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Gaming while Making Games

Gaming during working hours in a video games developing company is forbidden, in my experience. I think it is a bad and absurd rule and it is made only to hide internal problems, that should scare away any future employee.

There are a few issues that are really bothering me in certain, if not the majority of the games development companies. One of them is the fact that you are not allowed to play other games, during working hours, except for those developed by the company. Even more, programmers and artists cannot at all, except if the are actually working-playing, testing assets and debuging.

Then the hypocrisy hits you at meetings where the so called “leads” are talking about people not knowing what they are doing, not knowing how to make a balanced and creative level or how to implement certain aspects of gameplay in “commonly seen” way. And they get lower salaries, lower respect and even worse, they get fired. You get judged on your money and on their ignorance and failures.

Now, I didn’t mentioned in this list the designers, producers and testers, which fall in the same category, in a way, but not all of them. I have experimented myself, as a designer and as a tester, pretty much the same attitude. I am not supposed to know how to play various video games, but I am supposed to create one and know how to test one. I am supposed to know what having FUN is, but I am not allowed to experiment it first hand, on the company’s money.

And there you have the motivation! The process of “gaming” is not taken seriously by the the game development companies. It is a paradox that really puzzles me. I cannot understand it. And if I want to play, I should do it at home. I am tricked on doing it on my time and money, because I like it. Not mentioning, that they are actually paying for my home experience, not my @work experience.

I will not accept the explanation that if you let people play, they will work less. It is a heavy, medieval pretext and a shameful failure of the company not to be able to motivate it’s employees to work for it. It means it is not a modern company that has values, but a plantation, where people are “FORCED” to work, or else…

But hey, ignorance is a bliss and nobody can stop me to leave or to start my own company if I do not agree with the company policy… Which is made by its people.

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