"I Play Games for a Living"

"I Play Games for a Living"

To most people, we're all still boys in bedrooms, Peter Pans with joystick thumb who're putting one over on society at large and laughing all the way to the credit union.

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It'll be a big day for the medium when being involved in games stops being something to be ashamed of. Or when we realize it, at any rate. What I find is that if you act proud - not defensive, not embarrassingly gung-ho, but with a genuine, earnest, respectable enthusiasm - of what you do, people tend to go along with it after a while.

It's not you amigo, it's THEM. If you told the children, of any of the family members you had there in Austin, what you did for a living, you wouldn't have been able to get rid of them. I still get razzed once in a while by friends who don't play video games but I laugh and tell them the only reason they don't play is because they suck. They then challenge me; I crush them, laugh and ask them politely to leave my room. If they still want to talk, I tackle them and mercilessly beat the snot out them. :)

Here is my point: it's a timing factor. I'm 29 and get picked on a little bit. My brother, 22, plays more than I do but TONS of people (men and women) play at his age. So, the comments are less. So, as time goes on, it will be more widely accepted because it is becoming part of society. There are many more hybrid gamers (socially accepted/coherent and gamers)BUT if you (not actually you, but stereotypical gamers) lock yourself in your basement, room or living quarters, and decide that living your life in an MMORPG is more eventful then getting outside and meeting people (and some sun if possible) then you will probably get made fun of.

The moral of the story...we are about 10 years too early for our peers to understand. For all the people who think gaming is for kids, I say "good for me, and screw you".

It really is a time factor. The only person I find to be discouraging about games is my old man, though when my sister decides she wants to be a bitch she throws some disdain in there about it. You grew up when video games were a simple fad. You got an Atari because it was "the new thing", the "new technology", but after a while everyone tossed it in the closet. To those people, a few years passed, video games died and the Nintendo was just something for their kids, something they'd grow out of when they decided they were too old for G.I. Joe.

Ten years later, I'm growing up with Nintendo, and now here I am. If I can't get a job making games, I am sure as Hell going to get a job writing about them. That's my stance, and it is what a good number of people have told me I need to do. Fortunately for me, when my relatives ask me about my plans or how school is, they actually ask me simple questions on how the game stuff is going. I give them few details of what I do with the gaming club at my College, but just enough to let them know I've done some awesome things. I tell them how likely or unlikely it may be that I can actually get into game development, and explain I have a backup plan for game journalism (yeah, if only plans worked out that well). Of course, most of these relatives also have kids that play games, and they look to me as if games are already my profession.

However, if I were my father's age? No, I would not be getting the same treatment. Or at least, it's not likely.

As time progresses, video games will become a more widely accepted entertainment medium...which itself has pros and cons. However, I'm optimistic enough to believe that more geeks with high standards are involved in the gaming industry than in any other industry, thus games will always have the higher quality. I mean, all the good stories and ideas are already coming up in games while abandoning Hollywood.

I liked this article.

Right there with you. I console myself (no pun intended) with the knowledge that I'm having far more fun than they are.

I don't really play games for a living, I translate them for a living. But I have to admit that, though I get the odd look from time to time, most of the reactions are pretty positive. In society, I often have the most out-of-the-ordinary job, amongst all those teachers, estate agents and what not. "You translate video games? Seriously? That sounds cool". Of course there was also this party where there was a guy who was working as a guide in Africa, touring people around pygmee tribes. He kind of stole the spotlight that day.

Also, I guess there is quite a big difference : I'm a translator. That's a real job people know about, no matter the stuff translated. Playing games is not a real job, man.

Still, it's funny to notice the reactions. The most common is something like "But... What do you translate? I didn't know there was anything to translate in video games". Sure, it's all about jumping on mushrooms or shooting zombies, what would there be translate? Best start with the good old trick of telling them they are right and that "yes, there are many games where you don't have much to translate apart from the menus and stuff" (ok, that's pretty much a lie) before counter-attacking "but there are also many adventure games with a lot of talking and more text than in an Hemingway novel". There, mentionning Hemingway makes it sound like a serious job :)

As always, I really enjoyed the style of the article. Nice read.

I can see a definite split between my friends that think gaming is fun and my friends that think gaming is boring and nerdy.

What I find amusing is that in all other aspects of life (work, sport, other hobbies etc), the ones that like gaming are the ones that generally come off as "cooler" people. Go figure.

It can be tough sometimes to balance between trying to convey to people that videogames are more than kids toys and trying to hold their attention in a conversation. But as long as there are enough people fighting the good fight, we will prevail! :)

Goofonian:
But as long as there are enough people fighting the good fight, we will prevail! :)

Yeah, that's how I've felt about it for a long time - it's us against them, and if we have love in our hearts, and remain strong, we'll prevail ... blah, blah, blah. I've been fighting the good fight for some time. It gets old.

This article caught my attention because it's outside my experience. A lifelong gamer, I never felt ashamed about the fact that I liked to play games. Sure, there were and are times when I didn't tell people about it, but that was mostly because it's valued alone time. Whenever I do tell people, it's always with a source of enthusiasm and pride. Maybe it's because I'm a girl, and allegedly girls don't play games. I like subverting people's expectations :) Even so, I've never felt anyone judged me negatively because of it. Even when my father said that he thought playing games was a waste of time, I thought he was on crack. That sort of criticism just doesn't touch me.

As the *other* type of game writer, I'm a bit envious of your "what do you do?" conversations. I'd love people to drop the subject and move on to more meaningful topics, but as soon as they figure out that I write story and dialog for games, they immediately want to know my resume. Maybe I need to hang out with your relatives.

Russ Pitts:

Yeah, that's how I've felt about it for a long time - it's us against them, and if we have love in our hearts, and remain strong, we'll prevail ... blah, blah, blah. I've been fighting the good fight for some time. It gets old.

I don't necessarily think its us against them, I think its a lack of education on their part. When I was in highschool, kids either played games or they didn't. Those that didn't, couldn't care less. Back then, it was us against them. Now people seemed to be more open to the idea of "interactive entertainment" so if there was ever a time to finish the fight (haha), now is it.

These days I have more friends that don't play games than friends that do but in the last year I've managed to convince several friends to go out and buy a console just by showing them how much fun they can have. The trick is to find something they can relate to. Guys can often be convinced by a 360 with a copy of forza and a wheel, girls just need a ps2 and singstar and my mum absolutely loves the wii (as does my dad, my housemates, and a half dozen guys and girls from my work).

Gaming is for everyone, just most of them don't know it yet ;)

 

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