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Videogame developers among 'extreme workers': Are death marches over?
E-journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies
  • Marie-Josee Legault, Teluq-UQAM
  • Johanna Weststar, Western University
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Purpose: The videogame industry is a work environment that is emblematic of O’Carroll’s (2015) encompassing model of a 24/7/365 working time model of flexibility. We use O’Carroll’s model to challenge two myths about videogame developers (VGDs): the long hours of work are in fact unpredictable hours, and flextime HR programs do not allow for real control over working hours.

Design/methodology/approach: We use a mixed methods approach (international online survey and 100 Canadian interviews) to analyse the case of VGDs - a different, but similar type of worker to the IT workers analysed by O’Carroll.

Findings: We can generalize O’Carroll’s model based on the IT case to the VGD case. Based on these two cases, we propose that the rise of project-based work environments is a major explanatory factor of this raising trend in the 24/7/365 model of flexibility.

Research limitations/implications: More research examining project based regimes in other sectors and settings is required to generalize further.

Originality/value: Though this model can appear to fit the reality of knowledge work in general, it more accurately describes project-based work in creative environments, which is nearly always knowledge work, but the reverse cannot be inferred.


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Citation Information
Marie-Josee Legault and Johanna Weststar. "Videogame developers among 'extreme workers': Are death marches over?" E-journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies Vol. 6 Iss. 3 (2017) p. 1 - 23
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