Research Questions

What factors shape success in the game industry for recent graduates?

Our project examines the complex factors that influence success in the game industry for new employees. We will examine the experiences of recent university and college graduates as they try to find work in the industry. Understanding what influences success in the industry is a key focus of this research.

What barriers make the transition from school to work difficult?

Workers in the game industry face many challenges. Difficult working conditions, unpaid or low paid contracts, and systemic discrimination against marginalised communities create and reinforce barriers to success for many. Our study will investigate what impacts these barriers have on new graduates’ career choices.

Who is affected by these barriers to success?

All workers are affected by poor labor practices, though some communities are affected more systematically and dramatically than others. Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities are much more likely to leave the games industry than their counterparts. Previous research has confirmed that systemic practices of discrimination drive these individuals from the industry. This study will examine how systemic barriers impact different workers and perpetuate inequities in the industry.

How do post-secondary games programs address these barriers to success?

Colleges and universities frequently claim to prepare students for rewarding careers in the game industry. This project will gather statistics about how many graduates find paid employment in their chosen field. In addition, the project will examine whether educational practices bring awareness of systemic and cultural barriers that inhibit success, whether policies and practices in postsecondary game programs potentially normalize negative industry practices, and whether the curriculum prepares students to identify and potentially overcome these negative practices.

How is the industry responding to challenges workers face in making the transition from school to work?

The experiences of recent graduates examined over a three year period can help to see what supports were most effective in overcoming barriers to success. This could include formal mentoring and networking programs, informal networks of backchannel support of like-minded individuals, Human Resource departments that encourage trust and disclosure.