This month I am looking at the game censorship debate and offering, for your approval, the argument for why it is critically important that we initiate a positive, rational videogame PR movement, and why there is no better time than right now.
Erin Hoffman's Inside Job
Erin Hoffman shook the foundations of the game industry with her infamous "EA Spouse" blog. Now she's illuminating the industry's quality of life debate from the inside out. Every two weeks, take a new look inside the machine that drives the industry with Inside Job.
Game production lets flow run wild for a series of reasons. The first and most common excuse is "if people want to work late voluntarily, I'm not going to stop them." It's voluntary, right? Who am I to intercede? The problem is telling someone to go home can actually quantifiably increase the quality of his output and is therefore more efficient than allowing him to run himself ragged.
So as long as there is an annual cycle, and as long as there is heavy competition, not to mention shifting publisher demand, there is going to be a turbulent cocktail of events coming between game developers and the noble attempt to have a reasonable family life.
But these are exterior challenges. On top of them, beneath them, around them, is a deeper problem:
Crunch is addictive.
As promised, two weeks ago, I began my journey to find out first-hand what parents today really thought about videogames, and how, as a community, developers and gamers could reach out to them to provide information and support.
While we, as a gaming community, have a more direct experience with the dangers, or lack thereof, of videogames, the parents of the current generation don't, and they're terrified of them. This doesn't, however, make them bad parents.
Erin Hoffman speaks about wooing today's parents to the videogame cause.
Game studios run into the problem of restricting internet access more squarely than other forms of software development both because the very creative nature of what we do requires a certain pull from real life (frequently filtered through the Internet) and because many game programmers will argue that being able to stop and take a break actually assists in productivity.
If there were a perfect game studio, what would it look like?
In this installment of "Inside Job," Erin Hoffman investigates what factors into the perfect place to work.
In this second installment of The Inside Job, I'll be turning over the quality of life discussion to an assortment of developers who have kindly agreed to answer that most ponderous of questions: What is "quality of life"?
The thing with game developers and uncool is a lot of us spent our youths carrying around that label. Only within the last decade has anything having to do with computers become chic or trendy. And boy do we ever not want to be in the nerd camp again. So heaven forbid we talk about something so uncool as "quality of life," and don't even get me started on scheduling, child care or education.