Developers: forever gamers

Over the weekend I went to the birthday party of a friend whom I had worked with while at Naughty Dog Inc. We spent the first few minutes discussing our careers’ trajectories, what had changed in our lives since we had worked together, etc. As soon as we had moved beyond the typical talking points we fell right back into our old familiar way of talking, “So what games are you playing now? Have you heard of …?” so on and so forth.

It was great to get back into our game critique and sharing mode that we had been so accustomed to, as I discussed in my article Check this out: a culture of sharing, gamers love to share gaming experiences among each other as a way of bonding, and the same was true of my friend and I.  However, in our case we had also been able to bond over a game we developed together.  This brings up an interesting point; when a gamer becomes a professional developer, their passion and love of games never fades; whenever there is a discussion about a game, developers chime in with the same giddy excitement as a gamer would when hearing their favorite title being discussed at a party.

That is one of the main things that I have loved about working in the video game industry; that passion for games which allows us to regard them with respect for the craftsmanship required to make a great title, while also being able to delight in the pure enjoyment of a gameplay experience.

Do you feel like the work that you do in your industry is a passion of your coworkers? Do you believe that a passionate workforce is necessary for a company’s or industry’s success? Have you taken a hobby and made it into a profession?  Do you believe that transitioning hobbies into professions takes away the intrinsic reward by applying the extrinsic reward of an income? I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to playprofessor@gmail.com.

Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Youtube.

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