Passion or Proft? Or Both? : Negotiating the Meaning and Conditions of Creative Work in the Digital Games Industry
Summary, in Swedish
The paper will present ongoing research and preliminary results from a study on the working conditions and working culture in the Swedish digital games industry. The study investigates the working conditions in industries where norms and structures are unclear and renegotiated due to factors such as digitalization, globalization, expansion, and particularly in working cultures characterized by informal relationships and blurred boundaries between work and life. The study departs from the following research questions: 1) How are working forms and conditions understood, experienced and negotiated? 2) How are creative work understood, experienced and organized? Through primarily in-depth interviews with game developers, motivation and driving forces are investigated, as well as experiences of (in)security related to working conditions and organizing practices. In particular, the analysis focuses on boundary negotiations between work and leisure, how different type of work is valuated socially and economically, and how creativity is understood and negotiated in a commercial context. Through the theoretical notion of ‘relational work’ coined by the sociologist Viviana Zelizer, this study analyses the nuances and complexities involved in the valuation of creative work. It shows how the game developers (re)draw boundaries between moral and economic value spheres in an interactive and situated practice, informed by structural conditions in the industry. The paper demonstrates how game developers negotiate and compromise between the ideals of being creative versus ‘selling out’, how professional identities as game developers are being shaped in this process, how boundaries between work- and friendship relations are blurred or distinguished, and how emotional engagement and allocation of time to various work tasks are being socially negotiated and normatively regulated.
- Institutionen för tjänstevetenskap
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
The 19th ILERA World Congress 2021
2021-06-21 - 2021-06-24
- Sustainable work in the creative industries: Game developers' working conditions in the digital games industry