A non-profit mental health organization has released a white paper on the state of mental health within the video game industry, speaking to a number of studios via anonymous interviews and collating information from a variety of sources.
A number of alarming statistics were named in the paper – including that 53% of developers surveyed believe overtime and crunch are expected within their studio. As expected, the major issues faced by modern developers are crunch, harassment and layoffs – as we saw earlier in the year when Activision Blizzard cut hundreds of employees despite making remarkable profits.
You can read ‘State of the Industry 2019: Mental Health in the Game Industry’ on the Take This website, as well as pilfer through a number of resources related to mental health care within the games industry – perhaps you’d like to volunteer for the organization at an upcoming trade show.
Take This also calls for increased diversity in the industry – given that only 19% of developers surveyed in the US are female, with only 32% identifying as non-caucasian/European. Better diversity, Take This hopes, will lead to improved representation in games via their characters and narratives as a consequence of more inclusive hiring practices.
Take This also used the paper to outline a few studios with some promising mental health and employee wellness models – namely Ubisoft, Wooga, Bungie, Microsoft, Big Huge Games and Certain Affinity. It’s good to see that studios are heeding the call and taking action to improve the mental health of their employees.
You can also check out this short trailer tied to the white paper announcement that explains the purpose of Take This and what they’re fighting to achieve. People working in the industry are encouraged to share their story on social media via the #gameindustrystory hashtag.