How Restrictive Contracts Stifle and Control Creativity in the Video Game Industry

Phillip Woytowitz was a software engineer on the hardware infrastructure team at the graphic cards company NVIDIA, a job with many hats that, depending on the day, could involve debugging graphics features to testing games. One day, he got the itch to make a video game. The problem for Woytowitz, however, was one facing a lot of workers at gaming or tech companies who want to make something separate from the company they work for: they’re not allowed to.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I imagine his contract says (lightly paraphrased) “any sick new graphics tricks you invent are property of nVidia,” so he can’t go make a thing with graphics in it or it’s considered a conflict of interest. I also imagine nVidia has the right of first refusal on all of his prospective patents too.