thatpinguino's forum posts

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#1 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@jaalmo: the idea of a copyright is pretty off base because people who appropriate the work of another culture almost never have to give back the money they make off of their appropriation. For example, Elvis made his money by singing blues songs that were largely written by African Americans who were largely shunned by white audiences. He was talented, but what differentiated him was his ability to sell black music to a white audience. Of course he there was no culture police force that took his money or fame when rock historians figured out the full context of his work. It's just a sad story about how the people who created the music that Elvis sang didn't fully benefit from their work.

There's no enforcement on behaving rudely or selfishly outside of being called a jerk. So I really can't get upset about people trying to be more thoughtful about where the things they like originate. And I fully support the benefits of creating something cool going to the person or people who actually created it.

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#2 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

Cultural appropriation etiquette isn't that hard. Don't recreate the music or art of another culture and claim to have invented it or profit off of it (the Elvis problem). And don't treat another culture as a costume or a fun gimmick. Just treat other people and their cultures with respect and you'll be fine.

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#3 Edited by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ltcolumbo: I don't get paid overtime, so my company doesn't ask me to do it. I've done it maybe a handful of times over a couple of years. I'm doing fine.

My understanding in most gaming crunch situations is that the overtime is both not optional and not fairly compensated. Though obviously even compensated overtime has its limits. Compensated overtime for 6 months straight is still a problem, though not a financial one.

Edit: also worth mentioning that the specifics of overtime pay are also important. If you make twice your normal rate during overtime, it's a much different story than if you make half rate.

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#4 Edited by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ltcolumbo: Per my contract, I don't get paid an extra cent for overtime. The same is true in most of the programming jobs I know of. Fairly compensated overtime is a completely different question than the one we are having. Crunch practices at gaming companies, at least in the US, often do not come with any additional pay other than the implied carrot of residuals down the line, if that. If paid overtime were the norm, I'd be fine with that. Then companies would have to make a real cost-benefit choice about forcing their employees to work extra hours. They likely would avoid crunch entirely because it would not make sense, cost-wise. But right now it's just pure exploitation. The contracts are for 40 hour a week jobs with the knowledge that they can strong arm you into performing more work because the jobs are so sparse and the training is so specialized.

Even in a paid overtime situation I'd like some kind of regulation on the maximum amount of overtime you can work in a given year, just to make sure it is actually planned. It's not like a municipal job where the work must get done or society suffers. If your game takes an extra few months, the only person losing out is your financiers or marketers.

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#5 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@reap3r160: So you never heard of the EA spouse letter, Tell Tale closing last month in the dead of night while their employees were still working with no heads up, mass layoffs that follow almost every major AAA release? None of those things are real issues?

And on your personal example, if you think you're going to keep running on 5-6 hours of sleep for the rest of your working life, good luck with that.

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#6 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ballisticbooger: Except you are literally arguing for the way the world currently is. Crunch is already ubiquitous. You're on the winning side of the argument. And you're arguing there's nothing wrong with that to people who are clearly pointing out actionable issues. Someone has to speak for the powerful and against work standards I guess?

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#7 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ballisticbooger: Oh I understand the point you're making. It's just a terrible point. And you know that. That's why you made this thread and named it what you did. That's why you're here arguing the way you are. It's a very peculiar position that says "actually the status quo is great and agreeing with management makes me a brave truth teller", but that's your position. And fine, to each there own. But you're going to get a bunch of pushback because it's a bad opinion. Which again, you know because you made this thread.

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#8 Edited by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

"Look, just because some people can't tolerate high exposures to lead like some superior beings can doesn't mean we should force people to give up on cheap, elegant lead piping! No one should tell you how to funnel water into your home! What are we going to do, force people to pay slightly more for a virile, quality spigot? That sure sounds like oppression."

(Needless to say, I'm done playing the game with a hot take artist. I just can't handle the searing blaze that is "The status quo is so good that all moves to improve it are actually oppression")

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#9 Edited by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ballisticbooger: I think you are both wrong about your assertion that the industries with the most overtime hours are the highest paid and that the tradeoffs are always made willingly. I can't just choose to quit my job if I rely on that income to live. I mean I can choose to quit, if I want to be financially ruined and lose my home. That's not a fair or real choice. And in some fields changing jobs can be impossible due to noncompete clauses and confidentiality clauses. For example, in the gaming industry, non-competes can forbid jumping ship to another company in your field regardless of what you want. Confidentiality agreements leave giant gaps in your resume until the game you were working on comes out (assuming it actually comes out at all) and that can make you unhireable unless you stay on for the whole project. For most people simply changing industries because the industry has shitty practices is a huge hurdle as well, between specialized training and logistical issues of finding someone to take a chance on a middle-aged newcomer. The power to force crunch is largely predicated on those facts. People can't simply leave so they put up with bad conditions

And despite all of that, it is some times "worth it" because you get a big bonus or get to advance your career. And sometimes your game gets canceled or your studio gets shuttered despite your crunching and you end up with nothing to show for all of the time you spent not sleeping or seeing your family.

This isn't a situation like a doctor, where a patient could die if a doctor isn't on call (and even ER doctor work weeks could use refinement so they aren't burnt out). This is an industry where those extra hours might mean a few extra animations, textures, or a mechanic. All I'm saying is that if those features are worth doing, they are worth planning for properly. If they require crunch, maybe they weren't actually worth doing at all.

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#10 Posted by thatpinguino (2840 posts) -

@ballisticbooger: I think you are pretty clearly misinterpreting the critiques of crunch. People who criticize crunch in gaming often also criticize greater than 40 hour work weeks in all other industries. This is not a naive, gaming-centric take, this is a pro labor stance applied to gaming. Pointing out that other industries also have poor labor practices does not excuse gaming, it merely indicts other industries as well.

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