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Emotional journeys in game design teams

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Abstract

There is little research into the emotional dimension of creative industry personnel, such as computer game designers, and how emotions relate to their creative practices and work-related events. Such socioemotional work is the focus of this chapter. There is a practice-centered relevance to this topic too – it is reported that there exists a poor quality of life in many global game studios. Given our deficient knowledge of emotions in computer game development, and the practical resonance of this topic, our key research question is: What emotions, creative practices and work-related events characterize emotional journeys in computer game design teams, and how do these characteristics inter-relate? To explore and answer this research question, we draw on an in-depth field study of a computer games studio in Singapore. The chapter offers a theory of emotion-mediated improvisation as a coping model for the tumultuous emotional journeys that game developers endure.