The reality of being a videogame designer
You remember that part in Boogie Nights where Don Cheadle says, "I'm not a pornographer. I'm an actor." That is exactly how I feel some days.
I’ve been a videogame designer for going on 6 years now and I’ve slowly started to realize that I now have a skillset that cannot be applied to anything else in life, much like being in porn.
Let me elaborate a little more on why being a designer is akin to being in the porn industry. You know how in the porn industry there are a handful of really famous porn stars that make a ton of money and get to dictate which movies/scenes they are doing? On the other hand there are a ton of girls doing some downright nasty things for barely any money thinking that one day they might be the next Jenna Jameson?
In the videogame design world you have Miyamoto, Kojima, Will Wright, David Jaffe, and a handful of others that have risen to the top that have a little more control of their future. Then you have the other faceless designers that no one knows working on games doing some downright nasty things that I’m sure their mothers do not want to hear.
I love my job and I love doing what I do but when I look to the future and think about if I ever decide to leave the videogame industry I’m going to be like Buck.
“If there's something I didn't fill out correctly on this...or if there is something I left out...or something maybe you want me to write on there...just tell me what to write.”
I read somewhere that the lifespan of a videogame designer is only 5 years. I can only imagine the lifespan of a girl in porn is around the same. I imagine the lifespan of a designer is a little bit longer simply because games take so damn long to make. But being a designer is a young man’s game and promotes a very non-balanced lifestyle. At least I haven’t figured out how to balance it yet.
I don’t want this to come off super negative because I’m not complaining about my job at all – more like an observation of the videogame industry as a whole. A designer that I barely know posted on a forum about how he left the industry and it was the healthiest thing he has done. There has to be a better solution and I believe one is out there. The industry as a whole is young and we are still going through our growing pains. Design as an actual profession is even younger than videogames and we are still trying to figure out our career path. It will be a rocky road but I have faith that we will figure something out.
To continue with the analogy David Jaffe is totally Tera Patrick. <3