‘I JUST BROKE DOWN CRYING’: CANADIAN VIDEO GAME CREATORS FACE GRUELLING ‘CRUNCH’ HOURS

In an industry built on fun, some employees are pushed to their breaking point

Canadian video game designer Osama Dorias works at his computer with his son sleeping on his shoulder in this picture from 2008. (Osama Dorias)

It was Osama Dorias’s first job in the video game industry.

He was thrilled to be working as a designer with a company in Montreal.

Then he got his first real taste of what’s known in the business as “crunch” — when a team crams for weeks or even months to complete a game in time for its scheduled release.

“Seven days a week, between 14- and 16-hour days,” he recently told CBC News of that experience back in 2008.

The punishing schedule went on for three months.

Dorias’s first son had just been born, but he was working every day from 8 a.m. until it was time to catch the last subway ride home.

One day, while on a diaper run, he had a breakdown in a drugstore. In tears, he called his friend.

“My mind was racing and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to live and I didn’t know how to tell him I’d left the house without asking what size diapers my son wore.”

Dorias had no idea about the proper size because he was rarely home.

LEAVE A REPLY