My mother tells me that the first thing I ever said I wanted to be was a teacher. I don’t remember that. The first thing I remember wanting to be was an astronaut… specifically, a pilot. Much as I like learning the results of scientific experiments, I don’t much like to do them. Scientific experimentation is a tedious process. But being a girl with terrible eyesight, my chances of being allowed to take that career path were slim to none. I considered acting, but don’t have the passion to commit to strings of fruitless auditioning, working odd jobs on the side until I get lucky.
In high school, however, I locked my sights on a target about which I was — and still am — very passionate. Video games. I wanted to be a video game programmer. I learned some programming in high school, went off to college to get my degree in computer science, and started reading industry publications.
That last part is what dampened my enthusiasm. Not my enthusiasm for games, not my love of game design, not my desire to make games. No, just my enthusiasm for joining the video game industry. What I was reading synched up with things I’d noticed about the games I was playing to strongly indicate that commercial video games were going the way of commercial films. As costs to make them rose, funding to create them had to come from somewhere, and the people who could afford to fund the games wanted to make a profit and didn’t really care about revolutionizing gaming. On top of that, this was about the time that the scandal about how EA was treating its employees came out, illuminating a darker side of the industry. Continue reading