Still not making money playing video games.
It’s a lovely sentiment and all but if we all worked jobs that we loved doing, who is going to staff our fast food joints, clean public restrooms or do our dry cleaning? We can’t all be famous rock stars, writers or actors.
If money was no object we would still need those people. Are there really enough people in the world that want to work in a fast food place and serve grumpy customers chicken? Are there just loads of people out there that just love cleaning toilets so much that they don’t need to be paid to do it?
Maybe work isn’t what motivates a person. If they go to a job they don’t like for eight hours a day, “waste their time” and come home to a loving family, are they not getting what they desire? They have put food on the table, can afford to buy their children presents and supply them with an education because of that job they don’t like. That job they don’t like is allowing them the freedom to enjoy what they do like.
And not all of us can be happy. Sometimes the thing you enjoy the most…you’re just no good at. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, but you’re not going to be a master. If someone really enjoys playing basketball, they can’t pin their future on playing for the NBA and even if they practice every hour of every day, well…some people just don’t make it. MOST people don’t make it. For every Hollywood starlet there are hundreds of hopefuls who live pay check to pay check, hoping for a break. For every major league player, there are thousands who never got a chance. Does it mean they didn’t work add enough? Does it mean they didn’t want it enough. No.
That’s like saying someone died of an incurable disease because they didn’t pray hard enough. That they didn’t want to live.
It’s just a fact of life. You can’t always get what you want and sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to in order to do the things you DO want to do. And for some of us, just making it into a new day is accomplishment all in itself.
I love the fact that everyone wants to tell me I “should just quit my miserable job and become a full time game designer” or “should drop out of school and become a full time writer” or “should just move to Canada and work for Bioware,” but that just isn’t reality.
I have to pay for computer upgrades and software licenses. I have to feed my dogs and pay my mortgage. I have to attend conventions and rub elbows with potential clients/employers. I have to pay for every new programming language and scripting tool. I have to pay for rent and airplane tickets and hotels and …
And it’s so hurtful to be told the only reason I’m not Douglas Adams is because I don’t love it enough.
Sure, it could happen. If I had time and energy, I could sit down and create the best RPG anyone has ever played. But I don’t have time and energy when I’m worrying about what I can afford to eat. Or who I’m putting out to entertain my fantasy.
Where is the comic that tells me it’s okay to be a fast food employee? Where are the motivational speeches commiserating with holiday retail work?
This is real life. Give me my paycheck so I can stop worrying about how I’m going to feed my dogs and start imagining the next Best Seller.
Both good responses.
I’d say a rather more realistic version is: “What would you love to do if money were no object? Okay, look at that, and figure out…
A. What is it that you like about doing that? Can you find a job that has at least some of the same types of satisfaction? (i.e., if you get a kick out of creation, try to get a position where you create something, even if it’s not anywhere near the type of stuff you want to create)
B. What kind of job would you need to allow you to do the thing you love in your free time? What kind of time off, what kind of remuneration or stability?
C. Is there any over lap, there? Go for that one.”
‘Cause, seriously, if you can find a job that lets you support yourself such that you can do what you love in your free time, and has enough elements that satisfy you that you aren’t miserable? You’re doing pretty damn good!
[Another thing people don’t bring up is that sometimes doing something for money takes it from ‘something I love’ to ‘something that stresses me out.’ That’s why I’ve never even considered trying to make a living off of music. That’s what I do to DEstress, and I want it to stay that way!]
Making a video series