A blog about my forays into computer graphics and the visual effects industry.
Geek culture takes such strongly held commonalities of interest and consumption far more seriously than most other subcultures. I recently wrote a piece for this publication which was, in part, about the replacement of traditional class, gender, and racial solidarity with a culture of consumption. Here, in the video game creation business, is the way capital harnesses geek culture to actively harm workers. The exchange is simple: you will work 60-hour weeks for a quarter less than other software fields; in exchange, you have a seat at the table of your primary identifying culture’s ruling class.
- 12 percent of respondents had been laid off within the last year. That’s over twice as high as the national mass layoff rate and higher than the national unemployment rate. Of those, 12 percent were still unemployed at the time of survey publication – again, well above national unemployment rates.
- While the overall salary numbers are only slightly lower than what workers in other software fields make, the entry level salaries for each position are consistently and significantly lower in the video game industry.
- The gender gap is massive and inexcusable. The job with the most female representation, producer, clocked in at just 23 percent and an average salary $7,000 less than males’. Female programmers stand at 4 percent; QA, the front door to a career in the industry, at a woeful 7 percent.
- Indie games, the only currently viable ticket to breaking the stranglehold of the big studios, are a ticket to poverty. The average indie worker made $23,000 a year.
- A whopping 84 percent of respondents work “crunch time,” those notorious 41+ hour work weeks which line up with the end of big projects. Of those, 32 percent worked 61-80 hours week (and usually goes on for months).
You think the product’s bad, you think the journalism covering the product’s bad, check out how the industry functions.(via freemasonic-yowl)