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Johanna Weststar

Johanna Weststar

Johanna’s primary research focus is in the emerging field of digital game production studies where she examines the digital game industry within the broader context of the project-based creative and cultural industries and looks at issues of workplace citizenship, representation and unionization, working conditions and the labour process, project management and occupational identity. She works in partnership with the International Game Developers Association to produce the bi-annual Developer Satisfaction Survey, the source of some of the most comprehensive and up-to-date data about the work of digital game makers.

​Johanna has published research about pension governance and co-edited a LERA research volume on the Contradictions of Pension Fund Capitalism. She has also published on the topics of underemployment, workplace learning, job control, pregnancy and parental leave and industrial relations climate. 

She is also of the ILERA Executive, a past-President of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association (CIRA), and a member of the CRIMT Institutional Experimentation for Better Work Partnership Project.

Could you describe two key articles to better understand your interest and expertise?

From crunch to grind: Adopting servitization in project-based creative work” seeks to understand the impact of new forms of customer centricity on digital game production. It contributes to the emerging field of game production studies and extends industrial relations scholarship into new domains.


Digital game workers are unionizing! “Building momentum for collectivity in the digital games community” grounds current actions in historical context and sets the stage for understanding the existence of and capacity for collective action these quintessentially post-industrial workers.