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Video Game Unionization Endorsed By US Presidential Candidate

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Crunch hits the campaign.

Video game unionization has been increasingly talked-about in light of recent events, and now the idea has received a high-profile endorsement from US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The Vermont Senator is currently running to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, and expressed support for game unionization on Twitter.

The tweet referenced the size of the multi-billion dollar industry and praised the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Game Workers Unite for organizing workers. He also linked to an article from Time, summarizing recent developments in the industry that have led to calls for unionization.

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Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist, and has often spoken on unionization and workers rights issues. He is one of almost two dozen Democratic candidates vying for the nomination.

Unionization has been an especially pertinent topic in recent months following reports of heavy crunch at several high-profile studios. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick recently expressed his thoughts about crunch, but expressed willingness to engage in collective bargaining. Some studios have made a point to respond directly to crunch, and Nintendo recently suggested its delay to Animal Crossing: New Horizons was to promote a healthy work-life balance. The crunch periods have spurred on calls from outside groups, including an open letter from the AFL-CIO.

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Steve Watts

Steve Watts has loved video games since that magical day he first saw Super Mario Bros. at his cousin's house. He's been writing about games as a passion project since creating his own GeoCities page, and has been reporting, reviewing, and interviewing in a professional capacity for more than 15 years. He is GameSpot's preeminent expert on Hearthstone, a title no one is particularly fighting him for, but he'll claim it anyway.

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