This post relates back to my 2016 retrospective. I’d advise reading this first.
A question that has particular been on my mind is – how do I approach my aspirations in a way that is both fulfilling & ethical, yet realistic? How do I do this whilst holding to my own values?
Like the questions I had before, I don’t have a clear answer for this. To be fair, this post isn’t about looking for an answer but rather the affect this question had on me in regards to a major aspiration of mine.
You see, in 2016 a part of me gave up on my dream of making games. These are my reasons:
- Having knowledge that the world is more screwed then I thought, my wish to make games, & the kind of games I wanted to make, feel comparatively trivial & unimportant (that was a truly sad thought for me). A part of me feels obliged to help the world get truly better in some way. I’m still not sure how I can help but I don’t think providing another form of escapism is the way.
- I had reached a point where just thinking about making games brought about feelings of frustration, self-disappointment, & apathy. I’d tried many approaches that all lead to similar results, each one not able to account for my own shortcomings.
- I have an awful habit of stating I’ll do something & not actually doing it for whatever reason. I’ve become really sick of being that kind of guy. I’ve become hesitant to say I’ll do anything, unless I seem to be already doing it.
- I’ve known for a long time that its difficult to get into the games industry, & that surviving or even making a living from it is even more difficult. Hell, I know how difficult it can be just to try & make one game, I’ve been trying to do it alone since graduating in 2013. I admit the task has only become more daunting over time.
- I like games, but I’ve become disgusted with the mainstream games industry. Cultural toxicity aside, it’s market driven nature has become more apparent to me. Any regard for experimentation, artistic expression, & the effects of the medium is seemingly relegated to indies, small studios, & critics, since everyone else is comfortable with games “just being games”. I feel like this point alone is worthy of it’s own post (I know, more to write about!).
I’m actually at the point where I realistically don’t expect myself to succeed at becoming a professional game developer, particularly in the “standard” sense. I do have a naive dream of being supported on a platform like Patreon as a game & media creator, but again it doesn’t feel realistic at this point. I wouldn’t even dare consider this until I’ve made at least one game, & one of these games has an actual following; definitely a long term goal.
This doesn’t mean I should stop trying to make games however. It simply means that there’s much to consider & I have a choice of how to approach them. For now, I’ve chosen to rig my standards of a good life so I can already be happy regardless of the results. Let myself be free to pursue this at my own pace.
I’ve written time & again about a wish to bring about good change, yet still speculating as to how I could. A part of me has been thinking that perhaps gamers & those seeking escapism are the best people I can reach. That perhaps I could use the strengths of games in a way that educates people & empowers them to be better. Perhaps show a new way for games to be treated & utilized.
I don’t believe my place is to lead or enforce change, but rather to provide some understanding & tools for people to change their own lives. I’d like to present ideas & perspectives for people to explore in a way they can apply to their own lives. Besides, if the world is truly doomed to fall apart within the next century (as my flatmates estimate) I’d might as well spend the time I have in a way I can be content with.
I’ll leave this post with some overdue evidence that I have actually been working on a prototype, & as a reminder to myself of where I’m at. I might play Tales of the Arabian Nights again to get myself back into the mindset.
Thank you for reading.