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Video Game Professionals Can Have Better Quality of Life

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Posted by Allison on April 29, 2004 9:48 AM
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According to a report released by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) entitled "Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices", the lifestyles of video game developers who were surveyed leave much to be desired. Because of the high stress work atmosphere (often leading to a high stress home atmosphere), many developers see their time in game development as relatively short term, leading many to leave the industry before their best work is done.
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CMP Game Group Press Release

Video Game Professionals Can Have Better Quality of Life Says International Game Developers Association
IGDA White Paper Explores Work/Life Issues and Presents Solutions to Establishing a Better Balance

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has recently released a white paper entitled "Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices". Prepared by the IGDA's Quality of Life Committee, representing a wide range of game development professions and companies, the IGDA white paper discusses the problems and consequences developers face when trying to maintain a career in the industry and solutions for establishing a better work/life balance.

The white paper is partly based on the results of the "Quality of Life Survey" commissioned by the IGDA in early 2004, which garnered nearly one thousand responses from developers. The survey examined developers' attitude toward work, their internal pressures (salary, long hours, job instability), external pressures (family and relationships), inadequate staffing and work organization problems. Some of the alarming findings from the survey include:

- 34.3% of developers expect to leave the industry within 5 years, and
51.2% within 10 years.
- Only 3.4% said that their coworkers averaged 10 or more years of
experience.
- Crunch time is omnipresent, during which respondents work 65 to
80 hours a week (35.2%). The average crunch work week exceeds
80 hours 13% of the time. Overtime is often uncompensated (46.8%).
- 44% of developers claim they could use more people or special skills
on their projects.
- Spouses are likely to respond that "You work too much..." (61.5%);
"You are always stressed out." (43.5%); "You don't make enough money."
(35.6%).
- Contrary to expectations, more people said that games were only one of
many career options for them (34%) than said games were their only
choice (32%).


"While game development is a stimulating and rewarding career, the work conditions are often taxing, making it hard to sustain a balanced lifestyle and leading many senior developers to leave the industry before they've done their best work," said Jason Della Rocca, Program Director, IGDA. "And it is not just the community that is affected, these issues also impact the quality of games produced."

The IGDA white paper explains how studios can adopt best practices to help alleviate some of the stress and allow for a more balanced life:

* Family friendly practices
* A conscious effort to minimize overtime
* Better communication between management and developers
* Better contracts between individuals, studios and publishers
* Better planning and budgeting
* Better human resource management


To download a copy of the "Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices" white paper, please visit http://www.igda.org/qol/

About the IGDA

The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit membership organization that advocates globally on issues related to digital game creation. The IGDA's mission is to strengthen the international game development community and effect change to benefit that community. For more information on the IGDA, please visit www.igda.org or email info@igda.org.









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