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Op Ed

GamesBeat - Game developers must avoid the 'wage-slave' attitude - by Alex St. John.
"Anybody good enough to get hired to write games can get paid more to work on something else. If working on a game for 80 hours a week for months at a time seems 'strenuous' to you … practice more until you’re better at it. Making games is not a job, pushing a mouse is not a hardship, it’s the most amazing opportunity you can possibly get paid to pursue … start believing it, and you’ll discover that you are even better at it."

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25. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:34 Squirmer
 
Something for St John to read

Studies show that, over time, working long hours can increase your risk of depression, heart attack, and heart disease

working too much can actually impair cognitive function... Compared to those who worked 40 hours per week, those who worked 55 hours per week showed poorer vocabulary and reasoning.

Overtime only works in short bursts, and when sustained, does not increase productivity and may actually hamper it.

Many of these workers loved their jobs, and called them “exciting,” “an adrenaline rush,” and “addictive.” However, they took a serious toll on their intimate relationships and their health. “Close to 50% of extreme workers are so depleted and drained when they get home at night that they’re speechless — incapable of conversation,” writes Hewlett in an article for the Harvard Business Review. “This can be rough on partners and spouses.” Her research also found links between long hours and chronic insomnia, weight gain, infertility, and heart problems.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:30 Cutter
 
D_K_night wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 18:23:
"Work-life balance" is a concept which doesn't matter...

...until it does. In your 20's you can work those 80+ hours/week, sleep underneath your cubicle, use the shower at work(if there is one), and subsist entirely on Coke and pizza.

Then one day you hit 35. Somewhere along the way you managed to find a girlfriend, and somehow make enough time to have a wedding and marry her. Somewhere along the way, kids came into the picture.

That's the moment the concept "work-life balance" begins to matter. And that's something that young 20-something's just don't understand, when they sneer and jeer at it.

You just wait till it matters. You just wait.

I see it as the opposite of that. More and more young people understand the importance of that balance and they work to live, not live to work. And that's as it should be. There's an old expression, no one ever died saying 'I should have spent more time at the office.' So good on them. Revel in your time and enjoy your youth while you're young because there may not be a later.
 
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"I've got an emo streak. It's part of what makes me so rad." - Rick Sanchez
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23. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:29 HorrorScope
 
Squirmer wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 18:18:
"My wife is leaving and my life is falling apart, but that's totally fine because I get to make video games for a living!!"


Yeah pretty odd to think someone would plan a career like that.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:29 Squirmer
 
D_K_night wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 18:23:
"Work-life balance" is a concept which doesn't matter...

...until it does. In your 20's you can work those 80+ hours/week, sleep underneath your cubicle, use the shower at work(if there is one), and subsist entirely on Coke and pizza.

Then one day you hit 35. Somewhere along the way you managed to find a girlfriend, and somehow make enough time to have a wedding and marry her. Somewhere along the way, kids came into the picture.

That's the moment the concept "work-life balance" begins to matter. And that's something that young 20-something's just don't understand, when they sneer and jeer at it.

You just wait till it matters. You just wait.
One of the reasons the game industry is dominated by 20-somethings.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:28 HorrorScope
 
Creston wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 17:41:
Not everyone has the ability or the opportunity to go indie. And most that DO go indie essentially starve, since they can't make any money.


Yeah not all that long ago if you made a good game you could expect a good chance at making some dough. Now with the saturation it's has a bit of luck in it now that you picked the right genra, did it well and just enough of the right people bought it and loved it to spread the gospel. There are tons of good games and that isn't enough now.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:25 gommerstrike
 
Stormsinger wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 13:00:
Oh goodie...another rich, entitled prick telling those who actually -do- the work to stop bitching about long hours, poor pay and bad management.

Oh, venturebeat...should have known. That's as big a shock as finding an article promoting lower capital gains taxes on Forbes.

yeah, sadly typical of a dude in a management position, cracking the whip over the young, entitled kids who won't "pay their dues".

Let me guess. He goes home at 5pm to his family and meanwhile the the rows of cubicles don't get to leave until 9pm.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:23 gommerstrike
 
"Work-life balance" is a concept which doesn't matter...

...until it does. In your 20's you can work those 80+ hours/week, sleep underneath your cubicle, use the shower at work(if there is one), and subsist entirely on Coke and pizza.

Then one day you hit 35. Somewhere along the way you managed to find a girlfriend, and somehow make enough time to have a wedding and marry her. Somewhere along the way, kids came into the picture.

That's the moment the concept "work-life balance" begins to matter. And that's something that young 20-something's just don't understand, when they sneer and jeer at it.

