It’s funny where you’ll get little pearls of wisdom. I was wandering around in circles today in front of the AMPTP — that’s the coalition of Hollywood producers that the WGA currently has an issue with. I ended up speaking with a writer who had gotten started in animation and recently made the transition to live-action primetime. We spoke about animation writers, who are generally just cooler than live action writers, and he had a great reason why.
Many primetime writers end up with large egos, and there’s no way to take them down a notch. Many of their shows are great. Many of their shows are watched by millions. But in animation, all you have to do when anyone gets too big for hir britches is lean in and say, “Dude, it’s just a cartoon.”
Should game developers have the same attitude as animation writers? Nothing is just a game anymore. It’s “just” an outgrowth of the oldest form of entertainment on Earth. It’s “just” a billion dollar industry. It “just” entertains people all over the globe, young and old. Many of us make games because we wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. How could we possibly say, “It’s just a game?”
We can and we should. Not because the game industry is “just” anything, but because to work on an intensely collaborative medium, we need to manage our egos to create something worth playing. We’re creating a fun experience; it should be fun to make, too. So next time someone leans in and says “Dude, it’s only a game,” don’t think he’s denigrating the great medium of games. He’s probably just telling you to check your ego at the door.
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Last week’s game moment came from ZOO VET. Did you guess? More Guess that Game Dialog to come this week!