Posted by Asif on August 3rd, 2011
There have been several reports recently about game developers being overworked and underpaid. The only thing I have to say is if the games that come out of this oppressive, soul-crushing system are excellent, something must be right. Needless to say, you won’t see me complaining. Just as an oppressive factory system produces my shoes, I don’t go raising my hands in protest if those shoes – cobbled together by children too uneducated to get any other job – are comfortable.
If I were in the crappy shoes of a young game developer looking to fulfill their dream of developing AAA games, I’d probably be terrified to work in the horrific conditions at many studios. Luckily, I’m an actual, tax-paying adult. I don’t have time to feel bad for the plight of poor game developers. I’m too busy paying my own bills, being a working man down in the trenches. When I’m not mining coal (in Minecraft) or committing senseless acts of violence (in every game), I’m sitting in a chair browsing the Internet to avoid being productive.
The reality is, aspiring game developers, it could be so much worse. Take for example Tarn, the programmer behind the world’s foremost simulator of dwarf life, sex and death, Dwarf Fortress. Sure, he’s achieved an incredible level of detail in simulating the complete fantasy world of Dwarf Fortress entirely in ascii text, but what about having an intimate relationship with something other than a well-worn hole in a couch cushion? In the New York Times, Tarn lays down the reality gauntlet.
“If I were in the supermarket one day and someone came on really strong and it was a mutual thing, I’d probably get pushed along, but it’s not something I’m anticipating,” he said. His interest has dwindled. “It’s easier not to care about that stuff when you’re in your 30s.”
I don’t even know what to say to that. If there were something I could express to make being a game developer less appealing I’d be saying it right now, but Tarn made the best argument against not only making games, but probably against playing them. If you’re a game developer you should be pretty excited to work in your game development dungeon. At least there you might have a chance of talking to one of your cellmates. That’s one step closer to getting laid than Tarn.
[Source: NY Times]