Ea_spouse revealed

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2006/04/exclusive_nicol.html

She’s real and started a site to talk about industry conditions

http://www.gamewatch.org/news/

13 hours a day, 7 days per week.

mindbending.

My filthy commie mind boggles at the thought that this is legal.

That’s pretty much what we were doing on The Sims: Bustin’ Out. Plus one full 24h shift.

The difference being that I was hourly, so at least I got OT for it. :D

Also, those hours paid off when I got canned at the end of Sims 2, as I made the maximum possible Unemployment benefit because of them.

Aren’t they supposed to pay you overtime for that, and can’t you refuse?

Well, given that EA employees apparently won some class action lawsuits, I’d say it isn’t legal. What’s mind bending for me is that people put up with it.

Hah! Yah, you can “refuse”.

No, the lawsuits settled concerned unpaid overtime, that’s not what makes me boggle. The fact that people can be made to work 13 hour days does.

Actually, the lawsuits made it worse for many employees at EA, but that’s a story for another time.

It’s not that people can be made to work 13 hour days for weeks on end that’s the problem, it’s the perception that this makes for a better game that’s the problem.

And wow, ea_spouse sure didn’t read like it was written by a 23 year-old. I guess EA makes you grow up quick.

That’s pretty much what we were doing on The Sims: Bustin’ Out. Plus one full 24h shift.

The best part about this industry is that they somehow believe that since your ass is in your chair for 24h, obviously you’re productive for all 24 of those hours. So stupid.

Oh I’m sure nobody forced them to. At the end of the day they were free to go home at the regular time, just like any other office worker, and any additional time put in was purely of their own generosity.

Just ignore that stern-faced manager scribbling little notes down by their names. He’s just stressed because performance reviews are coming up. Ooh, things have been rough, I hear there might be layoffs. Everyone’s gotta pull together, and fortunately he knows who the team players are…

Oh, c’mon, now’s good.

Huh. She went to RPI. That’s my school.

From what I’ve heard they now pile it on pretty heavy so that in theory you don’t work overtime, but you are basically expected to get the same amount of work done.

Not related to the game industry, but a similar situation; I just talked to an old pal of mine that I worked with at a former company. He and I quit at about the same time, because the hours were stupidly long.

He informed me that he is working a job now that pays $700 per week … oh, and he works 12 hours a day all weekdays and two 8 hour shifts on weekends.

Some people in this country are just willing to do that though. I’ll keep my entry level writing job of slightly less pay, but half the hours.

I need some time to compose my thoughts and ask a few questions of my ex-coworkers to make sure I get the facts straight. I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while, but this news just solidifies my desire to do so.

I thought most of these mind-boggley questions were answered pretty well and interestingly in the recent game dev/stress threads. It’s labor competition, plain and simple.

In hot glamor industries, if you want to survive, you have to be willing to do all the same disgusting nasty shit that the legion of early twenty-somethings who are hungry to break into the industry at any cost are willing to do, and at half your pay.

No, the mind-boggle was how this could be legal. If there were laws that came down on employers who had employees working 150-hour weeks, like say laws against sweatshop labour, then this shit wouldn’t happen, period. It’s not about people doing gruntwork because of the glamour, it’s about people burning out on work hours so bad they would be frowned on by pakistani children weaving carpets.

Or we could do ourselves a favor and just kill and eat the early twenty-somethings until we rise to positions of power so that they are no longer threatening.