Interrogating creative theory and creative work: inside the games studio

Paul Thompson, Rachel Parker, Stephen Cox

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The expansion of creative and cultural industries has provided a rich source for theoretical claims and commentary. Much of this reproduces and extends the idea that autonomy is the defining feature of both enterprises and workers. Drawing on evidence from research into Australian development studios in the global digital games industry, the paper interrogates claims concerning autonomy and related issues of insecurity and intensity, skill and specialisation ,work-play boundaries, identity and attachments. In seeking to reconnect changes in creative labour to the wider production environment and political economy, an argument is advanced that autonomy is deeply contextual and contested as a dimension of the processes of capturing value for firms and workers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Nov 2014


  • creative labour
  • effort bargain
  • labour process
  • autonomy
  • immaterial labour
  • political economy
  • games industry

Cite this

Thompson, P., Parker, R., & Cox, S. (Accepted/In press). Interrogating creative theory and creative work: inside the games studio. Sociology.