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About this Author
Andrew Phelps Andrew Phelps is an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, NY. He is the founding faculty member of the Game Programming Concentration within the Department of Information Technology and his work in games programming education has been featured in The New York Times, CNN.com, USA Today, National Public Radio, and other publications. Email: amp-at-it.rit.edu
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January 28, 2005

Whoa... its bad press time...

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Posted by Andrew Phelps

Just a short one, but I went down to my faculty mailbox today and picked up the latest Communications of the ACM. For those not in higher ed, or in the sciences, CACM is the communications bulliten for the Association of Computing Machinery, one of the two main professional societies for the study of computing (the other being the IEEE).

Now, the ACM doesn’t often cover things in the games related space - they have only recently begun a journal on Computers in Entertainment, but for the years that I (and every other) academic in computing have been subscribed, we hardly ever hear about gaming. So I was excited to see games related coverage in CACM! Go Gaming Industy! Then I read it…

…it is yet more coverage of the working conditions and programmer exploitation by the industry, the 80 hour work weeks and no overtime / reward. Hardly the kind of thing that presents to the academic community that this is an industry of professional colleagues. I am growing increasingly weary of seeing this (and only this) mentioned lately. Surely, somewhere, there are examples of games companies that have good work practices, build software on time yet don’t burn out all their dev teams, and still have fun at the end of the day?

Anyone?

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COMMENTS

1. Tony on January 29, 2005 12:23 AM writes...

I don't work in the industry, so take this with a grain of salt, but there don't seem to be many rumblings out of Blizzard or Bungie employees. Coincidence?

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2. Andy on January 30, 2005 12:55 PM writes...

No there aren't. In fact, the person I know at Blizzard is *really* happy there. They just don't seem to be getting any press, my fear is to that people on the outside it looks even worse than it is, because all of the coverage is one-sided.

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3. Eben on February 1, 2005 3:50 PM writes...

This article from Game Developer magazine (reprinted at Gamasutra) talks about how to make games without too much crunch.

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050131/howie_01.shtml

Studios that I've heard about as good examples include Blue Fang, Firaxis, and Bioware. I know there are few others as well, though I can't think of them off the top of my head.

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4. Geek Josh on February 17, 2005 1:46 PM writes...

Hey great blog you have here. I linked to it fom mine hope that's okay. If you would rather i didn't feel free to drop a comment on mine and I'll remove you. Thanks.

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