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Activision Employees to Cast Union Vote

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Jessica Gonzalez can sometimes still hear the eerie theme music for one of the Call of Duty video games in her mind. She jokes that the soundtrack will play on a loop in her subconscious when she gets older.Throughout the mid-2010s, Ms. Gonzalez spent months working grueling, 14-hour overnight shifts at Activision Blizzard’s offices in Los Angeles as a quality assurance tester, combing the video game developer’s shooter game for glitches while trying to stay awake.“It is dystopian,” said Ms. Gonzalez, 29. “It really is exhausting sometimes, because you feel like you’re pouring from an empty cup.”Ms. Gonzalez and other Q.A. testers were “crunching,” a term in the video game industry for prolonged stretches of intense work before a game’s rel …

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