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Some recollections of working in the games industry

From 2004 to 2005 I worked at a new Ubisoft studio. Technically it was “Guillemot Entertainment” at the time (before it was renamed to Longtail Studios, and then later moved to Halifax and became Ubisoft Halifax), but it was basically Ubisoft; we used Ubisoft corporate letterhead, our QA and publishing went through Ubisoft, our paychecks came from Ubisoft, and so on. And, most importantly, our studio head was GĂ©rard Guillemot, one of the Guillemot brothers. Notably, Yves runs Ubisoft as a whole, and Michel ran Gameloft, which was (at the time) Ubisoft’s foray into mobile gaming.

Because it’s relevant to the current discussion around the games industry and its rampant toxicity, I have a few stories to share.

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On chronic pain

Note: While reading this you may be tempted to give me advice on things to help with chronic pain or wrist problems. Believe me when I say I have almost certainly heard it before, and I am not interested in advice; I simply want to help spread understanding.

I have, since my late teenage years, had chronic pain in both wrists, a result of heavy computer use that started when I was very young. I was fascinated by computers and absolutely determined to become an expert at everything that could be done on them; this drive led me to many spans of overworking as I tried to do everything I could in as short a time as I could. This obsessiveness combined with poor ergonomic practices led to a slow buildup of nerve adhesions and chronic tendinitis.

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