The majority of games are multi-platform, but there are just enough high-profile exclusives on every console that the idea of a console war is perpetuated every generation. And instead of calling it out as an obvious scam, we smear blood on our faces and prepare to fight for our tribe again.
Terrible Working Conditions Are A Game Industry Standard
If you follow gaming news, you may have noticed the recent ker that fuffled when Alex St. John, creator of DirectX and noted enthusiast of looking like a giant dickweed in photos, called game development an industry full of "fragile, lazy millennials" because some had the audacity to complain about 80-hour work weeks and unpaid overtime. He also encouraged developers to exploit women, autistic men, and younger employees, because St. John is bad at living up to his last name.
"Surprise"; he has an oral fixation too.
But shouldn't we all be upset by those actual industry practices, which see just under half of game employees work 60-hour weeks, 17 percent work 70 hours, and 38 percent not receive overtime compensation? And that's to say nothing of the infamous "crunch time," where in the final weeks leading up to a game's deadline, employees work late into the nights and through the weekends, sometimes sleeping at their desks, so they can finish the game. Eighty-one percent of employees have gone through crunch time at least once in their career, while 50 percent consider it a normal part of the industry. There's no shortage of horror stories about those long work hours causing health problems, dooming relationships, and creating entirely new kinds of chair-funk.
"Still, I'd rather die than not include my Flintstones Easter egg that no more than six people will enjoy!"
But because working in the multi-billion-dollar game industry is often seen as a special honor, instead of a normal career that one uses to pay bills and not die, no one wants to make waves. The layoff rate is absurd enough as it is -- often your reward for keeping your head down and working 70-hour weeks for months without complaint is a pink slip. So why should gamers care? Well, for starters, one study found that mandatory crunch time led to worse games, not better ones, based on Metacritic scores. That's because extended crunch time suggests a game was badly planned from the get-go, and also because people who work all hours of the day to the detriment of their health and personal lives shockingly don't always produce their best work. And we'll never know how many people with good, fresh ideas were ground to dust by the industry before they had the chance to express them. Also, it's just generally kind of shitty of us to force the people who make the games that we love to choose between their careers and their home lives just so we can play a game a month earlier.
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Which Sci-Fi Trope Would You Bring To The Real World, And Why? Every summer, we're treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There's man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones, and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it's time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O'Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked's Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent and comedians David Huntsberger, Adam Newman, and Caitlin Gill to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality. Get your tickets to this live podcast here!
Let's keep this pixelated train full of bullshit going with 5 Ways The Gaming Industry Is Way More Sexist Than You Think and 5 Innovative Ways The Gaming Industry Is Screwing You.
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