You just wait till it matters. You just wait.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 18:18 Squirmer
 
Loving games isn't enough to sustain you when you're working 80 hours a week, feeling like shit all the time, trying not to let your marriage fall apart because you never see your family for more than a few minutes a day, missing out on everything else that's happening in the world because you're stuck at a desk your whole life.

"My wife is leaving and my life is falling apart, but that's totally fine because I get to make video games for a living!!"

Fuck this guy. He tells people to quit so he can hire someone else with more "passion", but it's not passion that makes them put up with shit working conditions, it's desperation. This cunt hires people in vulnerable positions who need money so they can pay the rent, and will tolerate the shit he puts them through because they have no other option. Or he hires young kids just entering working life who will tolerate his bullshit because they don't have families, or because they don't even realize they're being mistreated and they think this is just what working life is. He's fucking scum.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 17:41 Creston
 
What the shit? So basically "Shut the fuck up and love it"?

I'm sure for some people, making games is a dream come true. For most devs, however, it's just a job. Same as everyone else. And like everyone else, they're going to get fucking pissed if someone tells them to "just believe it's the greatest thing in the world."

Not everyone has the ability or the opportunity to go indie. And most that DO go indie essentially starve, since they can't make any money.

 
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16. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 16:42 NotOneOfUs
 
Found myself agreeing with some parts of Alex's article (where I think some of the things he wrote were just poorly stated), but more with Rami's response - and I *really* do not like Rami.

I'll just take that as them being both human, with different experiences, and the capacity to be both right and wrong in the same article.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 16:16 Dev
 
Quboid wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 16:03:
Eirikrautha wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 15:00:
Finally, someone with some reading comprehension skills!
Reading more than the blurb; it's like a cheat code for the Internet.
Wait what? There's someone who actually RTFA?
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 16:03 Quboid
 
Eirikrautha wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 15:00:
Finally, someone with some reading comprehension skills!

Reading more than the blurb; it's like a cheat code for the Internet.


hauled out by security, apparently.

Can't fault the guy for going out in style.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 15:58 HorrorScope
 
I agree with this on avg:

"Anybody good enough to get hired to write games can get paid more to work on something else."

Now working 80 hours on your passion is fine to if you are single or your wife doesn't like to see you around.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 15:58 ViRGE
 
mag wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 14:34:
WildTangent's games are terrible and Alex St. John got himself fired from MS because he was burned out.
Not just fired, but hauled out by security, apparently.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 15:00 Eirikrautha
 
Quboid wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 14:53:
Stormsinger wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 13:00:
Oh goodie...another rich, entitled prick telling those who actually -do- the work to stop bitching about long hours, poor pay and bad management.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 14:03:
So, the article is St. John saying "you should totally stop complaining that you're working insane hours, and not getting paid overtime for it, or anything at all, for that matter."

No, he's saying that if you don't like working for somebody else in bad conditions for little reward, you should do something about it other than whinge impotently - "I tell these people; quit, go make great games on your own, pursue your passion".

I don't agree with what he says (no, St. John, getting "rich accidentally" isn't an adequate comparison) it's very different from him telling people to shut up and making him more money. Pretty much the direct opposite, in fact.

Finally, someone with some reading comprehension skills!
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 14:53 Quboid
 
Stormsinger wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 13:00:
Oh goodie...another rich, entitled prick telling those who actually -do- the work to stop bitching about long hours, poor pay and bad management.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 17, 2016, 14:03:
So, the article is St. John saying "you should totally stop complaining that you're working insane hours, and not getting paid overtime for it, or anything at all, for that matter."

No, he's saying that if you don't like working for somebody else in bad conditions for little reward, you should do something about it other than whinge impotently - "I tell these people; quit, go make great games on your own, pursue your passion".

I don't agree with what he says (no, St. John, getting "rich accidentally" isn't an adequate comparison) it's very different from him telling people to shut up and making him more money. Pretty much the direct opposite, in fact.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 14:34 mag
 
WildTangent's games are terrible and Alex St. John got himself fired from MS because he was burned out.  
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8. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 14:30 jdreyer
 
Working 9 to 5 and wanting a little work-life balance is being a "wage slave?"  
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"I survived the 2020 removedpocalypse."
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7. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 14:03 HoSpanky
 
So, the article is St. John saying "you should totally stop complaining that you're working insane hours, and not getting paid overtime for it, or anything at all, for that matter."

You should just be happy that you can make games, whether or not you like the game you're making or if you can afford to live.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Apr 17, 2016, 13:39 talmand
 
It's nice to see when a big name in the gaming industry, such as St. John here, out themselves as the incredibly large assholes that they really are.  
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