request an election. If the company does anything to dissuade the formation of a union, the NLRB will automatically consider the union official and hold the company in violation against the union.
So, basically, if a company does anything to try to kill a union drive (mandatory union busting meetings, having lawyers visit the site, firing leaders, etc.) the workers can report this to the NLRB, and it’s game over for the union busters.
The message from the NLRB is basically, “This is the end of union busting.” However, this isn’t a law, and any new leadership to the NLRB (Republican or Democrat) could change this. So, it’s probably best understood as a fire sale on starting unions. This is the best time to start a union in the US, maybe ever, and there’s no guarantee it will last.
Also, regarding the actor’s strike, while it’s been overblown, the question of digital likenesses in film and TV is a big concern for the unions, as there are already companies offering digital likeness contracts to actors which basically allow them to own their bodies, faces, and voices for eternity. However, there is already a framework for this kind of deal that is far more equitable: the video game industry.
Video game companies have been negotiating digital likeness contracts for decades, and VG companies typically do it the same way you contract an actor for any project: you define what you will use the assets for, which is typically a single project.
Production companies are trying to act as if digital likenesses are the wild west, whereas union leadership can easily point to video games and say, “There is a well worn and equitable framework that is already mature here. Your greed is transparent.”
So yeah: there’s a place where you can actually feel good about the VG industry. David Cage has to keep his creepy digital mannequin of Elliott Page for personal use.