Rationalizing work through occupational communities in independent games development

Wright, Adrian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2803-212X and Marsh, Dorota orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5042-1407 (2022) Rationalizing work through occupational communities in independent games development. In: Research Handbook on the Sociology of Organizations. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 276-292. ISBN 9781839103254

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Extant literature reveals the extreme and exploitative nature of work in the experiences of digital game developers. Accounts of self-exploitation have often been rationalised as willing exploitation fuelled by the emotional connection and high level of identification individuals have with their work. Using ethnography of networking events attended by digital game developers, this chapter examines how the collective values of two occupational communities shape the values and beliefs of developers. The findings reveal that the community acts as a route to further self-exploitation as the unintended consequences of shared values of sociality, altruism and enterprise contribute towards the acceptance and normalisation of self-exploitative practices.

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