Gamework Follow-Up

Following up on yesterday's post - monitoring an interesting exchange at Gamewatch on employer-employee relationships and responsibilities in the game industry.

Here's a telling quote:

"The industry is still so new, that they weren't even able to teach this in schools a few years ago, and it was the people who do the work now that learned it by themselves and showed everyone how to do it. Everyone making games does highly creative work, even programmers, and you could liken all of the games related work to art. How do you treat an artist? Do you sit him down, take away all distractions, give him 8 hour day with set hours, and say "paint the next Mona Lisa"? If you do, you have no understanding of what it means to do art."

In a way, this is the crux of the whole 'media work' issue: it is creative work (whether you are a journalist, a scriptwriter for TV, or a game developer), thus cannot be contained or neatly structured in a 40-hour workweek. That opens up possibilities for exploitation - which clearly happens in all media industries - while at the same time offers opportunities for artistic excellence in a globaL 24/7 culture economy. Safe to say the jury is still out on how exactly to organize this - but the trend towards workforce flexibility and differentiated productivity is felt particularly among media professionals, and will trickle down to all other sectors of the economy.