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Physiological Effects of Crunch: A Look at the Science

Ian Schreiber  (Game Designer, Independent)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

We all know crunch is "bad," but if asked for specifics - how much is too much, what are the actual metrics-based effects on the mind and body, is it better to do one week of horrendous crunch or several weeks of mild, backed up by actual peer-reviewed published research - most of us would have a hard time pointing to any sources of data. In this eye-opening talk, Ian Schreiber walks through a literature review of the science behind long work hours (and the sleep deprivation that can often come along for the ride) to show a clear picture of exactly what happens. Spoiler alert: it's probably more than you think!


Attendees will learn the measurable cost of crunch. Producers and project managers will gain tools to schedule crunch more intelligently so it doesn't do more harm than good. Those who find themselves in mandated crunch, meanwhile, will better be able to weigh the cost of pushing back versus pushing forward.

Intended Audience

Anyone who is likely to be involved in crunch, whether having it required of them by their employer, or mandating it for others.