Scrolling through articles, as I do every morning, I came across a pretty disturbing article detailing the rants of Alex St. John, founder of WildTangent Inc. You can read the article for yourself Here, but I’ll summarize for you as I continue.
Basically, Alex is complaining about the “Wage-Slave” attitude of game developers today. Game developers have begun to speak out against 80+ work weeks with no overtime pay. They have stated that they are drained and unable to get the creative juices flowing after a regular 40 hour work week. They are starting to stand up and they want to be heard.
Alex doesn’t see the problem though. He stated, “I can’t begin to imagine how sheltered the lives of modern technology employees must be to think that any amount of hours they spend pushing a mouse around for a paycheck is really demanding strenuous work.”
I currently work a 40 hour a week factory job, but my education is based in the programming world of things. It’s preposterous for this man to make these claims. Some of the hardest, most strenuous work mentally I’ve ever done has been at the other end of a keyboard, Deadlines, testing, finding new ways to implement code can take a huge toll of your available time and mental state. I’ve found myself saying, “I’ll go to bed right after I fix this problem that just sprung up”, but there is always something after that. And, if you were wondering, all this coding was for personal use or person projects, which meant I wasn’t getting a dime for it. I did it because I loved doing it. So when Alex basically states that video game developers need to work for their passions rather than a paycheck, I can’t get behind that.
We got into programming to learn something we love, but the end result is a job that fulfills our passions and at the same time pays us. Game development is a job. You write a resume, configure a portfolio, interview, discuss benefits and salary, then you start a very real JOB. Even though Alex says, “Making games is not a job – it’s an art.)
I can agree that game development is an art, but it is also a job. If a company hires you to work for them, they are hiring you for the services you provide to make an end result. That end result comes with a price tag that people will use to pay the salaries of the people involved. So how can someone say that game development isn’t a job? I think the old adage is, “Do what you passionate about and love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I guess what I’m trying to say is Art isn’t easy and it does drain a person. These people should be compensated just as well as a person doing back breaking labor all day, every day, because metal exhaustion least to very physical outcomes. Read the article yourself and let me know your conclusions on the whole matter below in the comments.