Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This I Believe: Work Should be Fun

Why do work and play need to be segregated? I firmly believe that it is not only important to have passions but have a passion for what one does professionally. A job should not be a means to an end but rather it should provide personal fulfillment in addition to monetary compensation. This perspective is perhaps privileged and even naive, however I feel that I need to derive more than income from my career. Success is finding something enjoyable, something that inspires one and committing to it, resulting in a feeling of fulfillment far more satisfying than any dollar amount. Gaming is viewed as a luxury, and indulgence that people can rely on to release them from the drudgery of everyday life. On the other hand, some people dedicate themselves to creating and producing this “unneeded” luxury item and find the satisfaction that I strive for.

Game developers, game designers, even quality assurance testers are in the industry because they love games. People in this industry have found a way to meld their passion with business and generate a huge profit as a by product. The Game Developers Conference “geek of the week” Alexander Macris, game publisher and marketer shown to the right, relates how he entered the industry because, “it was the best way to combine my passion for games with the pursuit of entrepreneurship.” He is a successful business man by conventional standards, at the top of his field, but more importantly he achieved this while following his passion. He navigated with his business desires and depended on his gaming interest and stuck to it. I admire those like Alexander who have an unwavering love for something and find a way to spawn success from it and hope to attain this status eventually myself. The game industry is one especially ripe with opportunity, growth and filled with people devoted to their field partially due to its young and emergent nature.

Not to say that game development is the sole path to success or that my enthusiasm for games will lead me to a promising and fruitful future; I just believe that for a purposeful life I, and all people, need to follow their interests. This is necessary not only for personal growth and betterment but for the maturation and furtherance of fields like gaming. Without obsession and zeal progress would not occur at the rate we see in the gaming industry or any industry. Game developer and researcher and Blogger, shown on the left, Ph.D. Ian Bogost was posed the question: “are games art?” He responded, “Even asking such a question is an indication that our industry is maturing and games are becoming a dominant form of entertainment.” What he said is true games are not only popular now, but are gaining clout by means of sales, artistic value, complexity, and functionality. Games are no longer a simple frivolity but a method for learning, exercising, connecting socially, working and of course having fun. This is an important process for any field and it is driven by those with the ardor and love for games. These game developers and gamers inspire me; I see what they are doing and have done and I hope to dedicate myself in the way they have to something I enjoy as thoroughly.

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