I’ve gotten this question a ton, mostly from people not in the games industry:
“What made you get into video games?”
Figured I’d write my answer here, and I’m curious to hear what other people’s answers are to this question. The inquisitors, of course, are asking about making games as a career choice, not simply playing them for countless hours. Actually I don’t even really play that much… fine, except Rocket League…
So why video games? I had the idea of getting into the field a few years ago, and while I’m not sure what exact instant in time or what event sparked it, I realized that it kind of brings together all of the things I’ve wanted to do for my whole life. I’ve always been a creative person with an imagination the size of a megalodon, and I started my post-high-school schooling in music before switching into sciences and eventually engineering. I wanted to get into architecture but went with mechanical engineering because I didn’t have an amazing portfolio ready and I knew (thought) engineering was a more stable career path. Engineers can design of products that people interact with every day, and architects design spaces that alter people’s interactions with the world around them. This last bit is super powerful; a well-designed space can greatly affect the way a person views the world and their overall happiness at work or at home.
Personally I think the carpet is too dark… but hey.
But why stop there? Why be constrained by the physical world? Why not take people into the crazy, insane imagination that fuels my brain and fills it with images, words and stories? I’ve never really been good enough at art to convey what’s in my mind, and I’ve never been a talented (or patient) enough writer to create text that makes you want to jump into the page and never leave.
That brings me to my next point: you can’t actually jump into the pages of a book. Well, maybe a very big book… but generally, you can’t. You can’t look at a painting of a house and go see what’s behind it. Traditional media, or non-interactive media such as books, television, movies, paintings, etc. are great. BUT the thing they lack is true immersion. A book might pull you into the story and you might feel like you’re right there next to the characters seeing their experiences first-hand, but you’ll never alter the story or the interaction between the characters. This is something you can do in games and it gives games, in my opinion, a completely different value as a story-telling medium.
So, because of the idea that games can be a medium through which I can channel my imagination, and because they are one of the only forms of media that allow for true immersion, I’ve chosen video games. There’s a third reason, which I can’t say I knew before I got into the industry, but I sure as hell know it now. The people. Are. Fantastic. They really, truly are. I think I’ll probably write another post about that sometime as I don’t want to drag on, but it’s incredible the kind of mutual support we give each other in this industry.
That’s all for today folks, I’d love to know your thoughts and, if you do work in games, your reason for doing so.