You can start making your own games today. Yes, you!

Would you say the same about woodworking? There are plenty of people who make a living by carving/building with wood. There are also hobbyists who do this but have no intention of it being their career. Occasionally the latter become the former, and I don’t think the former ever get mad about that.


lol I don’t think Zoe is anyone you would want to take tips from on the industry…

A better comparison might be how anyone can call themselves a “Photographer” now, and it annoys real photographers.

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Isn’t such an outlook self-aggrandisingly exclusionary? I can be happy for anybody who feels accomplished in something that interests them. But using this to insist that others can’t/aren’t really doing anything seems quite petty. I can’t think of any endeavors which are improved by pissing contests.

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@Mindysan33 actually inspired me (inadvertently, or perhaps, conspiratorially) earlier today to consider the awesomeness of a game I would like to make called “RPG Zombie.” I was just thinking it would be really cool to make.

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Do it! That would be awesome-sauce.

I can’t really explain it, which is why I was just floating it out there w/o much explanation. And I’ve noticed others seemingly acting the same (aforementioned journos attacking bloggers). I figured a forum would be an interesting place to solicit opinions on the idea.

Like most emotions, I’m not saying it’s justified, nor do I indulge it (I’ve actually talked to many amateur/aspiring devs, both on a hobby and professional level), so it’s not like I’ve thrown any daggers myself.

Might be the Hollywood glossing of a profession. You don’t see people saying “Anyone can practice medicine at home!” much, but for some reason, the “anyone can code” meme has gone further, whereas when I was in school, I remember an awful lot of people taking classes where they tried to avoid a) math, or b) writing papers, so clearly there’s some differentiation in mindsets.

The kicker for me was the Silicon Valley guy who decided to teach a homeless man to code, and somehow the idea that what you may have spent your whole life to do, some 20-something is trivializing away with a “Here’s a ‘Teach Yourself JavaScript in 30 Days’ book, study it in a week and I’ll give you a salary.” On one hand, we’ve got a whole workforce of experienced people out there, and on the other hand, we’re saying the experience is useless and you can just pick up a Ruby book and have a career. The “anyone can code” seems to subscribe to that philosophy beyond a simple “here, have fun building a ship in a bottle in your living room.”

Again, not saying I have a conclusion here, nor am I saying I know what’s going on, but I’m thinking it’s an interesting discussion. And the folks at BB are the type who I’d figure might have some insight to share. I realize I’m broadening this beyond games, but I do think it’s the same as the “anyone can code” idea, just a specific branch.

I do also know that the same ones don’t tend to say “Here, learn openGL” as much as “Here, play with GameMaker and make the 6.022*10^23 sidescroller or tile based RPG.”

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There are many people who are convinced that their careers should come with benefices. They feel entitled to certain markets - if not not individually, then at least for “their own kind”. From that perspective you are stealing from the pro you didn’t hire when you let an impostor shoot your wedding.

And as I am not an art history major, I’d love to know if the same thing happened when you had the old guard who spent all their time learning to paint with realism and a new class of painter came along breaking from that representation in a way that didn’t take the same time commitment of skill.

I’m sure this is like any other cultural/academic evolution of profession.

Yeah, that’s probably a great example. Shooting on film with manual cameras is way different than a digital that does a bunch of the work for you, and as those become cheaper, the barrier to entry becomes lower and lower.

However, as photo development becomes turnkey, you start seeing a million of the same style based on the filters the camera/software has, instead of someone finding an interesting exposure in the dark room.

I’m a hobbyist dev, and this website is really great. There is so much content farm, SEO-laden clickbait out there, it can be hard to shuffle through tp find real advice and information. A simple, well-laid-out interface of prescreened resources is really a goddessend.


…You seems to forget that this is Leigh Alexander’s turf.

I actually agree with you, though I am aware enough to look at my own history and see where I could easily be hypocritical.

I’m a sysadmin with almost 25 professional years in IT. I started in varying kinds of Unix systems, then Linux. When it came to Linux systems, I quit my (shitty) job at a small ISP, taught myself Linux in a couple weeks, then got a job as a Linux admin (at a better ISP). Then I see some upstart with a computer certificate from a community college … and it irks the hell out of me. I don’t have a CompSci degree (and don’t intend to ever get one).

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I think the ‘everyone make games’ idea is closer to the write a novel month. My understanding(possibly wrong), is that the goal isn’t normally for many these games to be good, or even to be published, but just for people to better understand their hobby and possibly to see if they’d be interested in doing it more seriously in the future.


That’s an interesting way of looking at it; I hadn’t thought of it that way. But something just seems a teensy bit off about the comparison. It’s my general understand that there’s some inherent value in just being able to sit down and mash out 50,000 words over the course of a month, in that it’s a difficult feat even if the result is derivative and nowhere near readable.

But what would the equivalent be in terms of a “game” ? I suppose it’s considerably easier nowadays to create something that’s at least barely functional (as opposed to a mass of code that won’t even compile), but only in the sense that you’ll likely only be able to make something that’s generally the same as what anyone else could put together. Suddenly I find myself thinking of ye olde ZZT, nearly 25 years old at this point.

I guess there’s some benefit in the planning and execution that can point one in the direction of further learning, and give one an appreciation of what is involved in more complex projects.

Agreed. Can’t understand why anyone would bash or look frown upon the idea. And, if you think something’s missing, you can always suggest your own links.

Well, history is kind of like that. There are plenty of people who imagine themselves as experts in history because they read a few books. that being said, much fewer of them are making a living as a historian. [ETA] Though there are plenty of historians written by non-academic historians that sell well.

The fact is, like it or not, coding is becoming a critical skill, for a number of reasons. And the industry has a vested interest in getting as many people involved, because the larger the pool of possibly employees, the lower they can pay their workers.

How can you be an expert in History if you aren’t making it?

I agree… being a historian means writing history. But they don’t see it as a skilled field, with its own mode of creating knowledge, etc. It’s just “shit that happened in the past” as opposed to a discussion about what happened in the past, why, and what that meant/means, all culminating in some new form of knowledge about the past.