Why should anyone be a game designer?
Some have the pushy parents who don't understand, some have been patronised by other professionals, some have thrown the newspaper as it denigrates the medium. Whether you have experienced one or all of these things, games don't always get the respect and praise they deserve by everyone.
As an indie developer, cutting his teeth on Blitz Basic at the age of 11, my marriage to the medium has been a long one. I've had to stand up for my choice to choose this artform and why it worthy of my time and effort.
How things are changing.
As the industry gains respect from the public and press, I think now, we can let our guard down slightly. Now I find myself rarely needing to defend my choice of occupation. The world is beginning to see just what it is games can achieve.
Nevertheless, why should anyone become a game designer? We often hear that we are storytellers, entertainers, some debate wages over whether we are artists, designers or engineers.
I don't believe we are just storytellers. I feel we are more. So, I have listed the three research-backed reasons why game developers are important:
1. Games marry art and science
No one really knows where games are headed. What we do know is that they require logic and agents to function; the realm of the game developer. These systems and logic incorporate physics, logic, in addition to the behaviour of agents; the latter is psychology and social science.
From wooden effigies centuries ago, to augmented reality -- it will be continue to be game artists who exploit cutting edge tech and transform them to realise our imagination and deliver captivating experiences for the consumer.
2. Games can change and rehabillitate people
Games can very easily put is in an empathic state by being in someone elses shoes in a simple, easy but effective way.
Play strengthens bonds between you and the people you are playing with. This is a powerful agent of change, the estranged and lonely members of society can feel part of a community and wider society through the games they play.
Additionally, the impulse to complete an activity successfully with no real-life consequences for failure; the ability to try (with encouragement and feedback) until victory is achieved is an incredibly powerful factor to motivate people which delivers a natural rush called fiero. When applied to occupational therapy the results can be transforming.
3. Games can help us learn and play is instinctive
Play is a natural instinct which can prepare us for future events and also enables us to experiment to create tactics and strategies As game developers we are enabling an outlet of play.
Via serious games people are able to approach learning kinaesthetically (through practice) as opposed to simple sight and sound - as we are seeing already, the applications for this are incredibly vast.
Just do what you love.