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How to End Crunch: Frontline Perspectives on Overwork in Video Games Roundtable Day 2

Jakin Vela  (Executive Director, International Game Developers Association)

Thomas Smith  (Senior Director of Organizing, Communications Workers of America)

Location: Room 308, South Hall

Date: Friday, March 24

Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Friday Only Expo Pass

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Roundtable

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

Audience Level: All

Video game studios continue to require excessive hours during "crunch" periods in the lead up to releases or critical updates. Excessive work hours can disrupt people's lives and lead to serious health problems including anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, compromised immune system functioning, and more. The 2021 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey (DSS) found that across all respondents, one-third said their job involved crunch time and a further 22% said that their job required periods of long hours or extended over time, but they just didn't call it crunch. Among those who experienced crunch, 58% of employees, 64% of freelancers, and 63% of the self-employed had crunched more than twice in the past two years, which is a significant increase compared to the 2019 DSS. The culture of crunch often starts in school, and young workers are expected to prove themselves by their willingness to work "voluntary" over-time. But many studios have also taken steps to limit crunch or even eliminate this harmful practice entirely. This roundtable will bring together developers, QA, and other functions across the video games sector to discuss common sense solutions to this industry-wide problem.


-Learn about trends with crunch and excessive hours in the video game industry;
-Hear directly from other video game workers about their experiences with crunch and how it impacts their lives;
-Discuss best practices to avoid crunch and learn how to promote these practices across various types of workplaces and employment relationships in the video game sector.

Intended Audience

-Video game workers and managers seeking to learn about crunch and how to mitigate the harmful effects of excessive hours;
-Industry observers and journalists seeking to better understand the realities of crunch and how it can be limited or eliminated.