Another relative approaches. She's the wife of an uncle, just close enough to remember my name, but not enough to have kept tabs on what I've been doing since we saw each other last, many years prior. She asks me what I've been doing for a living. I decide to tell her the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
"I'm a writer and editor for a videogame website," I say, smiling.
To her credit, she doesn't grimace, but she doesn't exactly ask to hear more, either. She smiles, ponders responding, and then quietly walks away.
This week's issue of The Escapist, "Living the Dream," is about the people you never hear about, the folks behind the scenes who, while neither game developers nor game writers - the two most visible entities in the industry - still make their living off games. They're like the people who hang bombs on the wings of airplanes, yet don't fly them; like the ones who dab makeup on the faces of news anchors, yet don't appear on TV; the guys who tighten lug nuts on race cars; put parsley on your dinner plate; change light bulbs on streetlamps; and hang movie posters. You never see them, rarely hear about them, but you know they're there, know they have to be there, for a multi-billion dollar industry doesn't run on wishes and dreams.
Walk into any cocktail party and proclaim yourself the owner of one of the above jobs, and you may not become the star of the show - chicks still prefer the race car driver over his tire changer - but you won't exactly feel the chill that crawls up the spine of many who dare proclaim they make a living playing videogames. I'm one of them. I'm happy with my job. And I'm quite well over being ashamed of it.
Russ Pitts is an Associate Editor for The Escapist. His blog can be found at www.falsegravity.com.